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Why we built GoSquared Automation

Why we entered one of the busiest markets in marketing technology.

Intercom. MailChimp. Drip. Hubspot. Marketo. ConvertKit. ConstantContact. ActiveCampaign.

Why on earth would you want to go up against all of these companies?

As of June 2020, we’re now in the space of Marketing Automation.

So we’ve got some answering to do – why enter one of the most competitive markets in marketing technology?

Let us explain…

Introducing GoSquared Automation

We just introduced a new product to the GoSquared platform – Automation.

It’s our vision for the future of marketing automation, specifically designed for SaaS businesses.

Send the right message to the right person at the right time.

As with any “1.0” release, we feel we’re just getting started, but we wanted to share the story that led us to enter one of the most competitive spaces in marketing technology.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could send email from GoSquared…

Like a lot of the features we work on at GoSquared, Automation began with a feature request.

Not one snowflake of a request – not even a snowball, but an avalanche of requests.

Ever since we introduced Customer Data Hub (or, People Analytics as it was known at the time) our customers, have been asking for an extensive new feature set to be added to GoSquared.

Internally, too, we’re always looking for ways to take GoSquared further – we still rely on far too many disconnected, complicated tools to engage with our customers.

With our existing products – Customer Data Hub, Live Chat, and Analytics – we already help our customers understand what’s happening on their website, how people use their software products, and empower whole teams with the information they need to get closer to their customers.

This knowledge is great to help you make better decisions, but we knew we could do more.

Run fewer tools – it’s better for your business

We feel strongly that most SaaS businesses currently have to deal with too many tools.

You shouldn’t need to buy 10+ different tools to start and run your SaaS business.

We are living through a time where it has never been easier to be an entrepreneur. But take one look at any list of “recommended tools” some say you might need, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed.

Every new tool your business adopts carries a lot of weight:

  • New logins and passwords.
  • Another place where your precious customer data needs to be sent.
  • Another potential silo for data.
  • New training for team members.
  • High chance of inconsistencies in data and definitions between tools.
  • The need for “masking tape” tools and APIs to connect your different tools together.

When you use a vast collection of tools, they rarely integrate seamlessly. Information and meta-data slips through the cracks. Your data becomes less detailed, you expose yourself to gaps, and the end-user experience is compromised and slowed down. Problems always come up – problems that can be prevented by not switching and combining tools so much.

Run fewer tools – it’s better for your customers

And finally, the reason we care about most: the more tools you use to connect with your customers, the worse the experience for your customer.

When you’re switching between tools or allocating specific tools to be used in certain areas of your business, your work becomes siloed. Sales people deal with sales-things, marketing people deal with marketing-things, and so on.

But your customers don’t think like this. They don’t think in terms of departments, and accountability and responsibility; they just want excellent service and a valuable product.

We are all customers. We all know these frustrations, but somehow, when we switch hats and go to work, we forget this fact and, often unconsciously, contribute to the exact situations we complain about when we have on our ‘customer hat’.

We believe that by connecting all the work internally, the external communication to the customer can become less siloed, more productive, and more personal. That’s why one of the core ways we evaluate GoSquared is its simplicity of use.

We never want GoSquared to be something only a super-technical person (who’s taken three courses on the subject) can understand. We want your entire team to be able to see, understand, and make use of the insights that GoSquared gives you.

Marketing Automation isn’t “done”

When you look at the list of “industry giants” at the top of this article, do you think marketing automation is “done”? Do you look at these tools and think they have reached perfection?

We certainly don’t.

In fact, we see there’s a LOT of work to do, especially for SaaS businesses just like us.

Despite all these companies and all these products and tools: most communication from businesses to their customers still sucks.

We don’t feel marketing automation is a solved problem.

Marketing Automation doesn’t have to mean being “less personal”

There are many preconceptions about marketing automation. The word ‘automation’ doesn’t help. It sounds cold and robotic and technically complicated.

But instead, we think about automation tools as a helping hand, not the driving force. Automation as a resource, not the end goal.

Modern automation tools are easy to use and will save your team time while making better use of customer insights that will transform the way your customers interact with you.

Marketing Automation isn’t about replacing humans

GoSquared Automation can help your team become more efficient, make better use of insights, and be more effective with their communications. What it won’t do is replace your team.

The humans add all the magic: the clever copy, the imagery, the strategy. Automation does the heavy lifting. It makes your approach more accurate by providing detailed insights, and it helps you to deliver a personal experience at scale and continuously learn and improve.

Marketing Automation shouldn’t be complex

A common misconception about marketing automation is that it’s complicated to use and difficult to set up. Now, we can’t speak for other tools, but one of our design principles is to make our tools simple and easy to use. It doesn’t need to be complicated.

Automation tools should give you the right information at the right time so that your entire team can understand and create actions. If a person can’t understand or use the insights from your automation tool, then it can’t fulfill its purpose.

Marketing Automation shouldn’t be impersonal

There’s a fear that automating any elements of your communications makes everything bland and impersonal. This has often been true of the automation tools in the past. Still, nowadays, with access to all the data insights, we have automated communications that are more personal than ever before.

Imagine trying to do this manually.

Gathering together all the information on your customers or users (their company size, the plan they’re on, their history with your company), and then find out which pages of your website they’ve visited, whether they’ve downloaded any resources, or logged into your product recently.

Got it all?

Ok, now write them an email that addresses their exact situation, and what next steps might be useful for them to take.

Great. Now repeat that for every single customer.

For the majority of businesses, this just isn’t possible. Luckily, automation based on actionable insights can do this work for you. Once you set this up once, you can send long-term personalised, relevant communications to your customers.

With the help of insights and automated systems, you can get more personal with your communications. The tools help you do more than any single person, or even any team can do.

Marketing Automation is the method – not the goal

We see Automation as the method, not the goal.

Automation helps you to keep communications personal at scale, and doesn’t replace the need for direct one-to-one conversations between you and your customers.

The aim isn’t to talk to your customers less – it’s to talk to your customers better.

The purpose of employing marketing automation is to get closer to your customers in a more effective and personal way.

Marketing automation is not a stand-alone solution that you set and forget. It’s a tool that only helps when you combine it with knowledge, customer research, good copywriting, and persuasive content.

So what are you waiting for? Simplify your customer communications, and bring your creativity to a platform that will help you get it in front of your customers.

If you’re just getting started with marketing automation, you might want to check out our beginner’s guide to email automation. We hope you find it useful!

Written by
James is CEO and one of the co-founders of GoSquared. He also likes to talk about design.

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