Remember the old joke about not knowing which half of your advertising budget is wasted? With the rise of easy-to-use ad tech in recent years and the spread of digital ads, companies have fewer and fewer excuses to throw money at ads without knowing how they deliver a return on investment (ROI).
We still run in to some media outlets that refuse to share their traffic stats for online visits. Those are the same ones that can’t tell you very much about how your ad performed.
Fortunately, the world is changing and advertisers are gaining a much better understanding of which advertising dollars are actually winning conversions on their websites or in their stores. Nowhere is that more true than with marketing automation.
While we’re primarily a PR agency, it’s impossible to escape the sweeping embrace of content marketing. And I don’t know why we’d want to. We’ve always developed content for our clients; why wouldn’t we want it to be as effective as possible? It’s vital for communications agencies of all stripes to be able to provide their clients with the kind of data that marketing automation platforms can deliver.
With content marketing, we’re able to build campaigns that include a robust online engagement component. We have one client that aims to change public policy in a particular area. We’ve built a website for them and equipped it with software that gives us enhanced data analytics (we know more about who is visiting the site) and offers us the ability to build stronger online relationships with those visitors via email marketing. For this particular client, who needs public support for its position, marketing automation has become an excellent PR tool.
Other clients have asked us to take over their client communications. In addition to websites and publicity and other more traditional tactics, we’re able to weave newsletters and value-laden emails into ongoing client interaction. We’re able to pre-program emails to go to specific segments of his database or everyone at once. We can also help deliver more urgent messages and tie them in with the company’s overall messaging. And with lead scoring, we can instantly tell who is most interested and most likely to be converted from prospect to client.
Public relations is about relating to various audiences, changing opinions and influencing behaviours. So even though we’re talking about a ‘marketing’ tactic, I can’t imagine a reason why we wouldn’t embrace this fantastic technology.