The advent of social media and digital advertising has made marketing more dynamic because it gives marketers more control over their strategy and provides them with a chance to make changes in real-time.
In the past, marketers couldn’t be proactive because they had little to no control over how their strategy played out between publication cycles and production sprints.
Today, there’s a whole lot of data available to marketers, about their customers and their campaigns, all of which can help create, test, and refine the marketing strategy, on the go, to get the most out of every dollar spent.
However, this level of control also makes the job of a marketer that much tougher. It’s why companies need to think about automating certain repetitive and tactical marketing activities in order to free up time for the team to focus on things that are more strategic.
Marketing automation doesn’t necessarily need to be complex either. Organizations can start with something as basic as email and landing page automation for lead generation, and work their way up to advanced products and strategies that leverage technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Honestly, most mature businesses have already invested in some form of marketing automation. For them, the question really is this: How can we better automate our marketing campaigns and strategies?
Obviously, the answer depends on the organization and its automation journey so far.
For some companies, the answer lies in improving the customer experience through AI-powered chatbots and messaging apps. For others, it likes in making better use of data.
Hubspot VP of Marketing Jon Dick recently said that he expects messaging and chat (on-and off-site) to have a huge impact on marketing automation this year.
“This growing channel will give marketers the opportunity to better connect with their audiences in a more helpful, human, on-demand way. It’s how people like to communicate today,” said Dick.
The key with messaging, Dick explained, will be understanding how users expect to engage with businesses, and delivering a blend of automation and human support to deliver on that expectation.
Lenovo Senior Manager of Global Digital Marketing Michael Ballard, on the other hand, expects to enable his marketing team with more tools to automate how they leverage data.
“With this explosion of technologies also comes an explosion of data. And not just access to contact names, but access to traits, intent, buying patterns, etc. If we can harness what’s available to us and focus strategies that align all this great information, there is a great opportunity for everyone, including the customer!” said Ballard.
The only thing, however, that companies seeking to improve their marketing automation must keep in mind is that they must constantly keep thinking about the market, their competition, and their customer’s needs.
So long as businesses use marketing automation to improve the experience, they’ll continue to win a share of their customer’s hearts along with a bigger share of their wallets.