Marketing Automation used to be a buzzword back in the day, but now it has become a prerequisite for well-organized, efficient marketing campaigns when concepts like Big Data, machine learning, Business Intelligence are dominating the market. It has gained significant traction over time because it allows businesses and marketing agencies who gear their process with the latest technologies to optimize their lead generation, customer segmentation, and forecasting tactics. Marketing automation heavily relies on different software and IT systems to help companies design and implement an autopilot strategy for effectively engaging their target market across several online platforms.
According emailmonday, about 49 percent of companies has integrated marketing automation tools in their campaigns, of which 55 percent are B2B organizations. Since marketing automation is one of the best ways to nurture leads while reducing inconsistency or chaos in managing different aspects of a marketing campaign, it is readily being accepted by the masses. What started with automating emails and social media posting now offers a whole of opportunities for businesses that helps in improving customer experience, enhancing productivity, and stretching bottom line.
While this technique holds an undeniable importance, you should stay up-to-date with the latest marketing automation practices to maximize the impact of your marketing campaigns.
1. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is a great way of saving time, energy, and resources spent in analyzing consumer behavior. It allows you to make accurate predictions based on historical data and determine when and how leads can be effectively converted into a sale. It also helps in streamlining a variety of business processes, as it helps in forecasting demand.
When marketing automation and predictive analytics are used together, it becomes a powerful combination that enables you to optimize your marketing campaigns based on your prospective customers’ intention to purchase. By having this knowledge, you get the benefit of striking the iron when it’s hot, dramatically increasing the probability of success. Moreover, having an idea about your customers’ needs can help you take effective steps accordingly, leading to higher customer retention and satisfaction.
2. Integrated Marketing Automation
According to a study by Smart Insights, with so many companies using marketing automation practices, only 2 percent are able to make the most of them. This is typically because effective implementation of marketing automation requires seamless integration with multiple campaigns across different platforms. This allows you to a consistent form of interaction with customers throughout their journey. It’s Consumer Psychology 101 that they expect companies to remember them and be fully aware of their relationship. This is a prerequisite for consumers in order to trust the company enough to let them cater to their needs. The key to improving overall customer experience is for all channels to exchange information through seamless communication to create a single, synchronized image for the customer.
3. Increased Reliance on Machine Learning
Machine learning and Big Data have been in the limelight for some time now, and that too for a good reason. These advanced data analysis techniques allow marketers to create personalized messaging and individualized experiences for highly segmented audiences. In the digital B2C marketing realm, customizing content for delivering personalized messages is one of the most important ingredients for forging long-term relationship with customers and winning their loyalty so that they return to buy your products or services again and again.
4. Optimizing for Mobile and Beyond
It’s a well-established fact that mobile phones have taken both the online and offline world by storm. People have become reliant on their handheld devices more than ever, which goes much further than just calling, texting, or checking emails. In today’s digital age, it is of paramount importance to optimize websites, PDFs, email, landing pages, and other online avenues for the smaller screens. It’s not only important for user experience, but the search engine giant, Google, puts a great deal of emphasis on responsive websites that are display in the same way on all devices.
From the marketing automation perspective, you are likely to have all information about which customer is using what kind of device to view a particular page. If you know that half of your audience is using a desktop, while the other half is using mobile devices, you need to cater to both segments to ensure you retain the maximum number of customers.
It won’t be wrong to say that Virtual Reality (VR) is going to be the next big thing. It won’t be long when people will demand for VR optimized messages or interactive websites – it’s a whole new world of opportunities for marketers to tap into and accommodate the increasingly tech savvy audience. While marketing through VR may not gain a lot of traction in 2017, it is likely to grow in popularity in the upcoming years.
5. Account Based Marketing
Account based marketing is a B2B strategy that focuses on dedicating marketing and sales resources on a well-defined set of consumer accounts to deploy highly personalized campaigns revolving around each specific account. For organizations with target market comprising of top level SMEs and large enterprises, this can prove to be a highly effective strategy that is supported by marketing automation and has been found to yield great outcomes.
6. Artificial Intelligence and Marketing Automation
Today, consumers generate a tremendous amount of data that is difficult to analyze and keep track of. By combining the capabilities of marketing automation and AI, getting valuable insights from such huge volumes of data can be of great usefulness to marketers. With the help of AI, marketers can easily track the performance of different campaigns and predict their results, saving a lot of time and energy. This can allow them to forecast potential outcomes and predict customer behavior, which can be used to create highly personalized and relevant content and optimize other essential aspects of marketing campaigns.
Furthermore, it allows them to take into account the boundless scope of artificial intelligence, you can use its capabilities for replacing a large amount of human driven contact, giving marketers more room to let their creative juices flow into their marketing activities.
Marketing automation allows you to resolve a wide range of marketing difficulties, from launching lead generation campaigns to breaking down large chunks of data to extract meaningful insights. When companies use integrated marketing automation techniques in the right way, the difference between the past and present performance is likely to be enormous.
by Bobby J Davidson
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