The field of marketing automation has been growing at a remarkable rate, and it is predicted to boom further in 2018. Based on reports from Email Monday, currently an average of 51% companies are using Marketing Automation. Marketing Automation strategy can simply be understood by looking at the following key objectives –
- Improving productivity and ROI due to marketing initiatives
- Improving campaign management and quality of database
- Acquiring maximum customers through optimum efforts
- Regularly measuring the performance and marketing efforts
- Collaborating and aligning the marketing and sales.
Marketing Automation is a new concept for which new softwares, systems and features are being developed every day. Because of this, new trends are emerging most of the time, but there are few features which have created an impact and will continue to hero in 2018. Let us discuss these features.
1.Account Based Marketing
In today’s competitive scenario, organizations are trying out new things and looking for the next best thing. For a long time, the difficulty for all agencies was to bring about collaboration between sales and marketing teams, to understand the needs and problems of essential accounts and help the accounts accordingly.
The concept of ABM for marketers who are practicing it is to make a personalized strategy which meets the needs of individual accounts instead of making a standard approach for all the dormant accounts. The communication is based on the characteristics and needs of specific accounts. An ABM strategy is successful if the accounts and contacts are updated continuously and readily available without the marketing team spending a lot of time and efforts. Effective ABM strategies are created with the evolution of Marketing Automation.
The following three features define how marketing automation platform support ABM strategies.
- Ease of collecting and updating the accounts on regular basis:There are times we need to target new accounts and react quickly with the right message and that’s where marketing automation platform comes into picture which gives flexibility and makes it simple. This technology supports ABM by putting in order various requests for account-based initiatives like lead routing, call- center support and constant messaging to the right audience within hours which used to take weeks.
- Helps in constantly updating the data:Marketers need to continuously look out for new accounts and work on campaign execution. Along with this, managing lists with contacts and regularly updating it becomes very time consuming. Thus, marketing automation platform which supports ABM has set rules that help manage these lists more systematically to match the accounts with the correct contact data.
- Report generation:By automating ABM, self-updating account lists and groups can help engage targeted audience across channels and generate reports with updated data. Statements are presented in readily comprehensible manner.
2.Artificial Intelligence is another exciting feature of marketing automation
AI these days is ruling every aspect of enterprise business. Based on the data below, Artificial intelligence market worldwide is expected to grow in future.
With the introduction of AI in marketing automation, the performance of the domain has improved because of predictive analysis, cognitive filtering and semantic analysis. AI can help marketing automation in the following ways:
- It helps set rules that monitor user activity better and implement changes as required
- It can help understand customers better by collecting meaningful data and keeping a track on all interactions with the customer and also updating the information regularly
- AI can help segment the users by their recent purchases, product interests, browsing activity and help to keep a personalized communication
- AI can provide experiences based on individuals. You may have seen, Amazon uses behaviour data to provide product recommendations to their customers with the help of AI. Amazon is not only providing an customised shopping experience but also includes reorder feature and subscription services
- It helps identify potential customers and delivers the message which is customized based on their behaviour to move to the next step of the sales process
Enterprise chatbots and AI are changing the way of conducting business, and it is the hottest growing trend. The usage of bots has grown most uniquely by use of AI to automate the process for maximum efficiency. AI-based Enterprise Chatbots are used in the following ways
- AI has now become a way for businesses to automate and streamline their internal operations by introducing enterprise chatbots into their human resources and finance departments for recruiting new members, answering payment questions and so on
- They also help vendors and suppliers get information about payments and invoices
- Chatbots assist in the natural progression from bot to human customer care and help the customer get their messages efficiently
- Chatbots help in getting individual customer data and give information on products they require
- It helps sales department to share their promotion and also help users to make secure bill payments
- Chatbots also help in the administrative process and help get instant feedback
Companies like Airbnb and Netflix are said to use AI in their products for the benefit of their customers. In 2018, many companies are looking at using AI for highlighting their product design.
3.Virtual or Augmented is the new reality
Shopify has new VR app that helps its online shoppers to customize shirts in virtual reality. Nowadays if you see some interior designer brands, they help customers select and make choices online and get an idea of how their room would look!!
Samsung gear VR takes audiences on a virtual adventure. HBO: Game of Thrones give a multi-sensory experience in an exhibition called ‘Ascend The Wall’.
In 2018, VR and AR are looking forward to becoming communal experiences where people will be exploring worlds together. AR enables customers to make unlimited changes to work with art creators. Thus, in 2018 intellectual property will also be experiencing a change since people will be able to add one’s signature to public art without leaving a mark.
Companies are looking forward to combining user data with AR and machine learning systems which will help them to provide an individualized experience for customers. The above will help to increase the engagement level of customers with the products.
Marketing Automation technology combined with VR will be used to record stories and experiences of customers. Hence, when you plug that into VR technology, you would have got a great marketing content. Thus, Virtual reality experience is the most trending feature of marketing automation.
Recently, I was purchasing some baby girl clothes on a popular ecommerce store and bought one for my niece. I got to know about the store from an ad given on Facebook. Suddenly, when I logged on Facebook, the same store ad started showing me all the baby girl items that I had looked up earlier. Thus, this is the best example of contextual marketing. Contextual marketing helps us provide targeted marketing based on user information, such as browsing activity or search items or purchased items. The primary goal is to present ads to customers that they find interesting and attractive. Nowadays, mobile devices are being used for geographic locations to provide the context for ads, showing only local businesses and promotions. Who would’ve thought of this a few years back?
In the current competitive landscape, many businesses are making use of marketing automation strategies to have an edge and generate more sales. Marketing automation along with robust content will create a unique web experience for your customers. So, look forward to inculcate these trending features of Marketing Automation in your strategies in 2018.