ActiveTrail Automations in Practice (Part 3 of 4) Making Business Personal

ActiveTrail Marketing Automation in Practice

Real world examples of ActiveTrail clients using marketing automation to create more streamlined, effective digital marketing campaigns that yield better results.

“Firms of Endearment”, one of the bestselling business books of the past 20 years, states “…These executives operate by a guiding vision of service that takes into account all their primary stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, and partners… At all levels of operation, these companies exude the passion of their leaders for doing good while doing well. … In return, stakeholders in every category place uncommon trust in their companies and products. … They literally love firms of endearment (FoEs).”

One of the ways FoE’s “do good” is by recognizing that stakeholders are real people and by interacting and caring for them on a personal level instead of the traditional arms-length relationships most of us associate with doing business.  Said otherwise, they make business personal, thoughtful of the people behind the corporate façades.  It may not seem immediately evident, but marketing automation helps FoE’s and businesses in general with this important goal by allowing personalization of email campaigns.

More Personal with Less Personnel

In the following examples, we extend the discussion of using marketing automation to individualize email campaigns, introduced in the previous installment of our Automations in Practice series:

ActiveTrail Automations in Practice (Part 1 of 4) Onboarding

ActiveTrail Automations in Practice (Part 2 of 4) Personalization

We will see how one of ActiveTrail’s clients, an owner, and operator of three convention centers (referred to as “3C” herein), has carefully considered the individuals with whom it interacts at stakeholder companies to mold email campaigns that drive these people to be more closely involved in the said interaction with 3C.  From 1st hand accounts collected from these people, they want to work with 3C and look forward to the emails they receive.  From 3C’s perspective, owing to the automations it uses, 3C is able to achieve this stature with less human resources.

Note:  As there are countless ways in which marketing automation may be helpful in a B2B scenario, we digress here from previous posts and bring 2 case studies, albeit for the same company.

Client Side Marketing Automation Example

A Conference Experience Just for You

When 3C holds its own conferences (we’ll see later on that it also rents its spaces to event management companies), which are exclusively for business audiences (i.e. it does not put on events that are open to the general public), each and every participant receives a series of emails that allow them to “self-tailor” their conference experience, with little to no involvement of 3C personnel.  They call this series of emails the “Conference Enrollment Campaign”.

Being a true FoE, when 3C set out to build its email “campaign” for conference participants their top priority was ensuring that the campaign served the greater goal of adding value to participants.  For instance, by collecting areas of interest when people first sign-up for a conference, 3C avoids dry, operational emails by adding interesting content.  Other examples of personalization are having certain emails lead to landing pages that help people manage their time at the conference, e.g. which lectures or sessions to attend, or sending an email suggesting hotels and car rental options and offering special discounts, etc.

Conference Enrollment Campaign Automation Highlights

Digging further in, here is an excerpt from 3C’s Conference Enrollment Campaign:

  • Preceding this phase in the campaign, the participant has already selected the lectures and sessions they mean to attend. They are also already making their way through the travel arrangements branch of the automation.
  • After submitting their lecture and session selections, the system automatically recommends one-on-one meetings with representatives of the companies hosting the sessions. If the user skips this part, they are automatically sent an email with similar information.   While the host companies and session subjects change from conference to conference, the basic framework stays the same, such that 3C need only duplicate and edit the underlying information of the automation in ActiveTrail, but not the automation flow itself.
  • If the user requests one or more meetings, the automation branches into a parallel automation for organizing and scheduling the meetings.
  • Regardless of the meetings, the current automation continues, delivering an email the following day regarding after-hours social gatherings and networking events. The automation branches out again for those who wish to participate in one of these events.
  • Finally (well, at least for this automation excerpt), an email is sent one week prior to the conference with dining options. Which restaurants are presented are contingent (amongst others) on the participant’s schedule at the conference, whether they are going to any of the get-togethers and if they have marked that they will have access to a vehicle.

Supply Chain Marketing Automation Example

When a Cog is King

3C’s “Conference Enrollment Campaign” deals with the company’s sell side, i.e. the very service which is the base for its existence.  As such, it might be expected that they put extra effort into giving each of their conferences’ participants a highly personal and satisfactory conference experience.  What is less obvious is that they are very meticulous about ensuring an agreeable or better “3C experience” for their employees, suppliers, sub-contractors, and partners.  Subsequently, they have set up email “workflow campaigns” in ActiveTrail that, instead of making people in 3C’s supply chain feel like just another cog in the wheel, they let them feel as if they are critical to supplying the end service to visitors to the convention centers.

Streamlining the Rental Workflow Using Automations

As an example, we’ll take a closer look at 3C’s “Rental Campaign”.  As mentioned earlier, in addition to hosting its own conferences, 3C also rents out its centers to event management firms, or, occasionally, to very large companies (e.g. IBM).  Most of the event managers are regular, long-term 3C customers who rent at the same times and for the same purposes every year.  When convention time comes around, stress levels can be very high for the event manager’s employees.  3C’s Rental Campaign is designed to make their lives easier, even enjoyable while making the whole rental process more efficient.

Rental Campaign Automation Highlights

Here a just a few of the campaign’s automation highlights:

  • The automation is triggered 3 months before the expected convention date (often the dates are set as soon as the prior year’s convention is over), at which time an “It’s time to start preparing” mail goes out to the event manager’s contact person.
  • At the same time, an email is sent to the 3C account manager with all of the necessary information.
  • Event managers are offered to duplicate last year’s order. If they choose this option, they are taken to a landing page with all of the appropriate options and services* pre-selected.  The event manager can change the options or submit the order as is.  This feature of 3C’s service is extremely popular and is used by 70% of its rental customers.

* Examples of services are pre and post-cleaning services offered by 3C, sound and video production services offered by 3rd parties and more.

  • Once an order is placed, automatic emails are sent to the relevant 3C representative and/or sub-contractors. A summary email is sent to the account manager.

What stands out in this campaign is that each and every person involved in a convention center rental receives timely emails with everything they need to get their part done quickly and with no hassle.

Summary: Marketing Automation Improves Stakeholder Engagement 

As this blog post is longer than usual, we’ll sum it up in a few short words:  Using marketing automation, businesses can better engage all of their stakeholders, improving and securing their relationships with them manifold.

Watch out for our next and final installment of this blog series to see how an ActiveTrail customer has completely revamped its business using our marketing automation system.

Read more:

Using ActiveTrail’s Smart Code – Quick Guide

Guide to Building Automations Based on User Behavior – On Websites and Landing Pages