15  February  Posted by Steve Saars

Marketing Automation Advances to Track in 2018

Are you spending hours every day managing all your customer communications manually or have you discovered the time-saving, hyper-networking benefits of marketing automation? Thanks to products from companies such as SharpSpring, Marketo, and Hubspot, more brands are beginning to adopt marketing automation to enhance their customer relationships. In fact, advances in marketing automation are expected to drive an increase in U.S. digital marketing revenues to $120 billion by 2021, according to a recent study by Forrester. As artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics software becomes more sophisticated, so do the tools software developers create to attract prospects, personalize customer experiences, and convert them to sales.

CMS Wire Contributor Brian Wallace reviews four marketing automation trends to track in the coming year.

Automated Social Media Networking | Research from MarketingSherpa shows 58 percent of an estimated 2 billion worldwide social media users are following brands on social platforms. Expect to see more automated tools to help businesses make these connections. To get an idea of this technology, check out SocialDrift, a service that uses a company’s basic target audience information to automatically engage with potential new customers through likes, comments, and follows.

Email Workflows: Integrated, Behavior-Based | Nurture your existing contacts by using an email workflow that triggers personalized communication based on customer behaviors, in addition to demographics. Software such as AdEspresso and LeadsBridge integrate email workflows with customer relationship management software to reach prospects, retarget online ads, and send emails in real time when leads have been collected.

Predictive Lead Scoring | Increase conversion rates on inbound and outbound campaigns with predictive lead scoring technology. Software platforms such as Infer leverage data to quickly identify a company’s most promising prospects, build targeted segments, and personalize outreach at scale.

Personalized Website Content | Think about your personalized experience when browsing on Amazon and Netflix. Expect to see more companies mirroring this marketing automation technology with services like Optimizely Personalization and Adobe Target. These platforms allow companies to deliver targeted content based on real-time customer data that’s attached to a visitor’s IP address.

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