From humble beginnings, marketing automation now commands a tremendous amount of data and helps enterprises deliver personalized experiences at all stages of the buyer journey.
Today’s automation is so sophisticated, it’s often difficult to know where to start harnessing its vast (and growing!) power. Here’s how to get your firm moving forward in today’s marketing automation climate.
Marketing automation is more prevalent and ubiquitous than ever before.
Collect Pertinent Data at Every Stage
Demographic information – age, gender, location, industry – certainly has its place. However, it’s not enough to deliver a truly personalized experience. Companies must be more creative about inspiring users to volunteer specific details throughout the buyer journey.
Progressive profiling is the key. This describes the process of gradually collecting the most vital details without ever making users feel overwhelmed. A good CRM solution can centralize this data along with the user behavior data captured by analytics software.
Embrace Interactive Messaging Platforms
Users prefer interactive experiences to reading static pages, even if they are looking for relatively straightforward information. Websites with interactive messaging not only have a much greater potential for conversions, but also collect useful information in a frictionless way.
Think about it: A chat representative has the opportunity to provide a concierge customer service experience, but first he or she needs key details about the customers’ needs. User tend to see this as legitimate, especially in preference to long and intimidating-looking opt in forms.
Integrate Artificial Intelligence
AI is the natural next step for empowering messaging platforms for the biggest possible impact. A well-designed AI bot is even more efficient than a trained customer service rep and can respond on the fly to cues and trends that would be invisible to a human.
Artificial intelligence takes a lot of skill to create. Luckily, there are now solutions you can get right out of the box. Remarkably low overhead means AI can help you scale, serving hundreds or even thousands of customers simultaneously while gathering data all the while.
Get Ready for Connected Devices
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have led to a tectonic shift in how online content is sought and consumed. However, this is only the beginning: A new wave of devices is on the way, and e-commerce enterprises must be ready for them.
Wearables and the Internet of Things will both introduce whole new generations of devices sure to see widespread use. Consider how you can extend and expand your current automation capabilities to collect data from this hardware.
After the initial learning curve, automation pays for itself in time and money. Businesses that fully embrace automation can achieve amazing things at low overhead and headcount, advantages that only compound over time.