Marketing Automation, Cross-selling and Cats!

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Recently I experienced a remarkably simple, yet effective, example of marketing automation. It not only proved to be effective on me as a consumer, but also made me reflect once again upon the true value of marketing automation, in making customers feel valued, as well as being most useful as a cross-selling tool.

My Senior Cat

Pets at Home logo

Recently my wife and I visited our local Pets at Home store and decided to buy some senior pet food instead of our usual cat food, as our pet cat has recently reached the age of 7 years. This decision was obviously triggered by something entirely outside of the store’s control, but how they then took advantage of the data they gathered was not only refreshing, but was of professional interest to me from a data marketing perspective.

Automated and Relevant Direct Mail

Just two days later we received a piece of direct mail from Pets at Home with advice on ‘How to Care for Senior Cats’ along with a selection of discount vouchers for other products, including one for a free check-up at their in-store Vets.

As consumers this made us feel understood and valued, because this large corporation had taken note of our new requirements. They had offered free advice on the topic and at the same time highlighted and offered other complimentary products and services that we might find useful. As a data marketing professional I knew how this was achieved – using marketing automation processes – but was nonetheless impressed by the effort that had been taken by that organisation to communicate relevant content in this way.

All in all this may seem fairly simple, which it would have been for them with an automated marketing process, but it had the desired effect on us as we have since purchased other products in the range. It also increased our appreciation of the brand as well as of the local store.

It is worth noting that this would have relied in part on Pets at Home having a single customer view across their communications so that, for example, they were able to ensure that we did not receive multiple pieces of DM in the same week or so that they were able to be confident that this was a purchase for our own cat, by taking due account of our previous purchasing history.

Not Just for Large Retailers

These marketing automation and cross-selling strategies are no longer confined to the largest retailers or corporate organisations. The technology and systems are available (such as FastStats PeopleStage) to allow all sizes and types of organisation to take advantage of personalised and targeted communications that operate automatically.

Advantages of Marketing Automation

  • Reduced costs (the time saved allows marketing teams to focus on strategy and other adhoc projects)
  • Scalability
  • Better lead conversion ratios
  • Can improve pipeline visibility
  • Makes use of existing and new data
  • Cross-selling opportunities
  • Improves customer experience and relationships
  • Near real-time and targeted content communication.
  • Relationship Builder and Cross-Selling Tool

These elements of marketing automation are perhaps the most significant, because cross-selling can instantly increase sales and ROI while the longer process of building customer relationships is vital for client retention and brand awareness.

  • How much automation do you currently use in your marketing processes?
  • Have you experienced relationship-building success from marketing automation?
  • Do you cross-sell through automated marketing?