Marketing automation is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean it stays the same. This new technology is already changing and evolving into next-generation solutions for businesses faced with challenges such as increasingly time-crunched audiences, marketing-savvy prospects, and increased competition for customers’ already divided attention. In our look at what’s ahead for 2017, here’s what we see for marketing automation.
Greater Choice Puts Customers in Control
Leads place a high priority on a great customer experience from start to finish, but how do marketers provide the content their prospects want to see at precisely the right pace? Managing the scope and timing of campaigns by hand would be a labor-intensive and ultimately inefficient way to reach audiences, but with marketing automation software, you let the system handle most of the details. The next step in marketing automation gives more control to customers themselves, allowing them to use preference pages to throttle the volume of communication to their desired level and setting up automated nurture programs to deliver content at the appropriate pace.
Personalization and Customization Scale to Larger Audiences
Scalability has always been a major advantage of marketing automation, and that’s going to become even more important over the coming year. Automation lets you carry on conversations that feel highly customized and personal with any number of leads at the same time. Better personalization options, including dynamic content, customized landing pages, and user-driven mobile experiences, improve communication while making you accessible to far larger audiences without losing the personal touch.
Machine Learning Makes Marketing Automation Smarter
Software that learns like a human mind is still the stuff of science fiction – but that doesn’t mean machines don’t learn. Machine learning is a core feature of marketing automation systems now, which means each campaign you run becomes a little better, a little smarter, a little closer to perfection. Systems can now analyze what’s gone before and predict what will have the greatest probability of success in the future, mapping out its own routes for your marketing automation team to approve or alter. Machine learning will never take the place of A/B split testing, but it’s an increasingly valuable addition to other means of gathering and analyzing marketing data.
Content Marketing Goes Multi-Channel
One of the areas in which marketing automation technology excels is in managing multi-channel campaigns. As content marketing takes on increased importance as a key differentiator in a crowded digital marketplace, having a centralized system orchestrating every campaign is a must. Multi-channel content marketing deploys interrelated content on social media, customized landing pages, blog posts, newsletters, and direct mail in such a way that leads who see one piece of it are drawn to seek more of it through other channels. Marketing automation makes it possible to coordinate this kind of sophisticated, interdependent content seamlessly.
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