Marketing Automation: Cultivating Riches in Your Own Backyard

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Timeshare sales and marketing has become increasingly successful by focusing on the acquisition of prospects and tours. But what about the vast riches in the unmined diamonds in our very own backyard—data, that is. We’re driving sales out of leads we’ve already paid for, but what about all those people that didn’t buy?

As our business grows, it becomes impossible to maintain a 1:1 relationship with every prospect and manage everything via Microsoft Office. So we start wasting cash on “one off” and “one size fits all” email campaigns, and setting up social media campaigns with no pre-defined purpose. Or worse,  we just ignore prospects and customers in our database—if they didn’t bite, we’re on to the next.

Why should you care about marketing automation?

Marketing automation is a subset of customer relationship management (CRM). It combines insight-focused capabilities from multiple systems including your CRM, lead management system, web analytics platform, and other sources to create a marketing machine that is more than the sum of its parts. It allows for dynamic marketing communications that are relevant to the recipient and touch points that can be driven by data or CRM events. Marketing automation makes what previously were manual processes far more efficientand makes new processes and lead nurturing funnels possible that were not practical or possible before.

Marketing automation considers the full prospect and customer lifecycle. It connects the dots between sales, marketing and owner service by focusing on a single customer view. It makes possible the continuous optimization of the customer experience in the most relevant way, fostering an authentic relationship and driving increased engagement and monetization.

Imagine every customer touch point triggers its own flow of automated and dynamic communications unique to the customer and triggered by actions and non-actions.  A customer buys an unhooked mini-vacation certificate, which triggers an email congratulating them with destination information. Then, every two weeks, a personalized email is sent automatically encouraging the customer to actually book their tour. Once booked, a confirmation email is sent, followed by another email with more destination information.

At pre-determined pre-arrival dates prior to check-in, automated emails are sent introducing the customer to their personal concierge or encouraging them to stop by the concierge desk for a special gift. If the prospect ignores the concierge “tour” desk, they’ll also get automated email and text messages on Day 1, Day 2, and so on—with a compelling reason to stop by the desk. All emails are dynamic, personalized, and triggered by actions and non-actions. This simple yet dynamic communication flow is one of hundreds that apply to the timeshare sales model.

Getting Started

The first step is to combine all your data from all your systems into one central marketing database. You keep your existing systems; this central database serves as an independent place to store detailed prospect and customer profile data, interactions, and behaviors—enabling you to segment and target the exact right message to each prospect or customer at the exact right time.

A successful marketing automation strategy will help you streamline your lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and scoring, owner and member lifecycle marketing, cross-sell and owner upsell, owner and member retention and ROI measurement. While some of this is possible without software, marketing automation technology becomes imperative with any scale.

Implementing a marketing automation plan into any organization requires a purpose-driven strategy integrating  the right goals, processes, messaging, data, and people. Technology doesn’t solve problems—it enables solutions.

What’s stopping you?

Conceptually, a robust marketing automation strategy in place is a pretty easy sell. The rub may be the perceived cost of time and money to implement such a plan. It’s true—for most mid-sized organizations and larger, there’s likely to be a six-figure investment.

With that sticker-shock out of the way, consider your current marketing budget. If it is seven figures per year, the efficiencies gained will surely deliver the needed ROI. If it’s eight or nine figures, it would be arguably irresponsible to not implement such a strategy.

The diamonds are in your own backyard of data. You just need the right tools and strategy to mine them. Request a quote for more details.

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