Marketing automation allows teams to provide personalized and helpful brand interactions at scale for thousands of users worldwide. By implementing automation, small teams have found ways to level the playing field against much larger competitors.
The beating heart of marketing automation is AI – and AI itself is about to change significantly.
Unlike humans, who can think organically and creatively about problems, AI focuses on a form of pattern recognition that’s utterly alien to our thought processes. With better programming, more processing power, and more data, it can practically predict the future.
New approaches to coding and “training” AI means that, within a few years, we can expect a quantum leap in what it is capable of. Here’s what that might look like:
1. Personalization That Rivals Face-to-Face Interaction
In the future, marketing automation suites will be able to listen and respond to your users as they interact. To make the most of it, marketing teams will need to develop a cross-channel strategy so customers never feel they’re “starting over” when they interact with you on a new platform.
2. “Just in Time” Content Will Replace Static Content
Marketers are already beginning to develop evolutionary approaches to content, drawing upon dozens of data streams to create output unique to a user’s request. While this is currently limited to things like whitepapers and other reports, it will soon permeate the content ecosystem.
3. Data Science Will Allow More Predictive Approaches
Today, predictive analytics empower marketing and sales teams to recognize leads who are on their way to becoming potential buyers. Brands can get a head start now by ensuring account scoring is already in place and clarifying how each content piece fits into the buyer journey.
4. Sales and Marketing Collaboration Will Improve
Closed loop reporting between sales and marketing has been a watchword for some time. New AI approaches will support better teamwork, but the basic scaffolding needs to be in place. Start now by aligning on definitions, goals, and roles. Automation can help you do the rest.
5. Laser Focus on the Marketing Metrics that Matter
No matter how good software tools become, you’ll still need an understanding of the playing field to make the most of them. Determine which metrics are real drivers of business success – not just “vanity metrics – and work across platforms to ensure you capture that data.
Tomorrow’s marketing automation solutions will be capable of crunching more data than ever before. However, they’ll still need the guidance of experienced marketers who understand the human dimension of their brand.
There’s no reason to worry that machines will “replace” today’s marketing function. Instead, with a little forethought, software will make marketers more insightful than ever.