Automation can be employed across a variety of initiatives, and digital marketing is no exception. The article below explains why automation is the latest trend to watch in the digital marketing world. CK
Article written by Michael Brenner originally appeared in Marketing Insider Group on August 5, 2020.
When you hear the term “automation,” you typically associate it with the latest technology, AI, and computer data science.
However, automation is actually not that new. Humans have always been searching for ways to make our daily lives easier by getting machines to take over various tasks.
In fact, the earliest examples of automation can be traced back over 2,000 years when the Chinese developed trip hammers powered by flowing water.
Our more modern understanding of digital automation really started in the 1980s when engineers started to look for ways to automated the entire manufacturing process. Since then, computers started to become a part of our daily lives, and thanks to modern tech, automation is now more common than ever – especially in the business world.
There is surprisingly a lot of controversy surrounding marketing automation from both marketers and consumers. Apart from the fear that automated robots will steal away millions of jobs, many claim that it eliminates the human touch in marketing that is so critical for lead nurturing.
But the reality is that digital and content automation is here and it is here to stay. After all, three out of four marketers are now using automation in some capacity in their strategies. But if you need a little bit more convincing, here are the top five reasons why you need to be ready to embrace digital marketing automation right away!
1. Increases Brand Recall
We live in a world of instant gratification. We can use our phones to instantly give us answers to questions, pull up directions, stream music and videos we want, and order food straight to our front door. We are also constantly distracted with notifications and advertisements – with the result that the attention span of today’s consumers has become shockingly short (although not quite down to a goldfish’s) – they are likely to forget an interaction with your brand unless you make it remarkable (or screw up).
Automation allows your company to use promotion techniques like remarketing to keep your brand or product at the forefront of their minds. We all remember that moment we discussed a certain product or brand over the phone with our friends and saw a Facebook ad for it the next minute!
The thing is that after a certain amount of times, this brand name actually sticks and it can influence your purchasing decisions. Research from Red C Marketing shows that 4 out of 5 customers are likely to gravitate towards a brand that they are familiar with compared to a new one. So, establishing this recognition with automatic retargeting is going to help boost conversions.
2. Improves Personalization
Obviously, personalization is on the forefront of most marketing strategies due to the high demand for customized experiences from consumers. Unfortunately, though, many are struggling to keep up. According to a report titled Decoding Personalization from Sailthru, most experts agree that a shortage of resources, issues with data collection, and an overall lack of internal knowledge and expertise stand in the way of effective personalization for their company.
The only true solution here is intelligent automation. Technology like AI and machine learning can gather, segment, and analyze data also instantaneously and turn those numbers into actionable strategies that influence consumer behavior. Automation can be used for the simplest acts of personalization (such as product recommendations) to the most complex (AI-powered sales bot and customized webpage layouts for effective lead nurturing).
3. Helps Meet Customers’ Expectations
Consumer demand for instant interactions and assistance is making service and support a burden for many companies – they simply cannot keep up with rising customer expectations. Smaller companies cannot afford to pay for round-the-clock customer service; even larger corporations find it hard to respond to every request in a timely manner.
Consumers want instant assistance from businesses and they are becoming unwilling to wait on the phone or for a response via email or even a social media DM. Automated live chats can instantly answer common questions, solve problems, and connect customers with the right “real” person if they need further help. Whether it is a guided live chat that offers various options for answers or an intelligent AI bot with NLP capabilities, automated customer service is going to drastically improve the customer experience.
4. Creates New Roles in Marketing
Although it is certainly true that automation will put people out of work in some industries and traditional roles, it is creating new job roles in the technology as well as business realms. Many companies are expanding their C-Suite with new roles like CAO (Chief Automation Officer), CUEO (Chief User Experience Officer), CDO (Chief Data Officer), and CPO (Chief Privacy Officer). Each of these C-Suite positions will play a critical role to ensure that automation is helping both the business and the customer all while protecting consumer data.
The demand for data scientists and marketing automation experts is also on the rise, with salaries of specialists averaging at around $50,000 a year. What’s even more exciting is the opportunity for many people with these skills to work remotely as independent contractors or consultants for businesses that need assistance in this area.
5. Can Be Used By Businesses of All Sizes
Typically, when emerging technology arrives on the scene it is only accessible to large corporations with massive budgets. But automation is a great leveler, especially in marketing; companies of all sizes can incorporate automation in varying degrees. It allows small businesses and startups to offer customers a better UX with personalized experiences and automated communication for lead nurturing.
Martech is becoming more accessible and affordable for SMBs – many tools offer price tiers based on your business’s size and application. On the other hand, enterprises can use automation to connect with customers on an individual basis through ABM and hyper-personalization.
Embrace the Reality
If you’ve been holding back on going all-in with automated marketing, it’s time to ask yourself why. Automation is driving the future of digital marketing, whether you like it or not (but thankfully, there are a lot of reasons to like it).
If you need a good starting point, begin by looking for the aspects of your company where simple automation can make the biggest impact. This includes
- Document collaboration and sharing
- Email marketing
- Task scheduling and management
- Project management
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing
- Customer service
Automation is here to help your business grow – if you’re willing to give it a chance.