Marketing automation is undoubtedly the buzzword of the moment. There’s no denying that it is a powerful tool that helps marketers nurture leads by delivering highly targeted and personalised messages throughout the entire purchase journey. Whilst many companies are undoubtedly seeing increased conversion rates following automation, I still believe the secret to staying ahead of the game lies in developing your EQ – the ability to recognise, understand and manage your emotions and those of others. After all, it’s the ability to influence your customers’ behaviour by taking them on an emotional journey that lies at the very heart of marketing. And only by doing this, will you be able to maximise the full benefits of automation.
The great news is that your EQ – unlike your IQ – is not fixed and can be developed over time. So, as a commercial skills trainer and coach who has helped hundreds of people develop their EQ to raise their commercial game, I wanted to share my expert advice on how to boost your EQ for marketing success.
1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
First things first you need to draw on your empathy – a key EQ skill – to help you interpret the data automation provides, so you can really understand what makes your customers tick. Don’t fall into the trap of relying on your marketing platform to do this for you - automation can monitor your customers’ past and current preferences and desires, but it takes EQ to understand how to use this information as ‘insight’ to help you influence your customers’ buying behaviour going forward. Bear in mind Henry Ford’s famous words, "if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses". After all your role as a marketer is to understand what your customer is passionate about so you can learn how best to win their hearts and minds and convert them to lifetime loyalty.
2. Build a relationship with your customer
This is where your social skills come to the forefront. Whilst marketing automation enables you to deliver highly targeted content in real time to your customers – you need to maximize this opportunity by harnessing your EQ and tailoring your messages to connect with your customer on an emotional level. Use the knowledge you have gathered about your customer to help you tell a story that will inspire them to buy your product or service. Remember, your goal is to use EQ to have engaging and highly personalised conversations with your customers that helps ease their purchase decision.
3. Keep raising the bar
Draw on your self-management to make sure you control the marketing automation, instead of it controlling you. You need to raise the bar by constantly checking what marketing initiatives worked well and what didn’t so you can keep reshaping your marketing strategy throughout the entire customer journey. Be ambitious and keep your finger on the pulse, so you can create impactful campaigns that help you drive your business performance.
4. Take change in your stride
With or without marketing automation, the secret to becoming a successful marketer is to draw on your adaptability and optimism and see change as positive. So view the rise of automation as a ‘positive’ to compliment a more ‘traditional’ approach, and use it as a tool to proactively help you execute marketing tasks in a more streamlined and efficient manner. By adopting a solution-orientated approach and being resilient, you are far more likely to keep your eyes focused on the whole customer journey, giving you a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved going forward.
By following these steps to develop your empathy, social skills, self-management and adaptability, you will be well on your way to using your EQ to leverage the power of automation so you can stand out from the competition and achieve real marketing success.
Nicole Soames is author of The Negotiation Book and chief executive of Diadem Performance