Marketing automation? You can do more. Much more

Right before this last Passover, one of Active Trail’s biggest clients phoned Yaron Shtark, VP of Sales and Business Development, with a request for developing a predicative delivery feature. This is a sophisticated feature, which predicts the optimal time for sending marketing messages by learning and monitoring clients’ behavior on a timeline. “I saw this feature at your competitors abroad. It’s not cheap, but it looks like a good investment”, was the client’s reason. This client is one of the leading organizations in Israel for professional training.

“This feature already exists in Active Trail’s system,” replied Shtark, “and all our Plus clients have been using it for a long time now.” This isn’t the first time Shtark has encountered clients, some of them from leading organizations in Israel, who tend to think that the grass is greener and more advanced at the competitor from abroad. True, quite a few international marketing systems, and also some that have trickled from the CRM field, allow you to build a sophisticated automated client journey. The question isn’t only that of the price-tag, but also who will actually build those journeys. 

“For some reason, many executives forget that this kind of systems is highly technical and complex, and require modular and expensive developments and adaptations for each organization,” explains Shtark. “Even those who can afford the high cost, quickly realize that they are paying for developments that have no real use, and this is before we even consider an assimilation period and the learning time of the system.”

80% of businesses: a significant increase in leads

Active Trail is the largest, leading data-based automated marketing system in Israel. It’s also the only Israeli system that is active abroad, serving clients speaking English, French, Spanish and German, from all over the world. The automated client journeys, which are based on data collected in real time from clients, help thousands of brands to preserve loyalty and engagement, nurture leads and increase digital sales. Among our clients in Israel are the Ista Group, KSP, Keshet Media Group, Toto Winner, Menora Mivtachim insurance, Kia, Zappa Group, Isrotel Ltd., Bug Multisystem and many more.

Clients think that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence (photo: personal)

The automated client journeys built using the system include all marketing channels, and digital assets in the marketers’ toolbox: email marketing, SMS, WhatsApp, push messages in apps, social networks and more. Each of these tools is its own world, but if you use them together and synchronize them – positive results are imminent. The great news is that everything is done automatically, reducing costs and manpower. This way, for example, one smartly-made client journey eliminates, almost completely, the need for a follow-up by sales personal, and effortlessly cultivates new leads. 

Numbers don’t lie: studies and review reports conducted by financial information companies around the world, as well as in Israel, found that 80% of businesses that created automatic client journeys had a significant increase of 70% in leads, and 77% of them also had an increase in digital sales. And if that’s not enough, 65% of digital marketers stated that they will increase their investment in automatic client journeys in the coming year. 

Shtark knows these numbers well, and knows that no marketing manager can ignore them. “Advertising costs in Google and Facebook are ever increasing, and results are declining. At the same time, recently, I know of a lot of marketing managers who had to cut costs. My solution for them is clear cut: invest in client journeys and in your existing data.”

So why don’t they invest in this strategy? Is it expensive?

“Most marketing managers only do basic email marketing or send coupons via SMS. Some do just basic automated client journeys, sending such messages as ‘abandoned cart’ or a birthday campaign. There are many more client journeys that can be built to increase digital sales. I get a lot of calls from clients who wish to learn our most advanced features, but in practice, they still a long way to go to realize the true potential of the system.”

What is the reason for this?

“In large organizations there’s a function whose entire role is to make effective marketing automation, but in medium and small organizations this work falls through the cracks. The marketing manager is too busy or too timid to start working with these systems, as they perceived as technically complicated, although most Israeli systems are very user-friendly, and don’t require expensive development costs, which cannot be said about international systems.”

An automated client journey jumpstarts digital activity (photo: UNFLASH)

Ultimately, there’s the matter of data quality, isn’t it?

“Not solely. Not all organizations have the ability to thoroughly ameliorate and monitor data. This is precisely why we have features that allow you to monitor clients’ activity, such as a smart pixel embedded in the website, and even more tools that allow you to carry out personalization at the highest level.”

In the last 5 years the Israeli market began to look outward. International corporations such as Oracle, IBM, Salesforce etc., whose main activity in IT is developing of organizational systems, such as CRM and ERP, have entered the automated marketing world with a clear vision to optimize the organizational data they already have, and to connect it with the marketing system. The final result, especially in Israeli organizations, did not bode well. In fact, in many cases the result was awry, and caused heavy losses. The development expenses of the system swelled significantly, and the power that was once in the hands of marketing personal, have mostly transferred to development – the busiest and most expensive resource in the organization.

“We see it quite clearly,” admits Shtark, “when I speak to marketing managers, I hear that they are tired of paying a fortune for expensive and ineffective systems. We all know that a frustrated marketing manager cannot exhaust the tremendous capabilities of technologies that are present in the organization. We already have everything, and it’s available to use with almost no need for prior knowledge and writing code. This is a huge advantage, and we are very proud of it. It allows every marketing manager to do the actions they dreams of – easily and quickly.”