Senior Marketing Manager and copywriter for Articulate Marketing. Specialist in writing about writing, marketing, strategy, technology and geekery. Writer of puns and the words between puns. They say talking to yourself is the first sign of content marketing. Expert parenthesis user (so it is said).
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Bon voyage to the hustle culture and auf wiedersehen to the daily grind. Marketing automation is the best way to engage your prospects online, without lifting a finger.* Here are three ways FinTechs can take advantage of marketing automation tools, such as HubSpot.
*Admittedly, some assembly required.
What is marketing automation?
Popular, that's what. Global marketing automation spend is set to reach 25 billion USD by 2023, according to Forrester. And, 75 percent of businesses participating in this survey say they currently use automation tools for at least some of their marketing activities.
A definition, according to the clever clogs at HubSpot, is:
'Marketing automation is a combination of software and strategy. It should allow you to nurture prospects with highly personalised, useful content that helps convert prospects to delighted customers.'
The key phrase there is 'highly personalised'.
'Automated' doesn't mean 'untargeted'. Done right, you can serve the right content and experiences to carefully segmented members of your target audience in a way that is specific, not generic; human, not robot. Or, rather, close enough that you can't tell the difference.
How to decide what to automate
When it comes to saving time through automation, we like XKCD's take:
Of course, we're in the golden age of marketing CRM (customer relationship management) systems. That means, you don't have to think too hard about building out automations. You can pick up the automation tools that are already available and make the most of them.
HubSpot is our platform of choice for this. There's value in having your marketing automations tied into your CRM in this way. It links everything back to your contact database.
Then, you can track both automated and human interactions associated with each contact, how they interplay, and the ROI of these activities. The more data you have, the more you can use automations in a segmented, targeted manner.
1. Programmatic advertising
We're all about inbound here, but there is a place for outbound advertising within your marketing strategy. Indeed, for certain companies, advertising represents the bulk of their marketing budget. We think it's better to own your audience than to rent it at vast expense from Google, Facebook or LinkedIn. But that's just us.
Programmatic advertising is an AI-driven buying system for automatically purchasing advertising space on digital platforms, such as social media platforms. Think of it as sending your robot to auction. You give the robot the right instructions, and it'll get you the best deal for your money.
The good news is the controls for pay-per-click programmatic ads have become increasingly sophisticated, meaning you don't have to put all your eggs (spend) in one basket - which was once the case.
Now, FinTechs can use demographics and real-time behavioural interaction data (who did what, when) to adjust their ad campaigns, split spend by publication, run A/B tests and so much more. This way, you could serve one version of your advert to small business CEOs and another to mid-market managers, for example. In so doing, you optimise your click-through rate.
However, Scott Galloway makes a very valid argument about the dangers of fraudulent advertising in the various forms of fake clicks, fake views and fake news. So approach with caution, rather than open purse-strings.
2. Personalised content
If your marketing manager starts talking about their smart content strategy, know it's not just boasting. It's about creating content that interacts and changes, that is 'smart', depending on who is looking at it. This can apply to web pages, landing pages or even email subject lines.
You could display a different contact form to a new viewer versus someone who is already in your database. You could display different text, or even use personalisation tokens such as a contact's first name or company name, if you have that information. The crux is, you do need a CRM and a website that's built to allow this kind of smart content.
One of the easiest ways to use automation is email.
Marketing emails get a bad rap, however with the right targeting you can offer people highly-relevant emails that they actually want to read with content and offers that are simply too good to ignore.
The more you qualify and segment your audience, the more likely it is you'll send the one perfect email that gets that person back onto your website, rather than ten boilerplate emails that they delete without opening.
FinTechs who use automated emails to nurture their leads are more likely to see those contacts become customers. If you're ready to go a step further, you could even consider a remarketing or upsell strategy to target existing or past customers, too.
There's a cynical future out there wherein the internet is given over to bots talking to bots, buying from bots and selling to bots.