MINI-COURSE · 3 | The Best Way to Create Relevant Content & Keep Customers Loyal

Relevant Relationships: the key to repeat business. Marketing Automation Can Help.Relevant relationships, the key to repeat business.
Automating your Marketing can help.

Intelligent Marketing Mini-Course | PART III

You'll Learn

  • Marketing Automation can help you to save time and money, and keep clients loyal.
  • Platforms such as Hubspot (B2B) or Selligent (B2C) offer CRM and segmentation.
  • E-commerce, loyalty contents, up- and cross-selling are maximised with Customer Journeys.
  • One obstacle to increasing ROI: The Personal Cybersphere. Relevance is key.

We continue our 4-post Mini-Course, with practical strategies and tips that will help you sell more and improve your conversion rates.

After first learning how to attract profitable customers, in the second installment, we focused on fighting data fragmentation.

We now turn to the subject of Marketing Automation, a practice that will not only help you save time and money. You'll also create long-lasting ties with faithful customers, based on the highly relevant, personalised products and services you offer.


1. Understanding Marketing Automation

As you know, most modern Marketing terminology is replete with intriguing -- and often confusing -- acronyms. The Internet Age has spawned a never-ending stream: HTTP. SEO. SEM. KPIs., etc.

Thankfully, what we'll discuss here seems refreshingly clear: "Marketing that is automated".
Yet, what is exactly meant by the term?

Let's first look at the basics:

  1. WHO: You, your company, your brand
  2. WHAT: Marketing contents and communication you create.
  3. HOW: A specialised platform based on CRM makes it possible

Now, let's consider the more strategic question of Why.

You'll want to use Marketing Automation to:

  • Know who responds to your campaigns and who does not
  • Target each type of consumer with programmed, personalised follow-ups
  • Based on their activity, you'll be able to store this data in your clients' profiles
  • Thanks to this information, your Marketing will be more relevant each day
  • The most important consequence: higher rates for engagement, conversions and sales

Examples that will help you grow:

  • Keeping fans loyal with birthday offers
  • Moving first-timers to repeat purchases. From there: up- and cross-selling.
  • Informing customers (order confirmation, delivery status, stock)
  • Improving your service with satisfaction surveys and NPS data

Before we go on, it's important to understand how intensely challenging today's Marketing is.

Not only do the rules of the game change with every new paradigm shift (think "Voice Marketing"). It also seems next to impossible to capture the attention of saturated, distracted consumers.

The Noise is so deafening, that they protect themselves with a shield, both online and off.


Listen to the Experts
In this quick chat with Raúl Cabrera of the FC Barcelona football club, he explains how 'intelligent' a Customer-Centric Strategy truly is. | Alexa European Marketing Flash Briefing · December, 2018

2. What Is The Personal Cybersphere?

In 2001, Paul Fleming created a new Communications model that has been used since as a way to understand how to penetrate the (justified) defences of millions of consumers:

The Personal Cybersphere.

Paul Fleming spoke at Eurobest 2015 in Antwerp, Belguim on the importance of The Personal Cybersphere

The 4-level sphere is made up of "4 Rs" that ascend in importance from R1 ("Recognition") to the fourth R ("Relationship") that crowns the summit of the Personal Cybersphere.

The "password" to gain entrance to each consumer's own peculiar cybersphere is deceivingly simple: Relevant Relationships

The key factor determining whether or not a customer  will dedicate precious seconds of her attention to your brand or message will be, above all, its Relevance to her.

Click here to download Paul's Eurobest presentation


FREE WHITEPAPER: "Getting Serious about Omnichannel Marketing"

3. What A Wonderful World

One of Louis Armstrong's most iconic ballads is doubtless, "What A Wonderful World".

Here at Barcelona Virtual, we celebrate the exciting world that is Marketing each and every day. However, that doesn't mean that it's not wild -- and even dangerous -- at times. 

Louis Armstong - Album cover DECCA records

One of the best ways to navigate the rapids and push your way through the dense forests of Third-Decade Marketing is to adopt the mindset of the First Nations people of North America:

To fully understand someone, walk a mile in his moccasins

It's a path that will lead you -- quite naturally -- to the concept of Customer Journeys.

Depending on the type of Marketing Automation you practice, the Journey will be slightly different.


The B2B Tribe

Walking in the shoes of a potential Business-to-Business (B2B) customer, according to Hubspot, is a matter of identifying the principal "pain points" he might be experiencing. This will enable you to help him find the optimal solution, which you intend to be your own professional product or services.

For this reason, the walk along the shores of a B2B prospect is accurately called the "Buyer's Journey", which consists of 3 main phases: 

  1. AWARENESS: "I have a problem."
  2. CONSIDERATION: "I need to look for possible solutions."
  3. DECISION: "This company has the answer for me."

If you've heard the term "Content Marketing", or perhaps "Inbound Marketing", the focus is often on a B2B Buyer's Journey. Your contents (whitepapers, templates, blog posts, webinars, etc.) are essential to connecting with potential Leads and converting them into Customers.

Buyers Journey

The B2C Forest

Now it's time to change your moccasins.

We've padeled over to the steep slopes of the B2C Forest, inhabited by fierce, unforgiving 21st-Century consumers. Here, your Survival Guide does speak about the importance of deeply knowing your customers, but with an entirely different set of challenges.

Similar to the avatars on Pandora, today's consumer expect to be greeted by "Oel ngati kameie" -- I see you -- by brands.

To begin with, there are millions and millions of them. What used to be rather simple in terms of reach and persuasion (mass media) is now complicated by the emergence of the omnichannel, always-on Entitled Consumer.

She lives her Digital Lifestyle in her own particular way, running through the woods, skipping past the meadows and tumbling over waterfalls: expert in her dizzying use of all types of digital devices, payment methods, social networks, trends and tastes.

How can we connect?
The key concept of the B2C Customer Journey is, quite simply: Understanding her behaviour.

Every day here in the agency, we design, programme, segment and execute dozens of Customer Journeys that register and reflect individual consumer choices. When our client's platform includes a UCP (Universal Consumer Profile) this information is stored in these personal profiles.

As a result, each successive communication and touchpoint with companies using platforms such as Selligent Marketing Cloud is more relevant and effective.

DON'T MISS  Customer Experience Could Be The Reason Your Online Shoppers Aren’t Converting

According to Marketo, open rates increase by 56.68% and CTRs increase by 147% when companies use an interest-based nurturing track.

In a pilot CRM programme we co-developed for Unilever Spain, it was normal to have Open rates as high as 65%.


Your consumers might not speak Navi', as did the the tribe of James Cameron's epic Avatar. Nonetheless, today's B2C customers expect to be greeted by your brand in the same way:

Oel ngati kameie -- I see you!

Key Points

  • Marketing Automation can help you to save time and money, and keep clients loyal.
  • Platforms such as Hubspot (B2B) or Selligent (B2C) offer CRM and segmentation.
  • E-commerce, loyalty contents, up- and cross-selling are maximised with Customer Journeys.
  • One obstacle to increasing ROI: The Personal Cybersphere. Relevance is key.

Read the entire series:

1: Where is Wally? | 2: Fight Fragmentation | 3: Content Is King | 4: Cute Robots & AI

Originally published on this blog on 26 November 2019


  • 27 November 2019
  • 11 June 2020
  • 24 November 2020
  • 08 June 2023


* Full disclosure: Barcelona Virtual is a Partner Agency of Hubspot and Selligent Marketing Cloud.

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