Case Celia: Turning Traditional Newsletters into Targeted Communications
The buzz around marketing automation has been going on for a while now. There are a couple of good reasons why companies are tempted to start using marketing automation. First of all there is the increasing demand for interesting and relevant content. Second of all, companies aim at getting scale advantages and saving resources in marketing communications.
Perhaps the biggest barrier preventing the adaptation of these technologies relates to how companies perceive marketing automation in general. Automation projects are often seen as major IT makeovers that only bigger organizations can handle. Instead of massive IT projects companies now look for agile solutions that the marketing and communications people can easily manage in their daily job. A good example of an agile automation is the Finnish state-owned special library Celia that recently started using marketing automation in their newsletter communications.
Celia's digital marketing: now and then
Special library Celia produces and provides literature in accessible formats for people who are unable to read standard printed books. The diverse clientele consists of both B2B and B2C customers hence the talking books, Braille and/or e-books have many different target groups. Having these different target groups poses a real challenge for service marketing: how can we produce content that is both relevant and scheduled accordingly?
What also poses a challenge for Celia's service marketing are the library information and customer data management systems which rarely include any communication and marketing tools themselves. Thus to better serve their customers Celia started using LianaMailer newsletter tool back in 2010. At first Celia only produced two different newsletters with different themes but the utilization of the tool quickly spread inside the company. Today Celia uses the tool in a versatile way producing newsletters with many different themes and subscriber groups.
Opt in subscribers have been intensively collected from the very beginning. Based on pre-determined lists, the subscribers may decide which content they prefer while subscribing. Along with newsletters and customer care LianaMailer tool has been used to carry out different campaigns and survey invitations. An integration was also introduced between LianaMailer and Celia's existing customer database to make customer data transfers more fluent. New customers are automatically transferred from Celia's database onto LianaMailer which makes the communication efforts more systematic and resource saving.
Marketing automation: towards the individual approach
Over time Celia has felt the need to make their communications more individually tailored and carefully targeted. According to Celia's communications specialist Johanna Koskela the demand stems from both internal and external needs:
"With the increasing amount of emails customers now want content that is interesting and well targeted. This shows especially well with the B2C sector. For us it was also about saving resources and achieving goals: a need arose to automate messages instead of composing each message individually."
In 2014 Celia started using LianaCEM marketing automation tool alongside with LianaMailer. The CEM tool is used to send different kinds of automated messages triggered by subscriber variables and pre-determined conditions. Celia already had a huge amount of customer data that existed in their own databases but the utilization of this data and benefiting from it had always been a challenge for them. The process thus started with data transferring with the help of which existing data could be further utilized to create automated messages.
The process of building automation requires design, digging of the databases and building connections both from the customer and the software provider. Doing the process in an agile way, however, allows a more subtle approach on things. There's nothing wrong with taking small steps and testing while doing instead of carrying out a huge makeover at once.
Real life examples of Celia's marketing automation:
- Welcome messages for new customers and tailored user instructions based on subscriber data and browsing behaviour
- Activating passive users
In the future:
- Activating people who borrow online and lead nurturing campaigns
- Binding automations with changing customer preferences: how often do I want to receive messages and on which themes?
The way Celia library is using automation is a real life example of an agile adaptation where you don't need to renew your entire marketing mix or launch massive IT projects and makeovers. Instead marketing automation may be be started with smaller steps that support other communication methods instead of completely replacing them. This way a company can slowly move towards a more targeted and individual way of communicating to its audiences.
Are you interested in marketing automation? LianaMailer newsletter tool seamlessly integrates into LianaCEM marketing automation tool. With the help of these tools it's easy to combine email marketing with automated messages.