Marketing experts are always looking for new methods and tools to minimise expense and maximise results. This is where automation tools come into play. They produce better results while cutting down on the costs. According to Hubspot, businesses “using marketing automation to nurture leads received a 451% increase in qualified leads.” It, therefore, comes as no surprise that several businesses are taking advantage of the marketing automation tools available in the market.
However, it is essential to know how to use the tool otherwise the results generated are poorly-targeted and ill-timed. Thus, optimisation of marketing automation tools is essential to prevent them from causing harm.
Here are a few marketing automation trends that will have an impact in 2018:
1. Multivariate Testing
Traditional testing has given way to multivariate testing where campaigns are designed based on combinations of several variables. This allows marketers to customise campaigns according to the given target audience. Another feature of multivariate testing is that it allows communication to be tested for multiple conversion factors.
2. Chatbots to Become Primary Channel for Lead and Customer Education
Extensive data collection and improvements in natural language processing have made chatbots a preferred resource for lead generation and education. Chatbots have surpassed the use of traditional knowledge bases and static content. They are now being used to analyse the behaviour of individual visitor and share relevant resources for every stage of the funnel.
3. Account Based Marketing
More marketers are moving to account based marketing where they use any social account, for instance, LinkedIn, to provide valuable and correct data. Using automation tools on such accounts will help businesses in determining as to how many users from a particular organisation or institution are using their website or downloading their content. Automation techniques will enable businesses to integrate their approach towards providing consumers a holistic experience. It will also help in re-engaging existing contacts at any organisation for another activity.
Account based marketing helps save a company its resources as in the process of lead generation to conversion, their work does not start from scratch. Instead of starting from the first step of lead generation, account based marketing strategy gives businesses a headstart by “identifying and targeting best-fit accounts that have the biggest revenue potential for your business.”
4. Effectively Deliver Personalised Content
Marketers can now develop ‘curated email sequences’ that address the consumer’s need by providing them with valuable and desirable content. This is based on the consumer’s previous views and purchases. Using automation tools, it will be easier for businesses to engage a visitor and provide them with a personalised experience.
Marketers are using account based marketing techniques to deliver personalised content to users on channels they are using actively. This strategy is extremely using to businesses that have a targeted list of accounts.
5. Predictive Consumer Engagement
Artificial Intelligence can be used to determine insights into consumer’s previous clicks and purchase. A prominent example of this is Amazon’s suggestions. Once a customer has made a purchase, Amazon gives recommendations and shows them what else they might be interested in. It recommends similar content or items. It also shows them what other customers (who bought the same item as them) bought or looked at.
6. Insight-Generating Artificial Intelligence
In today’s day and age, data is perhaps one of the most important components of any business. Most companies have heaps of data stored and have access to even more than what they already own, both free and paid. But they aren’t using it to their benefit and have either not organised it or have not pulled any insights from it.
“Businesses are not as smart as the information they have.” However, the systems are designed to accumulate information as it comes in. With the use of social media, trends and information change in real time. This means that trends from some time ago may not be useful at all. It will require a lot of resources to keep this data current.
However, artificial intelligence can be used to streamline this task for humans to be able to use it easily to create customer-satisfying, business-changing, revenue-generating insights.
7. Integration of Various Departments Through Automation
Marketers need dashboards of accurate and relevant information to take the right decisions. The “companies that learn from their data the fastest and innovate best also serve their customers best, are the most bulletproof to disruption and have the most secure futures.” Automation can make this task easier by streamlining the gathering of analytics.
Traditionally speaking, sales and marketing are two separate branches of a business, and each individual department has its own domain, niche, and area of operation. However, with the use of marketing automation tools becoming more prevalent, the line between these two is blurring.
Such tools are focusing on the overall integration of the organisation which will provide better visibility over and integration of all departments, including Analytics, Sales, and Marketing.
The future of marketing lies in identifying people as individuals and not audiences. Marketers should use this knowledge to forge a personalised, one-on-one relationship with their customers. While already prevalent, automation will soon be a tool of choice for all marketers. Its place as a standard tool in the marketing strategy in the future is indisputable.
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