To understand the future of marketing automation, you must understand the importance of the technology and how it can make your marketing process more powerful and efficient. Your competitors have probably already added marketing automation to their business repertoire or they’re evaluating the software for future use. If you haven’t taken steps to look into how marketing automation can change how you do marketing, you’re already one step behind and at a huge disadvantage.
As of December 2013, nearly 60% of top performing companies in the United States were using marketing automation. This number will only increase as the benefits of marketing automation become impossible to ignore. The marketing automation industry is valued around $10 billion so, obviously, something is working. But what does the future hold? Well, for starters, expect to see a significant increase in the use of mobile technology in marketing automation. Today, customers expect to interact with Marketer’s and their favorite brands on the go – and because the majority of customers are on the go – you can’t afford not to take advantage of this technology. Wearable technology use will grow from 22 million in 2012 to 177 million, by 2018. In five short years, marketers can expect that the way they gather data will be substantially changed by wearable technology, creating a significant marketing opportunity.
But marketing automation will also transition to better customer service, based on aggregated data. For example, if you’re a customer who’s just signed up for a freemium trial and you call in on an unrelated question, it’s not a mistake if your customer service representative offers you a deal to extend your freemium offer or offers you a discount to convert to a paying customer. It’s all about good analytics and allowing companies to track where their customers are in the purchasing process to make sure you’re offering the best deals and service available. Software will also become much easier to use with interfaces that are easier to understand and user-friendly. Since smaller businesses might not be as familiar with bigger and more complicated systems as a large company (not to mention that they may not need a large, overly complicated system), smaller businesses tend to need skill development, training, and help with resources.
As technology becomes smarter, you’ll see that marketing automation will use new ways to determine the purchasing habits of your customers. This means that businesses, regardless of size or output, will be able to figure out who their most valuable customers are and how to engage them in ways that make the most of their spending, buying power, and habits.