The marketing automation market generated revenue of $3.86 Billion in 2016 and is anticipated to reach up to $7.63 Billion by 2025.
Marketing automation can power entire marketing campaigns today. The software can not only help your business communicate with your audience, but it can also help you to identify leads, score them based on their interaction with your brand, inﬂuence your buyer’s decision making process throughout their buying journey, and so much more.
Categories that fall under marketing automation, such as campaign management, email marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing, lead nurturing and scoring, and reporting and analytics, make up a signiﬁcant subset of marketing technology. All of these areas have been impacted by technological advancements in the form of predictive analytics, machine learning and AI, and higher personalization of content. As technologies continue to advance, marketing automation will only become more powerful.
The following are some of the ways that marketing automation platforms are evolving.
In the last few years, marketing automation has completely evolved from a one-size-ﬁts strategy that sends out regular communications, to a more ‘trigger’ based system. This basically means that marketing automation can now be programmed to send out relevant communications based on how a prospect interacts with a business online. For example, if they download an eBook, then the platform will send out an email to them, or if they visit a specific part of the website, the platform may start remarketing to them. This gives greater alignment and personalization for each individual throughout their customer journey.
This level of personalization will only increase going forward as marketing automation will start to strategically encompass the entire customer experience. Marketing automation platforms are able to give marketers a single view of an individual customer, which can then be applied to the campaign to deliver highly personalized communications.
Marketing automation was once a solution for lead generation, nurturing and conversion; however, as the demands of marketers have increased, so have the capabilities of marketing automation platforms. Marketing automation can now incorporate pretty much every area of marketing, from inbound marketing to outbound marketing, social media, point of sale and events (both on and offline). This is known as omnichannel marketing. Reporting and measurement have also evolved, from previously measuring prospect responses to now providing full-featured analytics reports. Some of the more advanced platforms will also offer predictive analytics and even AI.
The Structure of Marketing Automation
The structure of marketing automation solutions is also changing. Some of the available options include suites, where one vendor provides a marketing automation platform with several functionalities; platforms, where a vendor provides a ‘platform’ or a stage for a number of brands to integrate together; and clouds that offer a wide range of integrated solutions to address all components of the marketing spectrum. Integration is key for these platforms that have to work together with data management systems such as CRM and CDP, as well as with other marketing technology tools.
As mentioned above, integrating marketing automation tools is vital. Marketing automation platforms have to create seamless integration with other tech tools, and not only marketing ones. These platforms should integrate with any other digital tool that impacts the customer in order to curate the most comprehensive and actionable data and insights.
Furthermore, more comprehensive connections to data and analytics will continue to evolve. This will enable a full suite of lifetime engagement insights to focus on the entire customer journey (even post-purchase) so that marketers can deliver a seamless customer experience.
In order to get the most out of these advancements in marketing automation, the marketers using the technology also need to evolve. Platforms are only as good as the people behind them, so it’s important that marketers continuously learn about the features of the platforms that they are using. Increasingly user-friendly interfaces, as well as built-in assistants on these platforms, will help users to apply these platforms to their full potential. However, there will be a degree of responsibility that falls to the marketer to ensure that they know the software they are using.
As the marketing automation software itself is continuously changing and adding new features, this is not a ‘set and forget’ task. Digital marketing agencies have to evolve with the platforms that they are using in order to get the most out of them.
Vasilii Chekalov is a computer geek with great affinity for healthy lifestyle and weights. While not at the gym, his inquisitive mind devours information about digital marketing, outreach strategies and growth hacks. Master organizer, he knows the Α and the Ω of potent and enticing virtual presence.