5 Marketing Automation trends for 2021
Over 50% of companies are using marketing automation today and this number is expected to increase fast
More companies are looking to build scalable processes for superior customer experience. With the share of marketing spends moving to online even more, and with the medium lending itself to real-time feedback and optimisation, marketing automation is bound to take CenterStage in 2021 again. Here are the top 5 trends :
1. Marketing Technology and Marketing Automation will continue to grow
The Martech landscape in 2021 already has over 8000 companies according to chiefmartech.com which represents a 24.5% growth over last year.
A whopping 5233% growth since 2011!
For once the CFOs love marketing automation too since it has improved bottom-line growth, with over 70% of Indian businesses using it primarily for improving their lead conversion rate. This is one space where ML & AI are used effectively to gain insights, create segments and drive targeted recommendations.
Numerous platforms are making strides in using ML& AI to sharpen their engines so that companies can leverage them to achieve scale. Customer data platforms (CDPs) are also gaining prominence and no MarTech stack is complete these days without the holy trinity of CRM-MAP-CDP. The only way to map, store, analyze and act on the complete end-to-end customer journey is by having all the data in one place using a Customer Data Platform (CDPs).
2. Conversational marketing
The Gartner Hype Cycle has highlighted chatbots and conversational marketing as a key trend
Gartner explains ”Conversational marketing technologies enable interactions between companies and customers that mimic human dialogue and do so at scale. This category is near the Peak of Inflated Expectations phase”.” Messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger also had huge success after integrating Chatbots for brands. According to a study, over 60% of users who received a chatbot ping on Messenger
WhatsApp is en route to allow brands to integrate chatbots with their API, opening up a whole new avenue for brand-user engagement. With over a billion MAU, this is a tremendous opportunity for businesses.
Chatbots will enhance their role in managing customer engagement and doing the heavy lifting for customer support and enhancing customer experience however they till struggle to understand the human context at times. The evolution is on!
3. Personalisation & Retention will get even more focus
Marketing automation has enabled businesses to drive personalization of not only the messaging & content but also the medium that the user prefers to interact with. Additionally, platforms are also able to optimise on time of communication for each user depending on the email open rate time that is best for the user.
At any given time, there are over 1000 campaigns running without cluttering the user's inbox or notification drawer. Deals and communication can be configured at runtime depending on the customer’s online shopping habits, preferences and past purchase data.
Companies use platforms to understand churn and retention. With each passing day, retention is becoming the new acquisition since it is 5X more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Driving a personalised experience for every user, enhancing customer experience and predicting user needs will drive retention. Martech platforms are stepping up to solve these problems efficiently and marketers are stretching the asset even further.
4. Lifecycle marketing
With growth loops taking centre stage, we often hear that funnel marketing is dead since customer journeys are nonlinear today. Marketers need to consider communications from a customer point-of-view throughout the customer journey. They need to create a co-ordinated 'always-on' contact strategy for the whole customer lifecycle to boost conversions and retention.
The focus on users will depend on their Customer Lifetime Value ( CLTV). Marketing platform will let brands create highly accurate user CLTV profiles by analyzing behavioural and past purchase history. Additionally, with segmentation, brands will be able to design highly personalized marketing campaigns at a reasonable marketing cost
5. Marketing Automation will be directed towards Mobile 1st approach
While mobile becomes the primary device for browsing, entertainment, communication and shopping, building a mobile 1st approach has become imperative for marketers. They will leverage tools like push notifications, SMS, mobile wallet and in-app popups effectively to drive personalised communication with users. Marketing automation platforms will play a key role to analyse, segment and deliver personalised communication on the mobile platform.
Mobile will become the go-to channel for marketers in 2020 for engagement and retention. Marketing tools will enable capturing behavioural and transactional data on the mobile and predict user’s intent and buying behaviour. Using a platform that can optimise the message across channels is important, as not playing this right can border on spam and the user can just as easily block a communication channel which is a step toward reduced user engagement and churn
In conclusion, keep an eye out for these trends, plan well to leverage the platforms and retain your hard-earned users.
Reach out to me if you need help in solving marketing automation problems.