The Future of Marketing Automation Software
Marketing Automation Software has reached a turning point in its evolution. Up until the present time, most MAS systems have been based on the concept of email blasts, with occasional features tacked on to this core. Email is no longer the main form of marketing, and the clunky “me too!” manner in which the systems behave is outdated and painful to work with.
Here are three areas which Marketing Automation Software solutions will focus on in the near future:
Big Data Integration
Gone are the days when simply maintaining a list of email addresses is sufficient for marketing automation. Upcoming systems will have to absorb information from a myriad of sources, and be able to process the data effectively. Particular focus will be on integrating with Big Data platforms for storage and processing of large volumes of disparate data points.
The source of information will come from linking previously unrelated systems. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI) systems all contain information which can be mined to enhance marketing efforts. By pulling data from all systems which contain customer and sales focused information, marketing automation solutions can utilize a company’s full knowledge to help design and target campaigns.
Aside from syncing with company-held information, upcoming marketing automation engines will pull data from external systems. For example, social media platforms, which are currently one of the most important avenues to acquire customer information. Which leads us into the next area.
Predictive & Personalized Marketing
Customer engagement will become increasingly personalized. In social media for example, customers can be presented marketing campaigns which are tailored to their habits and preferences. Marketing software will be able to take a customer’s previous interactions, post history, “likes”, and other data into account to present messages which are more likely to garner a response.
In order to present such targeted information, the automation solutions will utilize ever increasingly complex predictive analytics algorithms. With the wealth of data available due to Big Data integration and the processing power of distributed cloud computing, highly powerful analytic packages will be able to help automate the composition of marketing campaigns, rather than just their delivery.
Ease of Use
Circling back to one of our first points, the next generation of marketing automation software will be much easier to use. Historical systems have been very complex and often require special training. Just configuring workflows to automatically score potential leads can be extraordinarily complex, and result in a slew of hard-coded actions. The interfaces for workflow design can resemble a Jackson Pollock interpretation of Jenga.
Upcoming systems will reduce such complexity, helping turn marketing automation software into a universally accessible tool, rather than a specialized skillset. This simplification is being driven by the new focus of targeting small & medium businesses (SMBs) who do not have automation specialists on staff.