As digital marketing gets increasingly complex, more and more marketers are investing in automation. Recent research shows that 75 percent of companies are already using at least one type of marketing automation tool. In addition, Forrester estimates that global automation spend will reach US$25 billion by 2023.
This investment is not surprising given the benefits marketing automation offers. Four in five marketers saw an increase in leads thanks to automation, and 77 percent had an increase in conversions. Automation has also been reported to improve productivity by 20 percent .
Creating unique, engaging experiences for always-on consumers will continue to be a priority in 2020, with Gartner revealing that two-thirds of customer experience leaders expect budget to rise this year, and automation will be pivotal to achieving this. So, what are the trends in marketing automation that brands need to watch out for in 2020?
1. Personalization and Predictive Recommendations
Personalization will continue to be one of the big marketing automation trends for 2020. According to Gartner, 14 percent of the total marketing budget is being allocated to personalization. Of this, 44 percent is being spent on technology to achieve it.
Personalization is nothing new; customers reward businesses that deliver personal, value-added experiences. However, automation tools enable marketers to do it more effectively by helping them better understand their customers’ likes and preferences.
By integrating and analyzing all of customer data, including on-site behavior, user attributes, and past purchases along with legally compliant external data, these automation tools can provide marketers with accurate insights for hyper-personalization and make predictive product recommendations at scale for better results and ROI.
2. Identifying Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
With hyper-personalization and predictive recommendations, engagement and conversions increase. To measure and evaluate success in this area, marketers can use the key performance indicators of customer lifetime value (LTV).
LTV is the value a customer brings to a business over a set period. Key metrics to determine LTV include average order value, purchase frequency, gross margin, and churn rate.
By investing in marketing automation tools, marketers are gaining the ability to collect and crunch this type of data more efficiently. This helps them build highly-accurate user profiles, and to identify and predict their low, medium, and high LTV customers. With this knowledge, marketers can then prioritize high LTV segments to boost ROI and build long-term loyalty.
3. Orchestrated Multichannel Journeys
Today’s customer journeys are not only non-linear and two-way, but also multichannel, meaning consumers do not see a brand in silos. They tend to have multiple touchpoints with the brand for communication and purchases, and therefore they expect a seamless journey across touchpoints or channels.
Such reality requires marketers to take a multichannel approach to reach customers wherever they are. In doing so, brands could see a 15 to 35 percent revenue lift, 46 percent increase in app retention, and a 49 percent increase in conversion.
Executing multichannel campaigns at scale can be a challenge. However, automated tools are increasingly being used to deliver personalized multichannel campaigns at scale. Multichannel automation tools integrate data collected from a brand’s every online and offline touchpoint, and enables marketers to plan and execute seamless, timely campaigns across channels. When equipped with machine learning capabilities, marketing automation can also provide insights and predictions about customer behavior for tailored campaign messaging,
4. Social Streamlining and Integration
There were 3.8 billion people using social media globally in January 2020, an increase of 9 percent from the same time last year. With this growing popularity, more and more brands are focusing their efforts on social channels.
To be successful on social media, brands need to be quick and responsive, which social automation tools can help them achieve with ease.
Social tools vary in their function and capabilities, but all can save time and resources. Some help marketers plan and schedule content across channels, such as Facebook and Instagram; others can like and comment on posts to increase engagement or enable cross-channel analytics.
There are also tools that can help marketers set up, monitor, and tweak their social ads based on data so they can optimize their advertising spend. As organic visibility decreases, social advertising will become increasingly important, and automation will be key.
5. Data Collection and Analysis for Strategy
According to McKinsey, companies that use data and analytics are 19 times more likely to achieve above-average profitability than laggards. However, in reality, marketing data can be overwhelming due to the sheer quantity pouring in through different channels. In addition, it isn’t always easy to work out what data is important
To resolve this, marketing automation tools are not only being used to capture data but to sift through it, with an algorithm sorting the data curd from the whey. These insights relating to browsing patterns, social activities, online purchase behavior, and more can then be used to optimize your marketing efforts.
Importantly, data collection and analysis isn’t just a tactic; it should be an essential part of your strategy. Everything you do in your business, and the decisions you make, from your pricing to your campaigns, will need to increasingly be data-driven – and automation can help you do this faster and at scale.
According to the most recent Gartner CDO survey, the implementation of a data and analytics strategy was ranked as the third most critical factor to success.
6. Single 360 Customer Views
The key to delivering hyper-personalization and increasing your ROI is being able to collect and collate complete customer data.. Unfortunately, business silos can create blockages in this understanding. For example, marketing and sales teams may not be sharing information with each other.
To overcome this and create transparency, marketing automation will increasingly be used to enable single 360 customer views. By collecting and combining transactional, POS, store, CRM, mobile and website behavioral data and more, and centralizing it, automation software can show all teams exactly where a customer is on their journey and what their intentions at any given time.
This information and insight can be used to help deliver more timely, relevant, and engaging communications, responses, and interactions.
From hyper-personalization to multichannel journeys and single customer views, automation will continue to revolutionize marketing in 2020. However, to be successful, it is vital that you view automation as strategy. This means integrating it across all areas of your marketing and business. By doing this, you will see better results.
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