Marketing automation is a rapidly growing field that has changed the way businesses approach marketing. With the rise of technology and available data, automation has become an essential tool for companies to reach their target audience effectively. As technology continues to evolve, it is important for businesses to stay up to date on the latest trends to stay ahead of the competition.
What is marketing automation?
If you’ve seen the buzzword being used more over the past few years that’s because automation is growing at a rapid rate. In 2021, 76% of companies report using automation and 26% of companies that are not yet using automation are planning to use it. If so many people are on board, it must be something worthwhile to explore.
Marketing automation refers to the use of software and technology to streamline, simplify, and automate marketing tasks and workflows. The goal of marketing automation is to increase efficiency, personalisation, and engagement in marketing campaigns while reducing manual effort and time. This frees up time for your business to focus on more important tasks that have a higher ROI.
Example of how you could use automation in a business:
Let’s imagine you own a company that sells sports equipment and wants to increase sales. You could use a marketing automation platform to create an email campaign targeted towards individuals who have shown an interest in purchasing sports equipment. The automation platform uses data from its customer relationship management (CRM) system and tracks website behaviour to segment the email list based on the customer’s past purchases, preferences, and behaviour.
The company creates an email template with promotional offers, new product launches, and other relevant content. The marketing automation platform then sends the emails automatically, at a frequency and time that the company has specified. The platform also tracks and measures the success of the campaign by tracking open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Based on the results, your marketing team can make changes to the campaign to improve its effectiveness.
In this example, the company is able to use marketing automation to deliver personalised and relevant messages to its target audience, increasing the chances of conversion and sales. Automation is a great way to ensure leads are not lost without all the manual effort, so your team can focus on more creative tasks.
Emerging trends in marketing automation
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way marketing automation works. AI algorithms can help automate repetitive tasks, allowing marketers to focus on higher-level strategies. Machine learning can also help personalise the customer experience by analysing customer data to identify patterns and preferences. This results in more targeted and effective marketing campaigns, which will result in higher conversion rates for your business.
Personalisation is the secret sauce in developing campaigns that convert users. Users want to feel that brands cater to their specific needs and not to the masses. By combining social listening, user attributes, and on-site behavioural attributes captured by marketing automation tools, marketers can formulate a highly accurate customer profile that they can use to their advantage.
- Omnichannel Marketing
An omnichannel marketing experience means that a customer can interact with a business across multiple channels like social media, their website, SMS, videos etc. This forms part of one seamless customer journey.
Omnichannel marketing needs to provide a consistent customer experience across all channels. Marketing automation plays a crucial role in omnichannel marketing by automating the process of coordinating messages and promotions across different channels. This will help businesses deliver a more personalised and seamless customer experience. Businesses no longer rely on one-way communication through a single platform to contact leads and customers. Instead, the average consumer can hop on all their favourite channels to engage with a business before making a purchase decision. According to the Think with Google indication, omnichannel strategies generate an 80% higher rate of incremental store visits by consumers. If those stats are anything to go by, omnichannel marketing is here to stay.
- Customer Journey Mapping
Customer journey mapping is the process of understanding the customer’s journey from initial engagement to purchase and beyond. Marketing automation can be used to automate the process of mapping the customer journey and using that information to personalise the customer experience. This will result in more effective marketing campaigns and increased customer engagement.
When mapping your customer journey, it’s important that the strategy attracts, converts, and retains customers as they move through their buying journey. Businesses must possess a genuine understanding of their target audience and be committed to growing customer value over the long term.
Marketing to users at every stage of their journey requires finesse from marketers. They need to lay down a plan for the entire consumer cycle and nurture the incoming audience at every stage.
- Integration with Other Marketing Technologies
Marketing automation will continue to integrate with other marketing technologies, such as CRM and analytics. This will allow for a more comprehensive view of the customer, making it easier to deliver a personalised experience and measure campaign success.
- AI-enabled chatbots
More businesses have started selling their products online, and with more consumers exploring their options online, the number of inquiries has grown exponentially. A human agent can only handle one request at a time, and responding to all requests efficiently can be tedious. With new AI-enabled chatbots, an automated chatbot is a solution. These chatbots can handle multiple requests at the same time. Chatbots are programmed to respond to messages based on certain keywords or by referring to a pre-defined algorithm. They also use machine learning to adapt their responses and deliver the most accurate information.
Implementing chatbots will arguably be one of the most strategic moves for any business. Not only do they save time and reduce redundancy, but they can also help with lead generation, customer support, and up-selling.
The future of marketing automation is shaping up to be exciting with new trends emerging in the field. Companies that stay up-to-date on these trends will be in a better position to take advantage of the technology and drive their marketing efforts to success. Whether it’s through AI, omnichannel marketing or AI-enabled chatbots, marketing automation will continue to play a critical role in modern marketing strategies. Contact Media Matters to find out about our marketing automation solutions.