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What is Marketing Automation? How will it evolve in 2020?

Cosmina Trifan
Cosmina Trifan
Chief Marketing Officer

If you’re alive and breathing in 2020, there’s a 99.99% chance you’ve received some sort of communication that was automated.

Get a confirmation email after your Amazon haul?  Or a reminder about the achingly expensive Le Creuset pot seated atop the virtual wish list you “accidentally” sent your mom? Those messages were more than likely set up by a marketer.

So, what’s this voodoo magic letting them send thousands of messages at the click of a button?

It’s called Marketing Automation and it’s becoming the bread & butter of successful marketers today.

What is Marketing Automation and how it will evolve in 2020

The goal of marketing automation? To deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person through the right channel.

So, what is Marketing Automation?

It’s defined as the software and technology that enables businesses to set up strategic communications across multiple channels as a means to generate leads, increase sales, and drive growth.

In a nut shell, it’s a tech-savvy way to optimize your campaigns and achieve marketing goals.

Tracking Metrics is an invaluable part of marketing automation; marketing teams now have unforeseen visibility into their campaigns. With this technology, marketers can track analytics for email, social media posts, landing pages, and other assets. Afterwards, all this data gets stored in a database for customer relationship management (CRM).

Why should I use Marketing Automation?

Unlike some time ago, when businesses considered Marketing Automation as a “nice-to-have”,  it’s  gained recent steam as a necessary tool that over half of all businesses today leverage for growth.

It allows marketers to use analytics along with CRM data to improve their campaigns. Wouldn’t it be great to see what needs fine-tuning in your marketing efforts? You can create audience segments, personalize content, and update your strategy – but, how do you know if it’s all working? Marketing automation also lets you perform A/B tests. The more you test, the more feedback you’ll receive. The more feedback you receive, the more you can tweak your marketing campaigns to yield the results you want.

The benefits of marketing automation have been catching the attention of CMO’s and CEO’s for some years now – and are applicable to companies of all sizes. Here’s how:

  • Automating your marketing communications lets you skip out on tedious, repetitive tasks.

  • Creating content based on A/B tests gives you insight to improve what you send out to your audiences.

  • Defining audience segments provides an opportunity to market relevant content to specific groups of leads or customers.

  • Tracking all your marketing communications gives you real-time visibility into campaign performance to speed up the decision-making process.

  • Personalizing content using CRM data gives your leads or customers a specialized user experience that keeps them engaged.

  • Targeting specific leads with specific messages will ease them down the sales funnel and ultimately help them convert into customers.


Marketing Automation Trends to Drive Real Growth

The industry of Marketing Automation has seen substantial growth within just a few short years – and is still evolving.

Since its birth, Marketing Automation has shifted from an assisted user journey tool to encompassing the entire customer experience – from beginning to end and even after that.  As the number of companies offering these services multiplies and the cost of using them becomes more affordable than ever, companies should pay attention to developments in the Marketing Automation field to make sure they’re really capitalizing on all the benefits it can bring.

Here are a few trends worth acting on in 2020.

#1 Hyper-Personalization – When brands are frustrated that users don’t seem to be responding to their messages, it could be because they’re too vague, sent at the wrong time or that the content is completely off the mark. Today companies are moving far beyond just using a first name in an email. Customers are demanding that the brands they interact with know what they do and don’t like –  to when they prefer to receive (and not receive) messages.

In exchange for more relevant content, users will reward you with more meaningful engagement.

In the digital space, you’re privy to so much more data than you know – use it wisely!
#2 More Mobile For the first time ever, mobile ad spending has surpassed desktop – and will continue to dominate as the new primary device for consumer decision-making. More brands are looking to target a growing younger demographic that spends over 5 hours day consuming mobile content.

With so much information available at our fingertips and users who are “spoiled for choice”, businesses should work to integrate more mobile-exclusive content into their Marketing Automation to help with lead nurturing, conversion and retention – in a space where it matters to them most.
#3 The Rise of A.I  –  While it can feel rewarding to receive myriad data from your users, how it’s interpreted and ultimately used is what separates marketing automation from great marketing automation.  The year 2020 will see a sharp uptake in the number of companies using artificial intelligence and machine learning to better reach potential and current customers. By programming machines to work smarter, more marketers are gathering and using data to better anticipate, act on, and correct any problems their audience might face – giving them a jump on their competition.
#4 Chat & Voicebots While a catchy CTA might be enough to hook a digital visitor into visiting your platform, they’ll likely feel bamboozled if it leads to a confusing or lackluster landing page. Instead of trying to extract a lead’s contact details like an amateur dentist pulling teeth, or overwhelming them with paragraphs of technical information – try adding an interactive tool like a chat or voice bot. This one-on-one, human-like interaction can encourage users to engage with your brand more meaningfully, help convert leads and increase customer satisfaction.

As you see, the list of why marketing automation is great continues to grow.

You can download my Free ebook on everything you need to know about Marketing Automation.


Note: This article was originally published in April 2018, but was revised due to new information on the subject.

Read more about Marketing Automation:

Why choose Marketo… The Second Time Around

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