Once upon a time, the entire idea of automation was associated with manufacturing and other factory work. Machines were designed to carry out simple, repetitive tasks—typically one machine per each specialized part of the manufacturing process, such as attaching a particular fastener or filling a container.
But as always, technology advanced, and algorithms were developed that could automate much more complex tasks, such as certain elements of the sales funnel. Marketing automation uses tools like predictive analysis, artificial intelligence, and good old-fashioned algorithms and “if/then” programming to create an efficient, powerful system that streamlines your marketing efforts.
Image Source: PRNewsWire
As marketing automation continues to grow, these are the trends to keep an eye on:
Increased Adoption and Integration
As the potential benefits to marketing automation continue to grow, you can expect to see more and more companies not only embracing the technology, but using more of its features to get the most out of it. This technology is still new and in the early adopter stage, but that won’t last for long.
Soon automation could very well be the norm, and cross-platform integration will make it easier to implement than ever, unifying your CRM and other tools used in your marketing efforts to work in concert with each other.
Smarter, More Realistic Chatbots
Source: Credence Research
We’ve already seen a few of the big tech giants employ automated chatbots—programs which use AI to interpret customer comments and questions and formulate responses intended not only to be helpful but to simulate how a real person would respond (while remaining professional and courteous, of course).
The programming language that goes into these bots becomes increasingly complex and nuanced every day, making them more lifelike and more useful. Soon, they could become the norm in customer service.
Automated Emails Will Become More Dynamic
Outbound email marketing is not a one-size-fits-all business strategy, but taking the time to personalize each email for the lead or customer reading it is incredibly time-consuming. That’s why email marketing has already been using automation for a while, even before other areas of automation caught on. Now, with predictive analytics, you can create highly-personalized emails that are delivered at strategic times to take advantage of promising opportunities, all via marketing automation.
Using predictive analytics and marketing automation is only as potent as the data you provide—but soon, you likely won’t have to worry about that much. Data sets such as customer behavior, conversion rates, click-through rates, and other key performance indicators and data which can help fine-tune your automation can be collected by that very same automation system. The growth of AI, and machine learning in particular, could result in systems which learn and grow to meet needs based on the available data.
This goes hand-in-hand with seeing an increase in the adoption and integration of automated marketing solutions. There’s no getting around one basic truth: a tool is only as effective as the one who uses it. Automation can streamline your work, but it can’t make up for a human who doesn’t know how to properly implement it.
Fortunately, as more companies begin to adopt this technology and make use of it, there will be a rise in overall user knowledge and in staff who specialize in being automation experts. By knowing the ins and outs of these systems, they’ll be able to leverage the features to produce real, tangible results and make the most out of this increasingly popular technology.
One thing is for certain: marketing automation is here to stay, and with the potential benefits it offers, it will only continue to grow in popularity as time goes on. As both the users and the technology itself become smarter, that potential only grows more and more potent, creating new horizons and better, more efficient solutions to common problems that businesses face.
About the Author: Anthony Coggine is a HR professional turned business writer. He has been covering a range of topics including training, HR, recruiting and cryptocurrency news.