Marketing automation has dangled as the holy grail for years. Simplify your workflow. Personalize your marketing via every channel and device so you attract and engage the attention of your prospects and customers. Sounds great, right?
Imagine receiving a text from your favorite brand letting you know that the shoes you’ve been eyeing are on sale. There’s a link within the text that takes you right to the shoes. Choose your color and size, then click on your favorite payment option and viola, shoes are on the way all while you commute to work.
Today’s marketing automation software can help you do this and more all with an eye on adding value to your customers. Today’s technology can help you improve your customer segmentation and their experience with your business no matter if you sell shoes or software.
Imagine what an improved customer experience can do for your bottom line if you can boost your marketing ROI by 5x-8x. That’s what some marketers say personalization can do for your brand.
15 Marketing Automation Trends:
Real-time communication, improved lead generation, and stellar customer experience are all better with a human touch. These are a few ways you can set your business apart. Yet, it all starts with data.
Trend #1 Data Management is the Cornerstone
Data-driven marketing is more than a buzzword. It’s an essential way to improve your ROI by improving your customer’s experience. Yet, it requires skilled people to manage it well and analyze it for context. For data to be useful it needs to be accurate. It needs to be current, “clean,” and accessible. Otherwise, it runs the risk of filling in the wrong fields or otherwise being less than helpful.
Trend #2 More Detailed Customer Journey Maps
There’s no one size fits all sales funnel. Customers come via multiple channels including social media, websites, email, downloadable content, and face to face events. Yet, data can tell you a story of how a prospect found you and the steps they took to become a customer. This helps refine your marketing materials and improve ROI.
Trend #3 Real-Time Communication
Marketing automation can free up your sales and customer service staff for other work rather than answering routine questions. Today’s chatbots are sophisticated and they’re able to answer frequently asked questions in a conversational way. Your customers get an instant answer and if they need more help, they can be routed easily to a person.
Trend #4 Quality Over Quantity
Attracting higher quality leads is always better than attracting a lot of tire kickers. As you refine your customer journey map, you’ll refine your customer profiles. As you know more about your customer’s you’re better able to craft messages that resonate with them and reach them to improve conversions.
Trend #5 Improve Customer Experience
A Gartner study says that customer experience will be a key differentiator in today’s crowded marketplace. Which means, the more relevant you can make your messages and deliver them to your always-connected customer in a way they like, the more they’ll appreciate you.
Trend #6 Stay in Touch with Your Customers
You’ve worked hard to attract new customers. Don’t let them fall off your radar. Smart businesses can use marketing automation to stay in touch and nurture them throughout the customer lifecycle.
Trend #7 Multi-Channel Automation
A good marketing automation platform offers email marketing, multiple social media platforms, and analytics all in one place so it’s easy for you to have the data you need.
Trend #8 Implementation of AI and Machine Learning
Machine learning improves your customer’s experience when done well. Think well-crafted chatbots and dynamic web pages.
Trend #9 Personalized Content
From device to content, personalization is the way of the future. Simply from a generational standpoint, different age groups have vastly different communication preferences. Some prefer email while others prefer text. In fact, today’s consumers are so primed to expect personalization that as many as 65% of buyers say a lack of personalization will be a deal-breaker for them.
Trend #10 Omnichannel Experience
Marketing automation can improve the customer experience by offering a seamless transition between devices. Your customers may use 2 or 3 different devices to interact with you, if your business can pick up where they left off, no matter the device, they’ll appreciate it.
Trend #11 Further Blend SEO and Content Marketing
A large part of SEO has always been content-driven. Automation helps you with the data that will help refine both by seeing what’s driving response.
Trend #12 Improved Lead Nurturing
Marketing automation shows you where prospects came into the funnel. It shows you what they’ve downloaded and when they clicked away. Analyzing this information lets you optimize your funnel from messaging to the journey.
Trend #13 Mobile-First
Mobile ad spend increases every year and with good reason. It’s where the customers are. From push and in-app notifications to SMS, marketing automation can help you reach them. However, mobile devices are intimate places so it’s essential to be relevant. When you review your data and improve your customer journey, you can increase your relevancy.
Trend #14 Increase in Voice-Based Options
Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home, millions of these are in homes and business and they’re the future of search. They also go beyond search. Did you know that Alexa can read your email to you? These voice-activated assistants can place orders, schedule appointments and much more.
Trend #15 A/B Testing
You may already use A/B testing for testing email subject lines but what about other marketing practices? With a good automation tool, you can easily make it a standard part of your marketing process and improve your ROI.
While some of these trends may sound a little futuristic, they’re here and ready for you. The future of marketing lies in marketing automation because it uses a blend of data and integrated technology to improve your customer’s experience. If you’re like most marketers, you want a tool that’s easy to implement, cost-effective, collaborative, and integrated.
AgileCRM.com blends marketing, sales, and customer service into an all-in-one platform. You can handle email marketing, score leads, have all your prospects and customers in one place. Your prospects and customers are counting on you. Are you ready?