Marketing Automation [Online+Offline] w/Autopilot’s Guy Marion

Marketing Automation (online and offline) with Autopilot's Guy Marion

Learn how to generate more leads and nurture existing customer relationships more efficiently through marketing automation. Dave talks to Autopilot’s CMO Guy Marion about the benefits of automating email, SMS, direct mail, in-app messaging and more.

5 Questions You Can Answer After Listening To This Episode On Marketing Automation With Guy Marion:

1. What is (and isn’t) marketing automation?

2. Should Guy give up his day job and become a comedian? 

3. How can marketing automation benefit local businesses?

4. What does our host Dave think of Autopilot?

5. What’s next for marketing automation in 2017?


Our host Dave Eddy is obsessed with systems and processes that save him time. Dave uses outsourcing and automation tools so often in both work and everyday life, that his friends and colleagues can’t decide if he’s really smart or just really lazy (I think it’s both).

It’s no surprise then, that Dave loves Autopilot and was super pumped for this episode, where he got to pick the brain of the marketing automation company’s CMO and head of growth, Guy Marion.

Guy’s very impressive history in the Software-as-a-Service space includes key roles at companies like ZenDesk and Codesion (now CloudForge).

This enthusiastic exchange between two automation evangelists is bound to get your mind buzzing with ideas on how you can use marketing automation to start converting more leads and creating amazing customer experiences via email marketing, SMS, direct mail, in-app messaging & more.

INTERLUDE! If you’ve just discovered Vicinity Marketing, below is a short video about who we are and what we do. If you just came for the article, you can simply skip past the video and keep reading 🙂

Video production by our friends at Thirty3South Films in Newcastle

What Is Marketing Automation And Why Do I Need It?

Marketing automation is the process of using software to automate, streamline and measure both online and offline marketing channels, creating and nurturing personalised relationships with your consumers.

Software companies like Autopilot, Pardot & Marketo provide businesses of all shapes and sizes with the tools to automate pretty much any marketing avenue, including email, mobile, social — even direct mail.

Having a great marketing automation system means collating data from each of your business’ touch points (website, social media, email list etc.) and using that data to connect with each individual consumer based on how they’ve interacted with your brand.


What Marketing Automation Isn’t


Scheduling automatic emails, brochures & texts to your entire contacts list? You might be catching a few random leads, but you’re also losing a lot of potential customers. None of us like being pestered with information that isn’t relevant; it’s enough to make us unsubscribe and even be turned off future purchases.

Automation works so well in generating leads and increasing sales because you’re communicating with the right customers at the right moment and not messages at people who don’t need them.


The main goal of modern marketing automation is to connect with individual customers in specific ways, at specific times, depending on their needs, interests and the actions they’ve taken in relation to your business.

By using data to best determine which messages should go to whom, through which channels and at what time, integrated marketing automation generates twice the number of leads as blast email software.


Just like you can’t judge a person’s taste in music based on one random song in their music library, we can’t judge consumers based on their interaction/s within a single communication channel.

Good automation includes data from multiple channels, collecting as much information as possible in order to form a more well-rounded idea of who your consumers are, what they need and where they are in your marketing funnel.


4 Main Benefits Of Marketing Automation For Local Businesses

For passionate automators like Dave and Guy, it’s really surprising the amount of small-to-medium businesses that haven’t yet cottoned onto its benefits.

Generate more leads

The closer you stand to a dart board, the more likely it is that you’ll hit the bullseye. It stands to reason then, that the more accurately you segment your audience and target messages accordingly, the more quality leads you’ll receive.

You can segment your audience not only by demographics (age, gender, location) but also by their engagement with you. By separating old and new customers, active or inactive subscribers, potential leads, etc. you can communicate different messages based on their personal relationship with your business.

Nurture existing customer relationships

We all know it’s a lot more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. It makes sense then, to spend a good deal of time

Create a more efficient marketing strategy with no more wasted ad spend

Automation makes it possible to personalise your marketing more than you could ever have done manually.

By reaching only the right people at the right moment, you will no longer be wasting time and money trying to communicate blindly with those who aren’t interested.

Streamline all of your platforms

Combining data collected from your website, social media, email, etc. with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms like Salesforce, Eventbrite, Slack, Zapier, etc. makes measuring and tweaking your automation strategies easier.


Marketing Automation Trends For 2017

Closing the online-to-offline loop

Tracking offline conversion paths like phone call leads is made easier than ever with automation systems like Autopilot. Not only that, but you can reach out to new or existing online customers through targeted direct mail.

For example with Autopilot, you’re able to send out personalised postcards for things like event invitations or welcoming new customers. They can even create lead generation without needing opt-ins, by sending postcards out to a broad area.


Unlike with email, you can be assured that your text won’t be going straight into a junk folder. This is why text messaging has a 98% open rate, far outweighing any other medium. SMS marketing is particularly great for businesses with a quick decision-making process, like hospitality and entertainment, for promotions and events.

Personalised pop-ups

We’ve all seen pop-up messages that appear as soon as you visit a website, or as you move the cursor to exit the website. In the past, these messages have simply been an effective tool to grow your contacts list, by offering a freebie, discount or subscription of some sort.

With more data available than ever, we’re now seeing more and more personalisation in these little pop-up messages.

For example, if a customer visits your site in search of red socks, has a browse, then comes back a week, month or year later, they might see an automated pop-up asking if they’re still interested in those red socks.

As Dave says, it’s one of those marketing tactics that can seem a bit creepy when you think about it, but just like Facebook remarketing, it’s super effective!

Does email marketing still work in 2017?

There’s a reason why every time you enter a competition or receive something for “free” you have to fork over your email address.

If it weren’t for my trusty spam folder and categorised inboxes, I’d waste hours each day trying to sort through, read and delete the dozens of emails I receive — I like a clean slate on my phone, with no visible notifications.

We all know from personal experience that email marketing is still very much a thing, so it’s obviously working, or businesses wouldn’t bother with it. In fact 54% of marketers rate email as the most effective type of digital marketing and the least difficult to execute.

Believe it or not, email marketing is also still number one for lead generation! 89% of marketers said that it was their number one lead generation channel.

To find out more about today’s guest Guy Marion, check out Autopilot, follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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