Marketing Automation


Did you know that the majority of the digital marketing experts we have featured in this Series came into their careers by accident rather than by design? In fact, most of them tell the story that they were in a different line of work and were either nudged by others or made their own choices to enter a digital marketing role.

Not so with today’s interviewee! 

Mark Ong is the Corporate Marketing Director for Phoenix Contact, and he got there by studying Marketing Communications at school. 

From there, Mark has built himself a strong, successful career in the digital marketing sector, working with companies like Honeywell. 

Join us then, for exciting insights into Mark’s career and achievements in this issue of the Marketing Expert Series!

Hi, Mark! Welcome! Thank you for joining us in our Marketing Expert Series. Let’s kick off with some background, please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get to where you are now? 

Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here. I think I am very fortunate because I am working in an area which I studied in school (Marketing Communications). I have been in marketing for more than 17 years and serving in a leadership position for 9 of these years.

I am currently the Corporate Marketing Director for Phoenix Contact and part of the management team. Prior to Phoenix Contact, I was working as the APAC MARCOM Leader for Honeywell, which is a Fortune 100 US Conglomerate.

You’re the Corporate Marketing Director (SEA) of Phoenix Contact. Can you tell us about Phoenix Contact and the solutions the company offers? 

Phoenix Contact is a German company, founded in 1923. This year marks our 100th years anniversary, which is a tremendous milestone for any company to achieve. We manufacture electrical components and connectors for a wide array of industries such as Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Water & Waste Water, Machine Building, Infrastructure as well as E-Mobility. 

The world has changed in the last few years, with the Pandemic and the shift in the economy, how has Phoenix Contact been impacted by these changes?

Thanks to the wide breadth of products and solutions that we carry (we offer > 100,000 products) for various industries, we were thankfully not heavily impacted by the pandemic. This is because when 1 industry is down, another industry will inevitably pick up. For instance, during the Energy crisis a few years ago (which is one of our main industries), Machine Building picked up and we enjoyed tremendous growth from it. 

How did the developments over the last few years affect your strategies as  Phoenix Contact’s Corporate Marketing Director for Southeast Asia? 

We built up our marketing and technology stack and implemented tools to aid in our digital transformation, making us more agile and harnessing the power of automation to increase the productivity and efficiency of our team. For instance, during the initial stages of COVID when there were no physical events, we switched really quickly to webinars and live streaming.

I also realized that because of the pandemic, the majority of people will be working from home and thus consumption of content will have to change. Therefore, I invested in building up our very own media centre here in Singapore (about 1,500 sqft) where we can produce and edit local content for SEA. 

Tell us about some of the most effective digital strategies that you’ve implemented in recent years. Is there a strategy or campaign you’re most proud of?

We have done many great campaigns over the years, but the one that I am most proud of is our social media strategy shift. Being a B2B company, we used to post photos of our products on social media together with the USP of the product.

However, 2 years ago, I implemented a strategy shift whereby the theme and focus of our social media posts are socially relatable. In other words, we moved away from posting product photos as the highlight, but rather utilize visuals and texts that would easily be understood at a glance even by a non-engineer. 

I subscribe to the belief that even though we are a B2B company, ultimately the people using our products and solutions are humans, so essentially we are marketing as a B2C. 

This paradigm shift in strategy helped us to more than 3X our engagement rate with our customers and increase our followers on social media by more than 20%.

How do you stay up to date with the latest digital marketing technologies and tools?

By being on the ground and keeping yourself updated on the latest news. For instance, I read daily technology websites such as Ars Technica, Fast Company, The Verge etc. and attend marketing events (as either a speaker or as a participant).

This helps me to build up my understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape. 

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing marketers and digital experts in your industry today?

We work with a tremendous amount of big data, but I feel that many marketers are not harnessing this data effectively to drive business decisions. For instance, many marketers would have KPIs such as open rate, CTR, impressions etc. These in my opinion are great to have, but how does it truly advance the business? Therefore, the KPIs that I set for my team are more marketing revenue driven – for instance, the number of MQLs, the value of opportunities generated from these MQLs, the conversion rates etc.

If you think about it, oftentimes, when there is a retrenchment exercise, marketing is often one of the first to go. Why is it? This is because many people view marketing as a cost centre and not a profit centre. 

And in other to be a profit centre, we need to start by adjusting our mindset to be more revenue and results focused. 

Where do you see Industry 4.0 heading in the next five to ten years? Will we get to a point where we’re living in a fully automated and ‘smart’ world?

We already are seeing the effects of Industry 4.0 – whether is it marketing automation, robotization, big data analysis, AI or Machine learning. 

However, right now what is really changing the marketing landscape is AI-driven tools like ChatGPT, which has really radicalized the way we work. In the past, we used to spend hours crafting social media posts but right now, with ChatGPT, a social media post can be crafted automatically in just seconds.

The big question many people ask is, will this make my job redundant? I empathically say no to that, because while ChatGPT can help you to craft your messages, there still needs to have a human element involved to read through and edit and “humanize” the message.

To me, this automated and smart world is not an ‘if’ but is already here. As marketers, we need to evolve and adapt to it. 

Any advice you’d give to aspiring marketers especially those interested in helping advance Industry 4.0? 

I think that the biggest advice I can give to aspiring marketers is to read voraciously, keep an open mind and embrace technology instead of shunning it. 

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto/saying or something else that drives you forward?

My team is the one that motivates me. I believe in servant leadership and a company is nothing without its employees. Therefore team spirit and strength are crucial. 

With that being said, I firmly believe that a team is like a sports team. We are here to win medals, but not everyone will stay here forever. People come and go, and that is normal. What is important is the time spent together winning. 

Thank you for sharing your experience and insights with us, Mark, it’s been a real pleasure. How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more about you or Phoenix Contact?

Please connect with me on LinkedIn! 

We’ve discussed account-based marketing (ABM) strategy before, and talked about its resurgence in recent years. ABM – also known as key-account marketing (KAM), is a B2B marketing strategy based on goal-setting and key account targeting. In essence, ABM allows companies to better reach and communicate with individual prospects or accounts, treating them as a market of one. Think of ABM as a one-to-on approach instead of a one-to-many; generating specific leads with a fishing line rather than fishing broadly with a net.

Typically, an account-based marketing strategy is used to help align sales and marketing teams and maximize return on investment (ROI) for marketing campaigns. To make it clear, there are some very good reasons why companies might want to adopt ABM in their B2B marketing strategies:

5 Reasons You’ll Benefit from an Account-Based Marketing Strategy

1. Personalised Communications.

ABM relies on research and knowledge of target prospects, as a result, it allows for improved personalised communication. Peronalised marketing strategies are proven to have a higher impact on engagement, appealing to customers and prospects’ emotions. Personalized email introductions, for example, that address people by name rather than by the boring, generic, ‘Dear customer’ or ‘Hi!’, have a greater chance of drawing and keeping interest. ABM takes personalized marketing to the next level, developing specifically targeted content that engages decision-makers and draws them through the buyer’s journey.

2. Improves Marketing Resource Efficiency.

One of the key weaknesses of a traditional marketing funnel is that it is often stretched too thin. Traditionally, marketing resources tend to be expended on raking in as many leads as possible. ABM helps structure and plan marketing efforts so that they are being spent in the right places on the right accounts to drive the most revenue. Think of it as a strategy that focuses your marketing and sales efforts where they will do the most good.

3. Enhances your Tracking.

ROI is a critical part of analysing your bottom line and engagement. It’s important to review and track the impact of each of your campaigns to continuously improve and build on your successes. By understanding the effectiveness of each individual aspect of your ABM strategy you will be even more effective moving forward.

4. Increased Alignment of Sales and Marketing.

One of the biggest problems we encounter in today’s traditional marketing departments is that sales and marketing teams function in individual silos. A key strength of ABM is that it draws sales and marketing teams together, out of their individual pillars and into a joint team with the same goals. A solid ABM strategy requires that sales and marketing work closely.  ABM keeps these teams working together instead of working independently.

5. Defines your ROI

All marketing initiatives need to be measured, and ABM is no different. The difference is that ABM provides a clearer, more focused picture of your ROI because it is a clearer and more focused approach. In any marketing activity, measuring ROI is critical and, nowadays, is more easily accomplished through the vast array of automation and software tools we now have at our disposal. ABM allows us to see both the return on investment for an ABM initiative and areas for improvement based on how leads are responding to your content.

Final Thoughts

Account-based marketing can have a massive impact on your B2B marketing strategy. Using a more focused, united approach, it is a strategy that provides a higher quality of leads that are more likely to convert to higher-value customers. It’s a more efficient use of both your marketing and sales teams, aligning them in pursuit of enhanced lead generation.

Are you looking to enhance your ROI on lead generation? We’ve done some great work in this field using SEM and SEO, or get in touch and let’s work together to optimize your lead generation today.

Account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, allow for marketers to increase their focus, prioritizing quality over quantity and thus improving ROI and the conversion of leads into higher valued customers.

Traditional B2B sales and marketing have been around for a long time – changing and developing with the growth of the digital landscape. It allows marketers to use a broad approach to lead generation, to capture a higher quantity of leads without necessarily focusing on their quality. As a result, the sales and marketing funnel tends to get more and more narrow the further in – true to its ‘funnel’ shape, as it were. However, as a result of this approach, the majority of B2B leads collected never convert to customers. Enter ABM.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing is a focused approach to B2B marketing that brings marketing and sales teams together. This teamwork – often nicknamed ‘smarketing’ – allows for sales and marketing teams to align their strategies and work together to target best-fit prospects and convert them into customers. The age of information and the Internet has raised the stakes, driving competition between digital marketers, who are always fighting for the attention of their potential customers.

This competition tends to drive return of investments (ROI) up, and companies want to focus on the highest ROI need and thus place their attention on high-value accounts while considering account penetration, marketing penetration, and logos. Reaching business goals means that marketing teams need to use strategies that combine sales and marketing tactics so they can focus on high-value accounts that deliver the highest level of ROI.

Why should you adopt Account-Based Marketing?

Capturing the attention of potential customers is a lot trickier today than it was even a few years ago. With the rise of digitalization, everyone is vying for attention left, right, and centre. Engagement is a valuable digital currency, and in an era where everyone and everything is connected, it’s what marketers are vying for. Using ABM, sales and marketing teams can direct their energies towards potential and existing accounts that deliver the best ROI.

ABM is not a new idea, but it has seen a new boost because of the latest developments of technologies and the evolution of the digital landscape. ABM is a proven strategy that helps boost marketing ROI, drive attributed revenue, generate more conversions and qualified leads, and align sales and marketing. Generally, B2B marketers target their leads using broad tactics, casting a net, to appeal to as many different prospects as possible. This tactic may generate more leads in the long run but doesn’t deliver the best ROI.

The implementation of a strong ABM strategy can help improve ROI, drive attribution revenue, improve conversions and generate qualified leads. In the past, it was more difficult to scale ABM initiatives because of the level of personalization it required. However, with the development in technology, it’s now fairly straightforward and more affordable than ever before, making it easy for marketers to adopt an ABM strategy in their team to drive higher ROI and customer value outcomes.

7 Steps to Implementing Account-Based Marketing

1. Gather your Sales & Marketing Teams

ABM aligns your marketing and sales teams, so it’s only right that you start it off by bringing both departments together. Too often we see pillarization between sales and marketing, and one of the key strengths of ABM is that it gets rid of that pillarization and aligns the two. Both departments can strengthen each other by sharing information.

2. Define & Set your Goals and Strategy

Once you’ve got your teams together, you must work together to establish joint goals and tactics. Sales and marketing need to work together for ABM to deliver on its promises, and the best way to get them aligned is for them to discuss and agree upon KPIs and target goals. While tactics need to be adapted to each department’s strengths, of course, they do need to be aligned to reach their joint goals.

3. Select your ABM Technology

Thanks to the development of technology, ABM has seen such a resurgence in recent years.  Without the growth the ABM software development, we’d have no chance to scale our strategies. As a result, getting a good handle on the available ABM technology and learning how to best use it is an important step to scaling your ABM strategies.

4. Choose the Right Targets

ABM strategy relies on research, and there’s no getting around it. Once your team has established its goals, setting targets and prioritizing them is next. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to develop and optimize your buyer personas. Remember, it’s a good idea to have your sales team involved in this optimization since they speak to customers and prospects one-on-one probably more often than your marketing team does.

5. Select your Channels & Craft your Messages

Know your target audience? Great. Next up is making sure that you reach them the right way at the right time, in the place where they’re most easily reached. This means choosing your channels and crafting your messaging. Again, the sales team can be of use during this process, so be sure to include them.

6. Execute your Campaigns

Once you’re happy with your messaging, it’s time to get your campaigns out in the world.

7. Evaluate & Optimize

Of course, once your campaigns are live it’s important to stay on top of them. Campaigns, like any other piece of marketing, should never be ‘set and forget’. Evaluating their progress and impact and making live tweaks to optimize them is part and parcel of any strong marketing initiative, especially one backed by ABM strategies.


Wrapping Up

Account-based marketing is a powerful tool that not only aligns marketing and sales more effectively, but also boosts lead generation efficiency. At its core, account-based marketing is all about converting more leads by improving the quality of the leads gathered from the start of a marketing campaign. ABM has seen a resurgence, and it’s not difficult to see why, in this age of digital transformation it is a more efficient way of capturing high value leads and convert a higher number of them into higher valued customers.

If you’re interested in learning more about account-based marketing or B2B strategies, check out some of our relevant other articles or reach out to us directly.

Programmatic advertising is when brands automate the buying and selling of ads in real-time using an automated bidding system. Programmatic media allows companies to buy impressions on sites or apps in an efficient and quick-response ecosystem.

To put it a different way, programmatic advertising lets companies set their media purchase for advertisements on auto-pilot using specialized software using real-time bidding processes.

In essence, using programmatic technology is the next step in marketing and advertising. 

Using traditional advertising, brands need to purchase their media inventory manually. Networks would buy digital impressions ahead of time from a variety of sites and applications, repacking them then be sold on to marketers. In this old scenario there was no clear view of where the media had come from. Doing this required salespeople, proposals, and plenty of space for human error; it was inefficient, tricky, costly, and time-consuming for everyone involved.

The automated systems that drive programmatic advertising is faster, more efficient, and less expensive. Marketers and advertisers gain more detailed insights into advertising campaigns by purchasing individual impressions. By using strategic dashboards, marketers can manage their ad campaigns from any angle.

What are the Benefits of Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic Advertising has several key benefits:

1. Improved Transparency and Control

Due to the very nature of the technology that allows programmatic advertising to be far more transparent than traditional advertising methods. Using the ecosystems provided, advertisers have the ability to track exactly what sort of reach their ads have – what sites they reach, the kinds of customers paying attention, and any real-time expenses linked to their advertising in real time. A direct advantage of this is that marketers and advertisers can optimize at any stage, tailoring their advertisements to best meet objectives on the fly.

2. Improved Efficiency

Digital advertising has improved efficiency of marketing campaigns already. The programmatic elements of new advertising systems lets advertisers measure and track each step of their campaigns. This allows them to optimize on the fly, thus improving efficiency. 

3. Increased Targeting Capacity

Using the automation that programmatic advertising provides, advertisers can tailor their targeting parameters to meet their exact requirements. The flexibility of the new technology allows users to really reach their ideal customer base and target objectives. For example, by using IP Zoning, geolocation targeting, and contextual keyword programming. IP Zoning targets specific IP addresses, and is typically used to reach people for business activities or events. Geolocation targets area-specifics, through geolocation data like zip codes, states, or cities. 

4. Real-time Reporting and Measurement

Every marketer is constantly chasing real-time data. Data provides the founding blocks for improving strategies and reach. Programmatic advertising allows advertisers to measure exactly how each element of their campaign is doing. This performance data lets advertisers see where improvements can be made, build on successful aspects of the campaign, and tweak targeting settings to get the most out of the campaigns.

5. Improved Audience Reach

Aside from improved audience targeting, programmatic advertising also offers the opportunity for the all-important retargeting. Statistics tell us that only 2% of consumers convert on their first visit to a website, retargeting allows marketers to continue to reach out to the remaining audience and encourage them to the website, improving the conversion rate.

How do you Successfully Implement Programmatic Advertising to improve Customer Engagement?

Programmatic advertising can be used to reach specific audiences, achieve clear target objectives, and regarget missed conversions. The key to using programmatic media to improve customer engagement and reach is to make sure that all parameters are optimized. 

Customer engagement is vital to building customer loyalty. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020:

  • 74% of customers feel loyal to a particular brand or company
  • 52% of customers report going out of their way to buy from their favorite brands

Keeping these statistics in mind, driving customer engagement is vital for every brand, leading to improved conversion rates and a boost to sales. Using programmatic advertising, marketers can directly improve the conversion rates of their advertising campaigns, driving traffic with increasing success.  The flexibility and data-driven insights gained from programmatic advertising allows brands to take their marketing to the next level, improving reach, transparency, and reporting. 

Final Thoughts

Marketing technology has evolved over the years, developing better and better tools in a short duration. These improvements have given marketers and advertisers greater capacities to control and reach their target audiences, increasing customer engagement, and as a result directly improving the customer experience – after all, customers do not want to be shown advertisements that hold no interest for them. As technology continues to develop, marketers will have to take further responsibility for the data they collect and the consumers they reach. Technological advancement is going to be the key to the continual evolution of marketing, and programmatic advertising is an all-important element in this evolution. In short, programmatic advertising is, without a doubt, a large part of the future of marketing.

If you want to start taking advantage of programmatic advertising in your digital performance marketing strategies, get in touch today and let us help you reach the future!

The world almost came to a standstill as most economic activities are halted. As countries keep people at home, cities go into lockdown mode and travel gets banned, everyone is affected in one way or another. Businesses and consumers alike have to come to terms with a new way of life during this pandemic.

Every industry is adapting to a new business environment during this pandemic. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus is forcing companies and organizations around the world to rapidly adapt and change their businesses models. 

Read on to learn how companies are doing so and how your company can adopt these practices in order to remain resilient even in the face of a recession.

7 Marketing Essentials for Your Business In Times of Uncertainty

1. Prioritise business challenges

Many companies slash the budget, cancel projects, retrench employees in order to save costs and continue operations during the outbreak.

During this period, your team like most other companies is likely to be inundated with many unprecedented challenges.

But you can’t tackle them all at once. To prevent your team from feeling overwhelmed, prioritization is key. Evaluate what are the aspects of your business within your control and manage them first.

Focus on projects that will drive the best short term impact. Strategize, take action and then move on to manage tasks that are less within your control.

Examples of challenges that companies can address first:

While you prioritize important tasks that are manageable now, you should also remember to be far-sighted. Plan and prepare ahead. Identify new business opportunities and work on them.

Also, even if clients withdraw their projects now, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be possible collaborations for you in the future. Stay connected with both your existing and potential clients. Offer your help if needed. Building strong customer relationships will pave the way for more business opportunities for you in the future.

2. Reallocate rather than arbitrarily cancelling your budgets

During an economic downturn due to a crisis like a pandemic, advertisers and marketers stop budget spend immediately as one of their first cost-cutting measures.  

However, it’s actually critical for brands to continue advertising amid times of changes and uncertainty.

The key is to focus on where you get the best results. Leverage channels that enable flexibility and be more specific with your marketing efforts, targeting audiences that show the highest purchase intent.

The importance of maintaining a strong brand presence

John Williams, founder and president of and contributing writer to Entrepreneur said, “Your brand is your promise to your customer.”

Building and maintaining a brand that consumers recognize and trust are one of the best ways to reduce risk when the economy takes a turn for the worst. That’s why, in each recession cycle, companies with a strong brand presence have come out on top.

No matter your business size and industry, standing by your consumers in times when they need help is critical. Maintaining a strong brand presence is needed to convey your company’s credibility, value, and experience, especially in times of uncertainty. When it comes to marketing and advertising, those that have a strong brand presence will hold an enormous competitive advantage.

Companies can consider reallocating budget from paid advertisements to content marketing. Build on sharing your brand story and convince customers to trust in you. Show your customers that your brand is ready to help even in difficult times.  

For example, our agency recognises the need to pivot our marketing strategies for business continuity. Rather than cancelling our annual networking event (#SPEAKEASYASIA), we have switched it to a series of online webinars.

Doing so allows us to continue informing our customers about the latest market trends, provide marketing tips and keep our customers updated with the latest insights that could help them make better decisions for their business. By providing marketing tips into various aspects of digital marketing, we aim to help our consumers prepare for the digital era.
Dhawal sharing about website optimization at the 3rd webinar that is part of

3. Research your customers’ behaviour

While it’s clear that consumers and businesses are going online amid this outbreak period,  consumer behaviour remains unpredictable.

The impact of customer behaviour on marketing strategies has become more pronounced during this pandemic. Panic buying, remote working and consumers re-prioritising purchases  are all reasons contributing to the inconsistent demand for different services. Some research experts even predict that these behaviour changes might remain even post-pandemic.

With a new economic climate, many businesses are left unsure of how they can adapt to these rapidly evolving consumption patterns. The best way to do so is to research and understand your customer base with tools such as Google Analytics or social media audience insights.

As you gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ search and consumption patterns, identify their new needs and wants. Develop customer personas to help you craft the right message to appeal to the right audience and improve conversions.

Elevate your audience targeting strategy with audience or customer segmentation to convert  groups of consumers with the highest purchase intent. A common strategy that businesses do is creating dynamic ads and dynamic retargeting ads. This allows companies to reap the greatest return on ad spend by advertising to groups of people with the highest conversion probability.

4. Analyse and track your marketing efforts closely

During periods of uncertainty, knowing exactly what kind of return each investment is providing and why it works will be your key to not just survival, but the growth of your business. That’s because companies cannot afford to waste any budget. More importantly, companies have to be smart with their budget allocation, only spending on areas which will most likely generate results.

This is when digital marketing comes in. In fact, 52% of marketers around the world have made digital transformation as their key focus for driving business growth.

Digital marketing has long been accepted as thebest low-cost, high-return marketing strategy, largely due to measurability and targeting capabilities.

An examples of using data to measure your marketing efforts:

  • A high bounce rate but long dwell time on your site could highlight that users are reading your content, but aren’t sure about the next step for their journey. Hence, customers are leaving your site without further action. In this case, it’d be worth to add a CTA button or use active voice to provide a clearer CTA.

Another advantage of digital marketing is also because companies can always track their progress and revise the strategy whenever needed. This helps businesses save time and money on their campaign to increase the effectiveness of a certain approach or strategy.

To learn more about digital marketing and how a digital marketing agency can help you manage budgets or campaigns, click here.

5. Focus on consistent communication

Keep your customers updated

We can see a shift in how brands communicate during times of crisis. Companies are making fundamental changes to their processes and communication, reflecting their evolving relevance in these unprecedented times.

One such change is the shift from physical networking events to online webinars. For example, just in March alone, there was a 330% increase in the number of webinars hosted on the platform ON24. Furthermore, the increase in demand for webinars and remote team calls have also prompted Microsoft, Google and Zoom to offer free video call services.

Email marketing and social media marketing are also communication strategies that are used to connect and engage with customers. During this period, consistent communication is critical to brand awareness. To keep your brand name at the top of people’s mind, you’ll have to make your brand known through regular updates on your social media or corporate blog. Create new customer networks by increasing “shareability” of your content.

Remember to be sensitive in your marketing messages. You must be mindful that this is not a business as usual situation. You’ll have to tweak your marketing message and tone in order to cater to the new business climate. One way to start is to send monthly newsletters and emails (marketing automation) to your customers. Show care and concern for your customers before anything else. Let them see that your brand is sincere about helping.

Support and motivate your employees through this critical period

Businesses should also not forget about their employees. These are the people supporting your business amidst a crisis, and they’re experiencing a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety as they adjust to a new working arrangement.  

As the leader of the company, you have to

  • Show empathy for your workers, acknowledge new challenges and provide support
  • Keep in touch with your team members regularly, give them words of encouragement to help boost morale
  • Make use of internal newsletters to provide positive news about the company and drive motivation among remote offices

Do not rush into task assignments and setting deadlines. Firstly, present yourself as an empathetic leader, recognise new challenges your employees are facing and make the necessary work adjustments to help them cope with remote working.

Every phase of transition comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles. During this period, don’t neglect the mental and physical health of your company’s greatest asset.

Tough times don’t last, but tough teams do. Stay connected and support each other as a team, and your company is sure to overcome any challenges now and in the future. To learn more about how you can boost morale for your team, read the full article here.

6. Omnichannel Is The Optimal Strategy

Digital marketing is the new norm in 2020 and should be a part of a company’s omnichannel marketing strategy.

Worldwide stay-at-home orders mean a large influx of customers moving online, igniting the rapid move to digital commerce  for B2C and B2B merchants. As people remain isolated and the need for essential goods remains high, they turn to online shopping.

To address this shift in customer behaviour, it’s essential to build an omnichannel marketing strategy that places customers as the central focus. That means understanding what your consumers need and meeting where your customers are-which is online across multiple touchpoints.

Companies should move resources to digital marketing strategies and switch an e-commerce model to keep their business running amid uncertain market situations. Marketers should also use different possible marketing channels like social media, emails and blog articles among others to drive consumers to their online stores.

To cope with the online demand, it’s also important to ensure your website are secure and optimised to provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.  By fostering a pleasant buying experience for consumers, it will keep them coming back.

This will be beneficial for your businesses in the long run.

In fact, companies with well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategies in place achieve a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate on average, compared to organizations without omnichannel programs in place. As such, leveraging on omnichannel will cultivate strong brand awareness and brand loyalty in the long run.

Learn more about why omnichannel marketing is increasingly important now.

7. Revise and revisit your strategies

Just because one marketing strategy has worked doesn’t mean it’s fool proof. The most valuable lesson that this outbreak has taught all of us is the importance of adaptability.

Refine and evolve.

By now, you already know the importance of collecting data and analysing them for your future marketing plans. Once you’ve pulled the data each month, take the time to really look and reflect on the data. Think about what those numbers mean for your company, what it means for your customers and thus your content. Data such as web traffic, source of referrals, open rates for your EDM are good indicators of the success of your current strategy.

Once you give yourself the space to think about content performance, you’ll really start to think about how every piece is being interacted with. You can then feed that into the next pieces of content you create or go back to a piece that hasn’t done as well. Then think about how you can refine or switch it in a new format that could give you better results the next time.

Wrapping Up

Without warning and choice, brands and retailers have had to adapt to a pandemic that no one saw coming.

The most valuable lesson the pandemic has taught us is the importance of flexibility and adaptability, and how companies need to learn how to run campaigns that will reap results beyond this moment. 

It’s also important that we keep an open mind and be quick in our response in order to turn any moment of crisis into opportunity.

If you’re thinking of adopting a digital marketing strategy but unsure where to start, talk to us! We provide personalised digital solutions for clients and we’d happy to provide one for you too.

For the latest digital marketing tips, subscribe to our newsletter! 

Brand promotion does not seem like the best move during the coronavirus crisis. However, other businesses braved the pandemic and launched inspiring COVID-19 ad campaigns—and the results are fantastic.

While most ad agencies agree that trying to advertise during these times is difficult, some brands turned the crisis into an opportunity.

Instead of avoiding to address the outbreak or stay away from the topic entirely, these companies decided to create a balance of creativity and crisis management.

Keep on reading to find out who these brands are, how they used the circumstances presented by pandemic to their advantage, and what marketing lessons we can learn from them.

4 Brands That Exercised Creativity Amid COVID-19

1. Lush’s In-store Free Handwashing

Lush, the popular cosmetic retailer from the United Kingdom, invited the UK public into their stores to wash their hands for free.

The initiative was launched in all their stores in the UK, during the government’s push for better basic hygiene practices in the country. This campaign aims to educate the public and to minimise the spread of the virus.

Any customer who enters the store to wash their hands will be given a soap to use and are under no obligation to buy anything.

Mark Constantine, a representative of Lush, shared that companies should turn the crisis into opportunity and use this period to initiate public service campaigns.

“If people just get in the habit of washing their hands properly, it will make a dramatic difference to public health,” said Constantine.

Brands should highlight the role of basic hygiene in minimizing the spread of viruses.

Marketing Lesson: Offer a free trial of products

Lucky for Lush, they sell products that people can use to combat the virus. It is their huge edge over companies from different industries.

By offering a free trial of their soaps, Lush can sway store visitors to purchase a single item or more.

This is a great tactic that never gets old. When people fall in love with a product on their first try, they will spend bucks on it no matter how expensive it is.

2. Nike’s “Play Inside, Play For The World” campaign

The pandemic has robbed joggers and athletes of their daily routine. To help, Nike developed something that allowed fitness enthusiasts to relate to its advertisement.

Despite store closures of the leading sports brand apparel last March, Nike inspired people through the power of sports.

Nike launched its “Play Inside, Play for the World” campaign, which urged everyone to play inside their home. The campaign was a public call for everyone to do their part by staying home.

Nike’s Play Inside Play For The World Video Campaign

Many Nike athletes, including Cristiano Ronaldo, supported the campaign by sharing Nike’s campaign slogan on their social media.

Cristiano included the #PlayInside and #PlayfortheWorld hashtags in his social media posts, and people started to follow the lead.

Marketing Lesson: Use hashtags to good effect

Nike got its marketing right this pandemic because of its engaging Play for the World campaign, not to mention that it also makes a relatable hashtag.

This teaches marketers to use relevant hashtags in their campaigns. Brands should use hashtags that fit their businesses to grow engagement, improve searchability, and increase outreach.

3. At-Sunrice’s #standupandwashup campaign

At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy, a leading culinary school in Singapore, also launched a coronavirus-related campaign called #standupwashup.

StandUp and WashUp is one of those COVID-19 ad campaigns that boldly addressed the crisis.

The Singaporean culinary school gathered 9 Michelin Star Chefs in a series of 11 videos. Each Michelin Star chef demonstrated the best hand washing methods and provided tips on proper food handling practices in their own language.

Among the chefs featured include familiar names such as Chef Sebastien Lepinoy of Les Amis, Chef Chan Hon Meng of Hawker Chan, and Chef Sun Kim of Meta.

StandUp & WashUp with Chef Emmanuel (Restaurant Saint Pierre)

Marketing Lesson: Partner with familiar, credible personalities

At-Sunrice tapped celebrity chefs to help spread valuable information faster than the virus. Since these chefs are experts in their field, it would be easier to get people’s attention and spread the brand’s message.

Collaborating with popular names (i.e. celebrities, social media influencers, etc.) in the industry not only allows brands to connect with their target audience but also lets them boost their brand exposure.

Note: We are proud to be the official digital marketing partner for this meaningful campaign and we hope everyone continues to do their part in being socially responsible by adopting better hygiene practices.

4. Brave’s Netflix “Spoiler” campaign

Some countries had trouble containing the virus and convincing the public to stay in the comfort of their homes.

That is the exact reason why Seine Kongruangkit and Matithorn Prachuabmoh Chaimoungkalo, known as Brave, came up with the Netflix “Spoiler” campaign.

Unlike other COVID-19 ad campaigns, Brave’s campaign did not highlight any tips to spread the virus. Instead, the pair communicated other dangers of going out during the pandemic—spoiling their favourite Netflix series.

While the ad campaign is not affiliated with Netflix, the spoilers seen in the billboards are real. The Netflix shows that are spoiled to the public are Money Heist, Narcos, Love is Blind, and Stranger Things.

Marketing Lesson: Inject creativity in campaigns

These Netflix spoiler ads prove that creativity grabs audience attention. Although not officially from Netflix, the ad has gone viral because of its unique approach to encouraging the public to stay at home.

Businesses should adopt the idea of injecting creativity into their campaigns. Creativity is like a driving force that enables brands to stand out from the crowd and capture more eyeballs. Plus, it is an essential ingredient of every memorable marketing campaigns.

Other Lessons We Learn From These Brands

Apart from marketing to their target audience amid the COVID-19 crisis, these brands also taught businesses to take advantage of the current global situation.

The pandemic offers companies the opportunity to create deeper connections with their audiences. Now is the time for your company to give your customers updates about your operations and reinforce the message that you are ready to help.

Since most of your customers are now spending more time at home, it is also ideal to create more insightful content online, including webinars, how-to-videos, actionable guides, and so on.

Turn Crisis Into Opportunity

Marketing in times of crisis is not easy, but it is possible. Instead of seeing the coronavirus outbreak as a parasite that sucks up your sales, see it as an opportunity to better connect with your employees and customers.

Acknowledge the new normal and find ways to stay relevant during the pandemic. For example, our agency offers educational webinars, and free website audits to help other businesses in this critical period.

So if your company needs help with your marketing campaign or in need of digital marketing advice, feel free to contact us. Learn more about our host of services here

“The Customer is Always Right” is a statement that holds firm for businesses even in this digital age. “Right” doesn’t mean the customer’s demands are always correct, but by focusing on customer relationships and doing right by your customers would certainly improve their loyalty and dedication to your brand.

Whether it’s providing a service or fixing a complaint, delivering a positive experience for your customer is the best way to build a relationship with them. And better customer relationships lead to better sales.

The live chat is a modern example that proves being there when someone needs you builds instant rapport with them that leads to greater sales. This quick and open communication platform allows businesses to overcome objections and provide speedy responses. Research shows that you are 10X more likely to lose a potential customer just by being 5 minutes slower in your response.

This speaks to the importance of not just establishing good relations, but doing so quickly. Whether it’s over live chat or phone, better customer relationships equate to higher conversions.

The challenge in today’s digital world is the sheer volume of customer enquiries. It can prove difficult to keep afloat while responding to them all. Fortunately, there are tools that help you to not just keep afloat, but also push your business even further!

Loyalty and Advocacy

When customers have a problem, they expect businesses to respond to their complaints effectively and efficiently. If a service fails to respond quickly, at the very least, the customer will move to another business capable of providing the support they expect. At worst, you may have to do some reputation management online from irate customer rants.

Businesses with an effective support pipeline that takes care of its customers will create loyal customers that may even become advocates for your brand.

Australia’s Official Queensland Business Site has some useful tips that I’d like to share again here –

On Good Customer Service:

  • Find out the customers’ standards for good customer service
  • Research customers’ expectations
  • Follow up on both positive and negative feedback you receive
  • Aim to improve the level of customer service you deliver

On Creating Long-Lasting Customer Relationships:

  • Show customers that you understand what their needs are
  • Build relationships with people who want your products and don’t force those who don’t
  • Go beyond the help you provide
  • Continue to keep customers aware of what’s in it for them to do business with you

Manpower is the biggest hurdle businesses face when striving to establish excellent customer relationships.

This is where marketing automation can step in to streamline delivery of informative content, integrate social media updates, and drive customers through the marketing funnel through effective email campaigns. An efficient CRM system can handle repetitive customer support processes, which will ease the burden on your staff, while increasing the all-round feel good factor for your company. You can also check out our list of services to see how we can help you with this.

Ways To Improve Customer Relationships With Marketing Automation

1. Maintain Every Customer’s Concerns & Your Responses

Customers want responses and patience is no longer a virtue in the digital age. Your marketing automation system can automatically address simple concerns and for more complex questions, it can escalate it automatically to the right team to handle.

You can rest assured that no complaint or feedback is falling through the cracks and that for common concerns, your response times amaze your customers. You also build up a database of concerns that you can analyze to enhance your offered services, ensuring that common concerns are addressed with future customers.

Furthermore, the use of marketing automation leaves your manpower free to maintain human-powered live chat, email, or voice support for personal customer relationship management.

2. Improve Sales Funnels With Smart Email Marketing

Introducing automation to your email marketing campaigns helps your brand get “smart”. How you ask? Marketing automation can help segment your CRM into different bands, identifying people highly likely to convert versus those requiring additional information. This then leads to more a more personalized journey for every person towards driving a sale.

Tailoring your emails for each customer introduces a positive experience where the customer identifies with your company values and feels that you understand their needs. Your customers are happy, and this builds greater brand loyalty and maximizes your profits.

For example, if someone adds something to their cart and then abandons it, sending them a small discount will encourage them over the line to a purchase. Or if a customer bought a product that usually lasts 3 months, reminding them close to the end of the quarter is something they’ll appreciate.

Mailgen effectively used segmentation to improve their open rates from 20% to 29% in a short period by using behavioral segmentation. With an initial 20.5% email open rate, Mailgen improved the open rates simply by changing their headlines to better relate to their segment.

Meanwhile, MailChimp is another user-friendly email marketing tool you can use. You can read more about how easy it is to use here.

3. Be There For Your Customers’ Important Moments

CRM systems give a lot of power to businesses to know their customers and collect important information about them. You can learn how your customer interacts with your website and your product/service offerings. You can ensure you know their birthdays and their anniversaries, and surprise them on those days with not just freebies, but with a specific item that they’d been last looking at on your website, making it a much more thoughtful gift. Marketing automation plugged in with a CRM can help automate this entire process.

If you use a CRM system for your offline sales team, you can keep notes from meetings and calls, so that before you meet them, you can refresh yourself. Even if you meet up again a few months down the road, they’d still be impressed by the personal details you remember about them. The best part is that you’re not dependent on your sales rep for information as it is centrally stored and a lead can be reassigned easily without great disruption.

4. Connect Across Multiple Channels

Everyone has an account on social media these days. On average, people spend about two hours surfing social media on a daily basis, so they’re highly likely to see an update you post.

By connecting your marketing automation tool effectively to social media channels where your customers are, you can send targeted messages DIRECTLY to them – whether it’s via advertising or messaging. Reaching them on channels that they’re comfortable on helps them connect and engage with your brand more.

Marketing automation tools can also help you manage multiple social media channels, allowing you to post a consistent update on multiple networks that are optimized for them.

Wrapping Up

Aside from its capacity to increase conversions, marketing automation tools and best practices reduce the need for hiring additional manpower and time organizing, managing, and responding to customer concerns. Therefore, it improves your relationship with customers without straining your operations.

Marketing automation creates well-informed customers. Information urges customers to make more purchases remain loyal as they place more value on your brand’s product, and advocate for you if they experienced excellent complaint resolution. In addition, marketing automation gives businesses like yours an extra set of helping hands, allowing you to improve your services and brand as a whole.

Interested to learn more? 2Stallions provides marketing automation consulting services.

Many businesses are using marketing automation to improve their processes and support their marketing efforts. In fact, 75% of companies already use at least one kind of automation software.

According to Invespcro, not only are companies investing in marking automation, but marketers are also increasing their marketing budgets.

These statistics suggest that organisations have realised the value of automation in today’s digital world. Most of them now rely on automation tools to do some of the marketing heavy lifting.

But what is with all the hype? What do businesses get from this technology and why you should jump on the bandwagon?

To answer these questions, we need to cover the fundamentals first.

What Is Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is an umbrella term for any platform, solution, or tool used for automating marketing activities. Tasks such as streamlining, managing, and online and offline workflow measurement, are good examples of marketing automation processes.

Using this technology, businesses can implement a digital marketing strategy without needing to perform each task manually. It lets users send emails, publish campaigns, and even analyse results automatically.

How Automation Drives Business Success

1. Improve Work Efficiency

Did you know that an average marketer spends almost a third of their time completing repetitive tasks? According to Hubspot, sending emails and collecting, organizing and analysing marketing data are the two major culprits.

Crafting new emails and sending responses eat up an average of 3.48 hours a week. Data-related tasks, on the other hand, take an average of 3.55 hours a week.

HubSpot, orange bar graph

While manually sending emails, posting on social media, and publishing content are an integral part of every digital marketing strategy, automating them can increase efficiency.

This means that marketing teams can focus on strategic projects, making them more productive and allowing for reallocation of budgets and resources into something that can generate better returns.

2. Understand Your Customers

Marketing automation also helps businesses understand their customer’s needs and interests.

Good automation tools can collect data about customer behaviour and intent. They can follow the footprints customers leave on your website, showing you what pages or content they have accessed.

Such a software solution can also keep track of purchasing data and customer support issues. This functionality enables companies to create solutions for any customer complaints.

One of the companies that reaped benefits from marketing automation is WGSN, a world-leading authority on consumer and design trends. WGSN integrated automation technology into its digital products to grow meaningful relationships with customers.

Now, when a customer buys a WGSN product, the software triggers pieces of content that are suited to the customer’s behaviour. This has helped WGSN increase their sales and deepen bonds with their customers.

3. Deliver Personalised Campaigns

Your business can also use marketing automation to deliver personalized marketing campaigns using customer data.

Since most consumers want more interaction with brands, the automation tools can help your company create personalised experiences and build customer trust and loyalty naturally.

Here are some ways to successfully balance automation and personalisation:

Improve customer support. Research shows that 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase. Working to eliminate any waiting time will improve shopper relations and their loyalty.

Chatbots are a techy alternative to human agents. Software applications like chatbots can emulate human language, making them a great option for automated marketing and customer care.

Offer timely, valuable content. Sending email blasts with the same content may bore customers. Create specific and fresh content for each customer segment (i.e. demographic, geographic, technographic, etc.) to form better customer relationships.

As a general rule of thumb, when sending out content, check whether it satisfies your customers’ interests and needs.

Do not take personalisation too far. Anything that is over-personalised can make customers feel creeped out rather than impressed—and these five examples of creepy marketing are living proof.

Below are some ways to interact with your customers without going overboard:

  • Send a simple reminder based on their actions on your website.
  • Offer incentives after a certain number of online purchases.
  • Send an automated email confirmation related to their purchase.
  • Send an email reminder to finish the purchase and other items that may complement their order(s).

4. Identify Qualified Leads for Sales

Marketing automation goes beyond mundane tasks and tracking customer data, it can also be used for identifying qualified sales leads.

Most automation platforms can qualify leads. They provide a set of mechanisms that allows users to take control of lead generation, from converting website visitors into leads, to nurturing them and increasing their sales qualification.

To delve deeper:

  1. Convert a visitor to lead. Marketing automation platforms can be used to automate some aspects of your lead generation process. The process is typically broken down into the following:
    • Sending content to capture email addresses from your customers
    • Offering extra content to identify interested prospects
    • Sending content as promised together with the online form
    • Turning over the list of identified leads to your sales team
  2. Nurture leads. Marketing automation software makes lead nurturing easier. Through automated campaigns and clearly defined content, you can educate leads on how your brand solves their challenges.
  3. Close the sale. Only leads that meet a threshold score get passed onto the sales team. You can pass over sales-ready leads using lead scoring, and automated strategy that adds or subtracts points from each lead based on actions they take or not.

Final Thoughts

With plenty of marketing software solutions available, there is no reason for you not to jump on the bandwagon.

Marketing automation can provide your business with opportunities for cost reduction, increased engagement, and high conversion rates.

The automation tool can enhance customer experiences, which are essential in converting leads to sales.

At 2Stallions, we recognize the need for automating marketing and sales processes. By helping you implement marketing automation for your brand, our team can optimize your business functions and improve your efficiency, letting you focus on your bottom line.

To learn more about our digital marketing services, visit

Have you spent tons of money but failed to get the results you want? Are you looking for more sales and leads?

Get help from our marketing experts in a free consultation call.

Yes! I want more sales and leads

No, I'll Pass this Free Opportunity.