It’s clear that automation’s now a priority for marketers around the world. If it wasn’t, there’s no way such significant sums of money would be ploughed into its development.
Presumably, the rise of the automation marketplace will have all sorts of implications for our marketing endeavours.
With this in mind, it begs the question: what are the marketing automation trends you should be on the lookout for the year ahead?
Keep reading to find out…
10 Marketing Automation Trends
Let’s look at the 10 automation trends that are sure to stand out in 2019.
1. Multi-Channel Marketing Will Be BIG
Multi-channel (or cross-channel) marketing describes the integration of different marketing platforms into one concerted, centrally managed effort.
Email, social media and mobile marketing efforts will no longer be individual and separate. The idea’s been around for a while. But it’s only now that the technology’s catching up.
In 2019 you can expect to see the growing use of automation and cross-channel marketing. Essentially, new tools will be established that facilitate seamless integration of different marketing techniques.
2. Artificial Intelligence Will Develop Further
AI has major marketing potential in 2019.
It’s automatic by nature. It can track user engagement and behaviour, and then connect them with your business with no manual intervention. Not only that, AI will automatically let your prospects know about the content they might like, or send emails with appropriate subject lines, and so on.
It can learn, adapt and respond in a fully automated capacity to enhance the user experience.
3. Chatbot Usage Will (Continue To) Increase
Chatbots have been one of the rising stars of marketing efforts. They’re exceptionally effective.
For instance, it’s been found that they provide an open rate of at least 60%. That means 60% of people who receive a chatbot message will engage with it. The number of chatbots will continue to grow in 2019.
This has a particular power in terms of automation. Combined with artificial intelligence, these bots will automatically analyse data, engage users, and qualify leads.
Chatbots could also send messages based on the information they’ve learned. Been looking at new cars? Imagine receiving an automatic message with discounts and dealer contact details.
4. Online Forms Will Be Less Important
The days of using forms to collect user information are dwindling.
Online forms were an effective way to take contact information in the past. And there’s certainly still room for them.
However, there are better alternatives these days, such as chatbots. Website visitors are far more likely to interact with your site when they’re engaged with first.
The AI involved will then support the user, and help you collect the necessary info. 2019 will see fewer forms and more conversation.
5. Leads Will Be Scored
Imagine a tool that automatically assigns a score to a user. This score tells you whether they’re a qualified prospect or not.
Predictive lead scoring tools will look at different factors (such as past buying behaviour, demographics and engagement patterns) to ascertain the quality of the lead. The ensuing score will tell you whether to pursue them or not.
This allows you to target your marketing efforts at leads who are much more likely to convert.
6. Social Media Marketing Will Be Automatic
In 2019, ever more social media marketing will be automated.
There are already a huge array of tools to support this process. Hootsuite, SocialDrift and ContentWorks are three such examples. You can schedule posts, auto-publish, and view reports at the push of a button.
The power of social media marketing will reach new heights this year.
7. Content Will (Still) Be King
Content will remain just as important to your marketing endeavours in 2019.
Automation will play a key role in creating and utilising it effectively though. You’ll have artificial intelligence to thank.
Analysing the data automatically will help you create content that’s relevant and of interest to your users. Next up, the information you glean of new leads will help you send the right content to them from the outset. You know what they want, and you have the content to match.
8. Content Will Be Personalised
Personalised content should be at the forefront of your 2019 marketing efforts.
Engagement and conversions both increase when marketing efforts are personalised. Email subject headers should include a prospects name, specific content should be recommended based on a client’s interests, and so on.
In 2019, automation tools will be increasingly used to collate and utilise the necessary information to make this happen.
9. You’ll Have Greater Choice
We’ve already seen how marketing automation software was due to be worth USD $5.5 billion by 2019.
The size of the market means you can expect all manner of new products and tech to develop in this field. As time goes on, you’ll have far more services to support you with automating your marketing duties.
10. You Shouldn’t Stop at Automation
It’s easy to over-rely on automation in your marketing.
After all, it’s quicker, simpler, and demands less resource to sustain versus manual techniques. But people demand connection. There’s only so far automation can take you in terms of building trust and ongoing relationships.
There’s a difference between personalised content (which can be fully automated) and a personal experience. In the long run, it’ll pay to invest energy into real, human interactions with your prospects.
Time to Automate Your Marketing!
There you have it: 10 marketing automation trends to master in 2019.
Over the course of this year, you can expect to see automation being utilised more and more in marketing efforts.
Multi-channel marketing will be easier to utilise, AI is sure to develop, chatbots will be used more frequently, and online forms will be less prevalent. Marketers will benefit from lead scoring tools, automated social media efforts, as well as the creation and use of personalised content.
Finally, the rise of automation will present marketers with evermore ‘automatic’ options. However, with the growing use of automation, it’ll be important to remember the value of true, real-life connections. Ultimately, automation’s a powerful tool, but classic, manual marketing efforts won’t be forgotten.
Hopefully, with all this in mind, you’ll see great success with your automated marketing efforts this year!
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Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo.