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6 of the Hottest Trends in Marketing Automation You Need to Know
Marketing automation is needed now more than ever.
Brands and marketers that invest in marketing automation witness a surge in productivity and a decrease in overhead by a large margin.
Don’t believe me?
Check out this stat:
Smart Insights in their survey of B2B marketers found that marketing automation has helped them improve user experience (according to 60% of respondents), lead quality (59%), lead quantity (57%), conversion rate (52%), and departmental alignment (21%).
Image via Smart Insights
That’s not all. 35% of respondents said marketing automation reduces marketing costs and 22% said it shortens sales cycles.
That’s why nearly 75% of marketers use some form of marketing automation in their businesses.
Are you among these techno-savvy marketers?
You are? Great! Then, you need to keep abreast of prevailing trends in the marketing automation space. In this post, I’ll elaborate on the top six trends and also explain how you can use these trends to your advantage.
Even if you haven’t yet explored marketing automation, this post will give you a good look into why marketing automation works.
Let’s get started.
What Trends Can We Expect to See in Marketing Automation in 2020?
Marketing automation is a dynamic space. The tools and techniques evolve rapidly. Marketers who are behind the curve can lose out to competitors.
Let’s take a look at the top six trends expected to be seen in marketing automation in 2020.
Customer expectations from brands are at an all-time high. They expect brands to be available 24x7 to answer their questions and simplify their interactions. But is this practically possible with live customer service agents?
Obviously not. That’s where chatbots come in handy.
In 2019, chatbots were used sparingly. In 2020, they will become mainstream. Chatbots will also become more sophisticated. Since customers expect bots to answer as promptly and intelligently as in-store agents, AI-powered chatbots will become more popular.
Image via Drift
AI chatbots use natural language processing to comprehend customer requests, voiced or written. They give personalized service by drawing insights from previous interactions with a customer.
And the best part?
Chatbots can handle multiple customers simultaneously and work tirelessly around the clock. Plus, their working costs are much less compared to maintaining a team of live agents with the same productivity.
So, 2020 is a good time to invest in a chatbot for your business.
2. Personalized Content
Content creation will take on a new dimension in 2020. Content with context will drive better results for marketers.
Why am I so confident about this?
SmarterHQ’s Privacy & Personalization report states that 72% of consumers only engage with marketing messages that are tailored to their needs and interests.
As marketers, you need to look deep into the tastes, needs, and pain points of your target audiences while crafting content for them.
Put together detailed buyer personas by using social listening tools, customer relationship management platforms, and web analytics. Collect data about your customers from as many touchpoints as possible so that you can create accurate and precise narratives for each customer.
The best way to know what content your audience prefers is by conducting surveys and polls. It also helps to have local website pages and get listed in local directories if you have a global user base.
In short, 2020 will be the year of hyper-personalization of content, and marketers should adopt it quickly.
3. Personalized Email Automation
Email marketing has always been relevant to marketers.
According to the Drift report mentioned earlier, 2019 saw 33% more people using emails to communicate with brands. To deal with the huge volume of emails, marketers used email automation. In 2020, the focus will shift to the personalization of email marketing.
Marketers will use advanced contact segmenting and A/B testing to target the right contact with the right message. From subject lines to calls-to-action (CTA), every email element will be personalized to evoke the desired response from the recipient.
Check out how Bed Bath & Beyond uses personalized messaging and offers to bring one of their inactive contacts back into the fold.
Image via Pinterest
The personalization of emails will be key to retaining existing customers and acquiring new customers. So, opt for email marketing platforms with advanced personalization features.
4. Predictive Marketing Solutions
Wouldn’t it be cool if you knew which blog post to recommend to a website visitor? Or what sale offer to extend to an email contact so that they convert faster?
Is that really possible?
Yes, it is. Predictive marketing solutions use existing customer datasets to predict a customer’s behavior and response. Using their insights, you can modulate your message content, timing, and channel to get the best response.
Big brands like Amazon and Spotify are already using indigenous predictive solutions.
When a customer wishlists or adds an item to their cart, Amazon shows intelligent purchase suggestions by studying the customer’s past buying history and current selection. If you buy a vacuum cleaner, Amazon’s AI-based search engine deduces that you’ll need air filters next and recommends them.
Image via Amazon
Spotify curates a Discover Weekly playlist for each subscriber and it contains tracks that match a user’s tastes.
Even when I’m writing this article, Grammarly is providing intelligent word replacement suggestions as if it understands what I meant to write. And most of the tips are on-target!
Needless to say, such predictive solutions will delight customers since their messaging is relevant and useful.
In 2020, affordable predictive marketing solutions will come in plug-and-play widgets. You can simply add them to your site or marketing tools and get “smarter.”
5. Technology in Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing will be more important than ever. From 2.95 billion social media users in 2019, the number is projected to reach 3.43 billion by 2023. With such reach, marketers just can’t afford to ignore this channel.
To gain an edge over competitors, marketers will use technology and automation in social media marketing. They will use tools for social media management, including scheduling, posting, and tracking posts on multiple platforms at a time. These tools will help startups and small-sized companies minimize labor overhead incurred on social media tasks.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will be used to create more immersive social content.
Platforms are already gearing up for the change so that techno-savvy users feel at home. Facebook has introduced Horizon, a virtual reality world where people can play games and connect with each other.
Image via Horizon
Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have adopted augmented reality filters to give their users a surreal experience. If you’re a progressive marketer, you need to expand your social media marketing budget and invest in these tools.
6. Lifecycle Marketing
Each customer has a customer lifetime value (CLV) and a cost of acquisition and retention. CLV pertains to the sum of values that a customer provides to a brand during their lifetime or during a specific period of time. The cost could be the expenditure incurred on creating content, PPC ads, or referral marketing, whatever was responsible for keeping a customer engaged with your brand.
In 2020, marketers will design personalized campaigns to extract maximum CLV.
They will cater to customers’ changing needs in real-time as customers move along the marketing funnel. Predictive analytics will help segregate customers with high, low, and medium CLV so that you can exert justifiable effort to nurture them.
Additionally, providing exceptional customer experience (CX) at every buyer journey stage will be a must in order to nurture customers. Marketers will create well-documented CX strategies which will dictate customer service and user experience.
Marketing automation is no magic wand. In the right hands and with the right vision, automation strategies and tools can make a remarkable difference in productivity. The trends and resources covered in this article will help you stay ahead in the marketing game in 2020.
Are you aware of more marketing automation trends? Share them in the comments section.
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