Technology, how we utilise and process it, is continuously advancing. 

Events in 2020 forced many businesses to vastly improve their use of tech. And to keep up with digital marketing trends and consumer expectations, many marketers are increasingly adopting marketing automation technology.

Marketing automation has been around for decades but really evolved around the early to mid 2000s, right after the dot-com bubble. Since then, spending on automation tools has rapidly increased and the industry is predicted to be worth $26 billion by 2023.

In this blog, we’ll examine the main trends in marketing automation in 2021 and the marketing automation trends that will dominate in the years ahead.

 

Marketing automation trends in 2021

Personalisation

Knowing just a user’s name is a thing of the past. With advanced technologies currently being used, personalisation allows you to target the right people by accurately identifying behaviours.

Consumers aren’t just buyers. They are investors and before they spend money on a product, they want to feel that the brand whose product they are buying understands what they like.

This is where personalisation comes in. If a brand sends an email with a deal on something you have never bought then does that brand really know you? By personalising emails and other promotions, it keeps the consumer happy and allows the brand to invest time and money elsewhere. 

 

Single Customer View

Functioning in a similar way to consumer products such as Klarna and Clearpay so users can track spending history, Single Customer View (SCV) is a marketing automation tool that draws together all the relevant and available data to provide a complete picture of an individual.

This provides marketers with huge amounts of data that are easy to manage and analyse in a short space of time. Data such as purchase history and product preferences allow marketers to see return on investment and the value of customer retention.

A perfect example is the travel sector. Marketers are able to use consumer’s data to tell when they are going on holiday, and how long for, which is part of the holiday cycle. Marketers are able to keep track and send promotional emails around the same time holidays are booked. 

 

Marketing automation and CRM

While not an automation tool, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) complements marketing automation technology to reach its full potential.

CRM software is primarily for sales but integrated with marketing automation it’s invaluable to marketers. 

Used together, businesses use the data to guide interactions with current and potential customers, and track sales and give detailed reports. Automation tools provide the CRM with detailed data to support relationship building, and lead nurturing and analysis, 

Salesforce and Hubspot are perhaps two of the best known CRM specialists. 

 

What’s next in marketing automation trends?

Interactive Voice Response powered by Artificial Intelligence

According to a Microsoft survey, 61% of customers had cut ties with a brand because customer service had been atrocious. How many times have you endured an automated voice and choosing the wrong option before actually speaking to a person? 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) powered AI is radically improving the customer experience by enabling real-time human-like interactions that reduce the time to a resolution.

From a business perspective, AI powering IVR streamlines operations, reduces complaints, and provides more detailed insights into customer interactions. As IVR technologies become more and more sophisticated, increasing numbers of call centres are investing in the smart technology.    

 

Martech

The term Martech is often used as a broad term to describe any piece of software marketers use.

While many marketers use marketing technology in their day-to-day activities, using a Martech stack with a clear marketing automation focus is fast becoming a prominent trend.

A Martech stack typically includes technologies across planning and organisation, attraction, conversion and nurture, and sales and customer support.

According to a recent survey, businesses that are using marketing technology have seen a 30% rise in profits. How has it helped? 

Martech has increased workflow, campaigns have been made easier to implement, and made data quicker to view. It’s predicted that by the beginning of 2022 most companies will be using a Martech stack and those who already are will increase their budget to invest in more of the technology. 

 

Video marketing

It’s no secret that video marketing has been around for years, just look at companies such as ASOS who show you how a product is used through a video. 

From research carried out in 2018, it was found that 85% of internet users watch video content and a further 93% of companies have reported a higher rate of new customers through video. This is why by as early as 2022 it’s likely video marketing will become the next ‘must have’ in marketing automation to get the right content to the right customer, including sharing video content to your email subscribers.

 

Future marketing automation trends

Automated forecasting and business opportunities

Consumers are turning digital more than ever and the pandemic has increased that push. Which means more business but how do you keep up that demand? 

Here’s how – by mixing marketing automation with forecasting, you’re able to keep track of your digital data, examine past and existing sales, then from that information you’re able to create a conversation. Through combining these, you can more accurately predict future customer behaviour, letting you focus on creating amazing campaigns and watch your ROIs increase. Forecasting will be the foundation of increasing the revenue and growth of your business. 

 

Hyperautomation

Hyperautomation software is used in different ways that will increase marketing efforts and keep consumer engagement at an all-time high. With marketing efforts, hyperautomation will increase digital ads and carry out research that will keep you ahead of the game. 

In terms of consumer engagement, it’s predicted that the same software will engage with consumers much faster by collecting data from third parties. Therefore conversations between consumers and businesses will be much more efficient. 

 

Offline Conversion Tracking

Facebook uses location data to show people the nearest shop, including any sales and advertisements they might have. Marketing automation will soon be able to carry out similar technologies, showing your customers anytime when they’re near your brands all on one dashboard.

 

There are so many products out there that can really help your business, whether it’s CRM software or using marketing automation.  

What are your thoughts on the upcoming trends? Can they help take your business to new heights?

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