Marketing automation continues to be a top priority for businesses in 2021. Over 53% of marketers report adopting automation in the last year. About 75% of companies also record an increase in efficiency from using marketing automation.
Marketing automation mainly frees your team from the hassle of repetitive tasks. It is also a great way to increase leads and overall marketing efficiency. As the digital population continues to grow globally and competition increases, automation processes are also now advancing.
Here are 8 marketing automation trends you must consider for your marketing strategy to be effective in 2021.
1. Privacy Protections
In recent months, data privacy has become a major concern for most customers. Most marketers have previously used cookies and customers' private data for communications and personalization.
Whereas customers love personalized content, they are growing more concerned about the repercussions. In several countries, various entities seek legal action on this issue, attempting to restrict companies' access to such data.
By 2023, more and more consumers, especially in the US, will have their data covered by privacy protection laws. This trend will mostly eliminate spammy marketing tactics. Consumers don’t want to share too much info precisely because of such issues.
So, in 2021 and beyond, data usage transparency should be a top priority for your marketing automation strategy.
- You should be clear on consumer consent for data use.
- Create clear policies in this regard, and help the customers understand how you will use their data to benefit them.
2. Automated retargeting
Even amid concerns about data privacy, automated retargeting is increasing in relevance. Especially in B2B markets, customers do not always buy on the first encounter.
However, "invasive" techniques like tracking pixels are now increasingly scrutinized. So, marketers will need to find a way around this to collect enough data for retargeting. Segmentation tools like on SharpSpring will become even more helpful as data collection avenues.
Such tactics mean your retargeting efforts must now be based on various forms of customer data, behavioral triggers, etc. Data-backed retargeting will also help you retain your existing customers, which is even cheaper than attracting new ones.
3. Adding a human touch to the robots
Chatbots have been around for a while and are here to stay. They take the workload off your team from having to respond to multiple repetitive customer queries.
Since they are readily available, they play a significant role in customizing the user experience. However, in this era, people no longer want to have generic conversations with bots. So the new trend is to humanize them.
Your customers may need more personalized answers than what chatbots can give them. And, they must be able to talk to a human or at least get a clear answer from the bots. So, many businesses will strive to achieve a healthy balance between the virtual experience and human interactions.
More bots are becoming advanced enough to have meaningful conversations. Your brand needs to follow suit and consider improving your customers' experience when dealing with chatbots or any other inquiry forums.
4. Relatable customer communications
The rapid use of robots has created the impression that marketing automation involves lifeless and emotionless interactions. Since customers desire a more human approach, a growing trend will be conversational messages and voice technologies.
Several companies intend to use AI-powered voice technologies to enhance customer experience.
- Ecommerce leaders like Amazon already use such technologies with considerable success.
- Social media stores like WhatsApp and Facebook are already providing such features to ease communication with customers.
It will become more useful for smaller businesses to acquire tools that use machine learning and natural language processing features. These would create a more conversational tone when interacting with customers, which would, in turn, improve their experience.
5. Single Customer View Meets Automation
A single customer view represents a collection of data with all a customers' information such as demographic info, purchase history, etc. Since customers can be quite different, building a single customer view is now a necessity.
In the future, more businesses will try to integrate this single customer view with marketing automation tools. The goal of this is to create smooth multiple channel experiences for their customers.
The single customer view provides the data needed to deliver personalized messages based on the specific customer's journey. Personalized communications and marketing triggers usually do over 3 times better in terms of engagement and ROI.
Therefore, your business might want to consider implementing this to make better strategic marketing decisions in the months ahead. Improving your customer experience will greatly facilitate conversions and consequently boost business growth.
6. Mobile-Focused Automation
Mobile devices account for over 60% of all web traffic. Many users look for solutions through their mobile devices. End customers even purchase over 40% of goods through their phones.
This trend provides a huge opportunity for businesses to boost their engagement through mobile. Mobile apps allow them to connect with customers firsthand and offer recommendations. This makes them more likely to purchase.
Mobile-focused automation will therefore take center stage, especially for B2C businesses. Furthermore, even search engines increasingly favour sites that offer better mobile-friendly user experiences.
Marketers will leverage these capabilities to target even more customers through mobile avenues like SMS, push notifications, etc.
7. Automated A/B Testing
User experience continues to be of utmost importance for businesses. The use of Artificial Intelligence is now ever so common. However, more marketers will seek to leverage these capabilities for A/B testing.
Customers greatly vary in preferences, and yet most of them prefer personalized marketing experiences. So, it has become essential to incorporate automation into the testing process. Such a system would be able to test marketing messages, processes, etc., which are unique to specific customer categories.
With marketing automation, you will process more data in a short time, which you can then use to boost your campaigns.
8. Predictive CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)
Predictive marketing activity has been around for a while. Now, companies will focus more on customer lifetime value through automation tools. Businesses will focus on studying customer behavioral cues.
They would determine customer preferences, how they behave, motives, etc. This data would help marketers predict the customer lifetime value. Based on those predictions, they will then be able to create customized and cost-effective marketing campaigns.
Many companies might opt for these processes to cut costs. Different customer groups would warrant specific activities and costs proportional to their perceived value. By using marketing automation tools, these businesses can also create exact user profiles to get accurate predictions.
Marketing automation is a must-have for any business seeking to scale its activities in 2021 and beyond. With customers becoming more complex and competition increasing, companies need more enhanced strategies to stand out.
These are just a few major marketing automation trends your business should look out for. They would guide you on staying ahead of the competition.
Automation tool software providers like SharpSpring provide top-notch solutions for customer relationships, sales, etc., that can easily integrate into existing systems. Their all-in-one automation solution will help you increase user experience and boost business growth.