Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve ( marketing automation) from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it learn for themselves.
For example, facial recognition software learns by being fed datasets of labelled pictures, and trying to guess which contain faces and which don’t, until it can eventually identify faces with a high degree of accuracy. Eventually, with enough data, the software can even learn to recognise who is in the picture (this is how Facebook’s tagging prompts work).
The process of learning begins with observations or data, such as examples, direct experience, or instruction, in order to look for patterns in data and make better decisions in the future based on the examples that we provide. The primary aim is to allow the computers learn automatically without human intervention or assistance and adjust actions accordingly.
The purpose of marketing automation software solutions is to help you deliver quality content to the right people efficiently, so that you may increase your sales and fortify your company’s branding. It is equipped with a plethora of tools that let you create campaigns, identify quality leads, improve your content, and manage your emails and social media accounts.
Whether you own a large business that executes long sales cycles or a start-up company that doesn’t have enough staff to manage marketing campaigns full-time, marketing automation can ease your troubles. Here are some of its features:
- Campaign Automation
- Social Media Management
- Email Management
- Content Management
- Lead Nurturing
- Lead Scoring
- Lead Conversion Tracking
- Customer Segmentation
- A/B Testing
- Campaign Tracking and Reporting
- Customer Engagement Analytics
- ROI Analytics
- Website and CRM Integration
How to Integrate Messaging Apps In Your Marketing Strategy
More than ever, online marketers have more reasons to implement messaging technology to engage their customers. This is especially true for those in e-commerce and online retail sales.
Research data continue to show us that time spent on messaging apps is constantly on the rise, with no end in sight. Dark social platforms such as messaging, email, and private browsing account for almost 70 percent of online referrals when it comes to sharing.
Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of July 2018, based on number of monthly active users (in millions)
Here are some examples as demonstrated by the brands that have implemented Messaging Apps to improve customer service, increase website conversions, and generate a loyal following.
- Using Bots To Make Shopping Easier
- Make Checkouts Easy with Payments Via Messenger Apps
- Go full-throttle with in-app shopping?
- Engage Your Customers Through Public Chats To Keep Your Brand In Their Heads
- Use Messaging Apps to Conduct Contests, Promotions and Other Gimmicks
- Make Your Own Emoticons and Stickers Unique to Your Brand
Messaging apps have over 5B monthly active users worldwide. With this kind of growth in user base and penetration, it is no longer a question of whether it’s time to start engaging customers through messaging apps. The more pertinent challenge is how we can harness this technology in a way that would improve how we transact with them.
What is the origin of the term ‘lifecycle marketing’?
Lifecycle marketing is the process of providing your audience the kinds communications and experiences they need, want, or like as they move from prospects to customers then, ideally, to advocates.
Generally, a lifecycle marketing plan is a three-phase framework, Attract, Sell, and Wow. Each phase consists of three stages that include basic strategies and tactics that coalesce into a single, self-sustaining process. Rolling out a customer lifecycle marketing plan is a lot easier when done in these phases and can be done quickly and affordably with easy-to-use automation technology.
The attract phase
The goal of the Attract Phase is to get the attention of the consumers you want to buy your products or service. The stages include Target, Attract Interest, and Collect Leads.
- Target – Targeting is when you identify specific types of individuals then address them directly with your marketing. Most common ways to target an audience are by interests, behaviour, demographics, location, context, (targeting by topic on the page which is matched with the corresponding message of your ad to reach and connect to an audience with an interest in your product or service), device, etc.
- Attract Interest– Attract visitors to your website with great content like e-books, infographics, research reports, webinars, social media, and blog posts.
- Collect leads – Use a web form that includes offers, free consultations or premium content to encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.
The sell phase
Sell is the second phase of the Lifecycle Marketing model. This is your unique strategy that makes your product or service the obvious choice when those you’ve attracted are ready to buy. Sell Phase stages are Educate, Offer, and Close.
- Educate – Create a consistent campaign of useful information with automated, personalized follow-up messages.
- Offer – The best way to craft an offer is to observe past customer actions and create a buying process map, then provide an irresistible offer.
- Close – Closing the sale is more than the transaction. The close involves clear communication, good presence, and written documentation.
The wow phase
Getting to Wow involves three key stages: Deliver and Wow, Offer More, and Referral. Deliver and wow – Fulfil your commitments on time, follow through when and where it is required. Offer to provide additional value that surprises and delights customers.
We put together 7 steps to help you influence your customer’s lifecycle marketing
Step 1 Welcome campaigns
- Your content marketing has worked its magic. You’ve attracted someone to part with their email address in exchange for some juicy content.
- Now, ease your new subscriber along to their first purchase with this.
- A welcome campaign is an automated series of emails that’s triggered when someone joins your email list. It gives you the opportunity to introduce your brand and position your products in bite-sized chunks.
- Design a series of messages that build a relationship between your brand and your potential customer. Help to nurture their initial interest, so it develops into an intention to purchase.
Step 2 Reviews and ratings
- Reviews and ratings aid customers in the consideration stage of their lifecycle.
- They act as a form of social proof. This helps customers to feel confident that a product will meet their needs.
Step 3 Browse and cart abandonment
- Browse abandonment emails are triggered when your customer has been looking at a product but abandons their browser. This form of personalisation aims to entice the customer back to buy.
- Cart abandonment emails are triggered when your customer puts an item in their basket but abandons your site without buying. Often, they include a discount to sweeten the deal.
- These automations help to drive up conversion rates and are key to the conversion stage of your strategy.
Step 4 Personalised call-to-action
- Personalised call-to-action in your emails and across your website are another way to increase conversions.
- Despite being easy to implement, they are not widely used. This allows your brand to stand out and adds to the persuasive nature of this tactic.
Step 5 Product recommendations
- Product recommendations are a form of personalisation that consistently deliver, throughout the customer lifecycle.
- They are a way to show customers products that meet their needs (consideration). They entice customer to purchase (conversion). And they remind the customer why your brand it still relevant (retention).
Step 6 Countdown timers
- Countdown timers are an eye-catching feature that you can add to your emails or your website.
- A good way to use this feature is to countdown to the beginning of an exclusive offer, or to the end of a sale. The sense of urgency they create helps drive conversions.
Step 7 Re-engagement campaigns
- An inevitable part of E-Commerce marketing is that some customers will lapse. Re-engagement campaigns are an effective way to win-back those sleeping subscribers. Whether you use “we miss you” messaging, list out benefits, or try something more tongue-in-cheek will depend on your brand’s voice.
National Women’s Day in August gives us the opportunity to celebrate strong and worthy women. In this article I look at outstanding women from diverse backgrounds that share characteristics which make them inspiring leaders. These common denominators include: living their truth, empowering other women, survival, breaking the rules and activism.
“You will survive anything if you live your life from the point of view of truth.”Oprah Winfrey
Oprah built her mega-media empire on being curious, driven, communicative and honest. She’s well known in South Africa for being the founder of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. She started the school to “Create that experience that I felt for myself, that sense of wonder that somebody cared about me that didn’t even know my name.” She’s spent over $140 million on the leadership academy in the last decade.
From earning 50c an hour babysitting to becoming the first black woman billionaire in history, Oprah garners global respect. She’s not always had it easy and many women can relate to her as she says, “My highest achievement: never shutting down my heart.” I particularly like her “One thing I Know for Sure” column, the content of which became a bestselling book.
“I have always wanted to start a digital channel that empowers people to create, act, become entrepreneurs or the best version of themselves.” Nokwazi Mzobe, Founder of Matoyana Media
Inspired by Shonda Rhimes’s book Year of Yes, South African author and Founder of Matoyana Business Solutions, Nokwazi Mzobe (in discussion with a close group of friends) decided to focus on a word to live by in 2018. The word she chose was fearless. This has led to the start of Matoyana Media; an offshoot of Nokwazi’s consulting business.
Matoyana Media launched in August 2018 with a digital campaign called Fearless Woman, featuring one video interview a day with an awesome, courageous South African woman. The interviews show women who are doing amazing things and finding ways to overcome their daily fears. Nokwazi’s motivation is that by sharing women’s stories others will be inspired to act and not let fear hold them back from their potential and living their best lives.
“Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.” Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
Anita Roddick will always have a special place in my realm of inspirational women. She founded The Body Shop back in 1976 and can be seen as the pioneer of ethical consumerism; with a cosmetics brand committed to providing people with natural and ethically produced products. She was also a human rights activist, environmental campaigner and had a knack for telling it like it is. In this candid interview she talks about the difference between men and women and how they are perceived in business:
“Until we stop measuring men or women as an entity of production, and start to measure people for the production of the human spirit, of which the family is important, we’re always going to have this sacrifice.”
She said in 2003 and things have changed, but perhaps not as much as they should have. Her book Body and Soul is still worth reading for any woman wanting to create a “livelihood” rather than a “business”.
“The rise of a female has a really loud bang.” Nomzamo Mbatha
As well as being an award winning actress, a representative for Puma SA and the face of Neutrogena, South Africa’s Nomzamo Mbatha is also the ambassador for the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC).
In keeping with her humanitarian work she’s been a spokesperson for The Lighthouse Foundation, which helps treat people dealing with suicide or battling with mental illness. Nomzamo’s Ground Six Productions also gives back to charities.
Voted as one of Forbes Africa Under 30 Creatives, her star is on the rise, see her on Cosmopolitan #TheActivismIssue’s August cover. In a TED Talk, Nomzamo explains that she supports refugees because she can be seen as one too. It’s refreshing to see a local celebrity using her talent for so much more than the limelight; I look forward to watching her rise.
5: Break the Rules
“The more we can break the rules, the better off we’re going to be.” Indra Nooyi
Indian-American business executive, Indra Nooyi , was the Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world. After being the company’s top chief for 12 years and having been with the company for 24 years, Indra will step down on 3 October 2018. “As CEO, Nooyi grew revenue more than 80%, outperforming our peers and adding a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year,” said PepsiCo board member Ian Cook the news of her stepping down was released.
How did Indra break the rules? She grew up in a socially conservative Indian city but climbed trees and played in a rock band. She continued to challenge the cultural, societal and gender norms of the day and went on to become the second on Forbes’ list of Most Powerful Women in Business in 2017. She has many wise words to live by, but this quote particularly resonates with me, being in the marketing business:
“Every morning you’ve got to wake up with a healthy fear that the world is changing, and a conviction that, to win, you have to change faster and be more agile than anyone else.”
6: Just Plain Human
“Human beings are not like machines. Downtime is a feature. Taking time for a digital detox is essential.” Arianna Huffington
Did you know Arianna Huffington, as well as being the co-founder of Huffington Post, is a composer, songwriter and biographer of Maria Callas and Pablo Picasso? There’s a lot to respect right there, but her most groundbreaking message to women was encompassed in her book Thrive and now her start-up Thrive Global, dedicated to reducing stress and improving wellness.
Arianna and Thrive Global are working to revolutionise thinking and behaviour in terms of the culture of business (and burn out), lack of sleep, addiction to technology and more. She encourages us to turn off our laptops, switch off our smartphones and take a much needed digital detox. I’m proud to say at Prana we do the same.
Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting
About Prana Business Consulting
Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business. Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.
Phone: +27 (0) 11 794 1409 / + 27 (0) 83 414 9796
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