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Crafting a Personalized Customer Journey with Marketing Automation  

The Ultimate Guide to Crafting a Personalized Customer Journey with Marketing Automation 

Marketing automation is essential to reach your customers in unique and engaging ways. Today, context and super-precise marketing are keys to strengthening loyalty and building a strong customer experience. Why? Customers are more sophisticated than ever and want brands to bring them relevant content. 

Their behavior, tastes, and preferences are opportunities you may be missing to develop highly personalized content.


What is Personalization?

A personalized customer journey involves data and analytics based on factors such as user behavior and demographics. Through a marketing automation platform, personalization can be utilized at any stage of the customer lifecycle, from awareness to retention. 

When customers feel seen and heard, they’re more…

  • Engaged—improving your click-throughs and profits
  • Satisfied—which can lead to higher lifetime value

According to one study, 80% of marketers saw a surge in leads after implementing marketing automation.

This guide will help you understand how marketing automation can give your midsized business a competitive edge. Share it with your organization’s stakeholders to get them on the same page. 


Challenges Facing Midsized Businesses

Midsized businesses often need more marketing budgets and staff, making implementing the latest marketing tech difficult. Plus, midmarket organizations often compete with bigger organizations with higher budgets and more resources. 

Within your organization, it may also be challenging to rally decision-makers to fully grasp all of the benefits that marketing automation can provide. Also, if your business already uses an automation tool, the ability to utilize the data remains a hurdle—according to one study, only 13% said their companies tracked results accurately. 


What is Marketing Automation? 

Marketing automation is used to automate repetitive tasks such as email drips for campaigns, tracking leads, and scheduling social media posts. When you’re free from manual work, you can focus on more strategic and creative projects, like developing content and strengthening customer relationships. 

It’s also useful for audience segmentation and using that data to target marketing messages more effectively. Automation allows you to collect and track the results of your marketing campaigns more effectively by keeping tabs on click-through and conversion rates from your last email or social media campaign, for example. 

By understanding performance, you’re better able to optimize future campaigns. 


Marketing Automation Adoption

On average, 51% of companies now use marketing automation, and 58% of B2B companies plan to adopt the technology. It’s an accepted part of marketing, as teams see the benefits of using automation to improve brand consistency. 

According to a survey, 99% believed marketing automation would help them with their branding and creative efforts. 


Marketing Automation for Mid-sized Companies

Consumers are bombarded with messages from brands; how does yours stand out? According to research, 66% of consumers want fewer messages, so what you’re sending needs to make an impact.

Ask yourself: is your marketing communication relevant to your customers’ lives? Is it tailored to their needs and preferences? If it isn’t, you’re using a method known in marketing as “spray and pray.” This is where marketing automation can help you. Use the data to segment customers. Then you can send specific, targeted messages relevant to the customer’s interests and behaviors.

While you’re at it, narrow down your unique selling proposition and create consistent marketing messages across all your channels, such as email, Facebook, and ads.

Then track the results of your marketing campaigns to see what was successful and what fell flat. Over time, you can start to see patterns of what drove the most interest and clicks and a historical track record of how campaigns performed so you can optimize future strategies. 

You can also measure your ROI to make more informed decisions in your future budget allocation.  


Success Through Marketing Automation

These are ways different types of companies can utilize marketing automation to their advantage:

A B2B solutions provider can use an automated email marketing drip to nurture leads through the sales funnel. The email is triggered when a customer signs up for a gated piece of content on the website, such as a guide. The email nurture can be automatically set up to send a series of educational content, case studies, and product demos to help whittle down qualified leads for the sales team

An online retailer can send abandoned cart emails to customers, reminding them of the items left and offering a discount to entice them to complete their purchase. It’s one-way marketing automation steps in to recover lost sales and increase loyalty.  

A real estate agency can send personalized recommendations by collecting data about customers’ preferences and use this data to send emails with suggestions for homes, neighborhoods, and new developments.


Start With Goals

What is your business goal? What do you want to achieve with your marketing campaigns? 

Goals help identify the data that will help you track your progress and measure results. 

For example, you want to increase your brand awareness and engagement, so you create educational campaigns that capture leads and nurture them into a drip campaign. You can then set benchmarks to measure the results of open and click-through rates. 

Or your goal is to increase conversions and purchases by better understanding your leads. This includes where potential customers find your website and what type of content they click on to learn more about your product or service. 

Tracking the source of traffic (i.e., Google, Facebook ads, Instagram, referral traffic) and seeing what next steps they take indicate what they may want to know more about before they decide to talk to a sales member or hit “buy.” 

Here are a few quick tips to help you create goals and analyze the data effectively:

  • Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Track your data regularly to see your progress and use necessary adjustments to your campaigns. 
  • Analyzing the data to identify trends and patterns.

Choosing an Automation Tool

There are many different automation tools available. A couple of well-known CRM tools are HubSpot and Salesforce, which help with marketing, sales, and customer support. 

With these tools, you can:

  • Track and manage their contacts, leads, and customers
  • Improve lead generation, nurturing, and email marketing
  • Close more deals, lead scoring, contact management, and email tracking
  • Implement better ways to connect with customers through chat and ticket tracking

Salesforce vs. HubSpot 

Salesforce is well-suited for large companies focused on growing your sales and providing detailed reporting tools that offer metrics such as lifecycle stage analysis for deals. It’s a nice benefit for brands that want to improve their sales but may not be as helpful if you want to scale in other areas, such as brand awareness or inbound marketing. Salesforce also doesn’t have a blog or website platform and has a steeper learning curve than its competitors, and may require your team to know HTML and CSS to get emails and landing pages responsive to mobile platforms.

If you’re looking for one platform to manage your marketing and sales processes, consider HubSpot, which is known to be more user-friendly and affordable than Salesforce. Through its comprehensive suite of features and functionalities, HubSpot provides a centralized platform for managing leads, automating tasks, and tracking performance. The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system enables sales teams to effectively organize and nurture leads, monitor interactions, and close deals with greater efficiency. 

Meanwhile, marketing teams benefit from robust inbound marketing tools, such as email campaigns, social media management, and content creation, which enable them to attract, engage, and convert prospects into customers. HubSpot offers ways to expand your inbound marketing through blogs and social media and has customized tools to analyze the results. HubSpot is a platform that grows with your business

When choosing a tool, consider how it will integrate with your existing tools, such as Google Analytics, Zendesk, or MailChimp. This will help you track your data in one place and automate your marketing campaigns.



Price is likely the number one challenge to implementing a marketing automation platform, especially if your business is smaller. In addition to the upfront cost, a marketing automation tool has ongoing expenses, which may include hosting, data storage, and customer support.

There’s also the cost of integrating a marketing automation tool with other tools you use, such as a different CRM system or an email marketing platform. 

When considering HubSpot or Salesforce consider the features your company needs from a platform. 

  • What are your marketing goals?
  • What kinds of metrics will help you track that progress? 
  • Who will use the platform the most, and what type of experience should they have? 

Crafting a Personalized Customer Journey

Start by understanding your customers: 

  • What are their needs and wants? 
  • What are their pain points? 
  • What are their interests? 

Tailor your marketing messages and experiences to them. For example, collect data from your emails to personalize your content. A marketing study revealed that relevancy is the number one reason someone would open an email. 


Customer Segmentation

This is done by dividing your customer base into groups based on shared characteristics. Segmentation is based on things like demographics, interests, behavior, or any other factor you believe will be relevant to your marketing campaigns.

By creating groups, you can learn more about their specific needs and challenges. Then, you can use this information to improve your products and services and come up with more effective marketing campaigns.


Best Practices for Meaningful Segmentation

Before you segment your audience, think about the following:

  • Pick your goals. Do you want to increase sales, improve customer retention, or something else? Identify the factors that are important to you.
  • Gather data about your customers. Demographics, interests, behavior, and any other factors you believe will be relevant to your marketing campaigns.
  • Segmentation criteria. This should be relevant to your goals. For example, you might segment your customers by their purchase history to increase sales.
  • Use a variety of segmentation methods. This provides a complete picture of your customer base and allows you to target your marketing messages effectively.
  • Review your segmentation regularly. Your customer base is constantly changing, so make sure your groups are still relevant and you’re targeting messages to the right people.    

Customer Personas

Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are created by combining data about your existing customers with an understanding of your target market. Use personas to create relevant content and materials for specific groups within your emails, social media posts, and landing pages.

Detailed personas can be used to create marketing campaigns that are more relevant and engaging. It also helps you determine the channels to use, the messages to send, and the right offers to include.

 Gather data from various sources from your marketing automation software and website analytics. You can then establish a persona template to help you organize customer information, such as:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, and income
  • Interests: Hobbies, interests, and passions
  • Behavior: Buying habits, website activity, and social media engagement
  • Pain points: Challenges your customers face and problems they are trying to solve

You can also conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather additional information.


Creating Content

Creating tailored content for different stages of the customer journey is a way to ensure that your marketing messages are relevant and engaging. 

Identify the different stages of the customer journey, such as awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty. Then create the content that matches. For example, you might create awareness-stage content to introduce your brand to potential customers, or you might develop purchase-stage content that has a sense of urgency to get potential customers to buy your product or service.

Marketing automation software allows you to use triggers and conditions to deliver customized content. You can use these features to personalize your content based on your audience’s behavior. For example, you could use dynamic content, which is content that changes based on the user’s individual needs or interests. For example, you might use dynamic content to show specific products or services to different customers based on their past purchases or browsing history.

Or you may structure the content for your audience based on their stage in the customer journey. This will ensure your audience receives the right content at the right time.


Balancing Automation and Personalization

Small and mid-sized business owners sometimes fear using automation in marketing because they feel it will make their brand message seem depersonalized or inauthentic. It’s a delicate balance—you don’t want to create content that is so automated that it feels impersonal. 

However, you also don’t want to create content that is so personalized that it is difficult to scale.

If you need help creating this yin and yang with automation and personalization, go back to the basics. Great customer service wins over 86% of customers. Salesforce research also indicates that 89% of people will likely purchase again when their first brand experience is positive.


Multi-Channel Approach        

A multi-channel approach is a marketing strategy that uses a number of different channels to reach customers. This includes email, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid advertising. 

Businesses can use multiple channels to reach a wider audience and create a more cohesive brand approach. Customers want brand consistency, no matter where or how they interact with your business—it can increase revenue by 20%. Utilize various channels to let your branding and messaging shine through.

Make it easy for customers to move between channels. Use clear call-to-action buttons and links that allow customers to move from one channel to another easily.


Implementing Marketing Automation

Once you have your goals and automation platform in mind, create a workflow to start the automation. This workflow should include identifying the behavioral triggers. 

Behavioral triggers are events that indicate a customer’s actions. They can be used to understand what customers are doing and to customize responses based on their behavior.

Some examples of behavioral triggers include when a customer visits your website. You can then use this information to send targeted emails or relevant products. 

When a customer engages with your brand on social, such as liking or sharing, you can send them a thank-you message or offer them a special promotion. You can also track how often a customer engages with your brand on social media to see which customers are most interested in your products or services.

You can also use collaborative filtering to recommend products or services to their customers based on the purchases or interests of other customers with similar profiles.

Or you can automatically send an email to a customer who has abandoned their shopping cart, asking them to complete their shopping and offering them a discount.

Then create the proper messaging that is relevant to your target audience and designed to achieve your goals.


Testing and Optimization

What do you want to achieve with A/B testing and optimization? Do you want to increase sales, improve customer retention, or something else?

Start with a question in mind—what would happen if you changed a particular element of your marketing campaign, such as changing the headline of your email campaign? 

Then, choose the right metrics that will help track your findings. You might track the number of products sold or the average order value to increase sales.

A/B testing and optimization can take time to yield results. You need to be patient and keep testing different variations of your marketing campaign until you discover what works best.


Monitoring and Measuring Success

Set realistic benchmarks that are challenging but achievable. Then, track your progress regularly and make adjustments. Once you have set your criteria, monitor your KPIs regularly. Use your dashboard to set up alerts whenever your KPIs exceed or go below certain thresholds. 

Choosing the right marketing platform to is a crucial part of your success. Go with a platform that meets the needs of your business but is user-friendly enough for your team. By automating your marketing, you can ensure the best customer experience, increased ROI, and better decision-making. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how The Automation Company can help your business grow or how to get started with HubSpot, contact us today.

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