Marketing Automation Trends for 2017

Seems like Marketing Automation is here and there and everywhere as the network just keeps on buzzing about it. But what is MA anyway? In short, Marketing Automation is the use of software to automate routine marketing tasks for the sake of saving time or perform certain tasks at wider scale.

These tasks include lead nurturing, individual customer engagement, emails and social media scheduling among the others. This way, it saves you time, energy, and – what’s even more awesome – it generates organic leads. Tasks are automated by creating workflows that include specific conditions that branch out from each other to form a tree. So it’s no wonder that 90% of marketers are using marketing automation for big-volume email campaigns, a study by Gleanster reports says. So it’s fair to conclude that it’s not a trendy collocation without the real impact.

Nowadays, there are multiple tools on the market. Some are intuitive, some are quite sophisticated to the point they require a mandatory training for your employees. However, even the easiest Marketing Automation tool on the market has a room for further improvements. The technology is here to stay and progress. Let’s try to find out what future holds for Marketing Automation.

Improved Personalization

The most valuable use for AI in marketing is to enable personalized conversations with customers, knowing their goals, ambitions, and profile.

There’s no need to say that on a daily basis people around the world are confronted to multiple offerings and proposals. Check out your inbox and tremble in horror: spammy-esque messages are abundant. Marketers should stop this landslide and fast. This way, in future, automation will become less disturbing, but more relevant. It should move to a point where the right message will be put in front of the right person at the right time.

It will be possible thanks to 4 cornerstones of this brave new world to come: big data, messaging, mobile and automation itself. As the Internet of Things is developing at a high pace, sooner or later sensors will surround us. Your phone, your car, and other life accessories will deliver some useful insights about your daily routine and, consequently, marketing automation will be used to analyze all this collected data to help marketers approach consumers in a more decent way.

…and Segmentation

When it comes to marketing, segmentation tends to be a crucial element. A segment is a group of prospects with one or several characteristics they have in common. Segmenting means you will create different customer/visitor profiles and find out what they are interested in within your products, what they are expecting from you.

This way, based on their specific interests and needs, each visitor can expect a personalized conversation with the business. As you create segmentation within your potential customers’ profiles, it requires having an idea of who your prospects and customers are, what are their needs and expectations. In other words, such profiles are based on your definition of the market you’re targeting.

In the process of segmenting, brands need personalization too. This creates the difference between your company and the rest of competitors. Marketers around the world agree that personalization will increase the number of customers who engage with a brand. And it’s logical: people want to communicate with real people, not robots. A personal communication is the key here, as personalized emails are 6 times effective than spammy ones.

Fighting with Ad Blockers

Nowadays, as the volume of search queries is growing daily, digital advertisers are ceasing the opportunity to introduce a variety of ads types: pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, or mobile ads. What was the predictable reaction of users? It’s not hard to guess: they all have started to install ad blocking extensions. These tools scan websites for advertising code to prevent them from loading in a browser. A study from Priori Data indicates that 419 million people use at least one type of mobile ad blocker. It applies to mobile to a greater extent:

(picture source – Hubspot)

As a matter of fact, ad blocking has been a very hot topic between digital marketers for the last years. For instance, Ovum predicts that $35 billion in ad revenue will lost by 2020 because of ad blocking – and that’s huge.

What is the conclusion here? Marketers need to find a decent approach to the problem. The use of unobtrusive forms of advertising (native ads, social ads) that users tolerate more than annoying ads like pop-ups might be a great solution.

Ovum’s senior analyst Charlotte Palfrey adds to the picture: “No ad blocking bans, please. Publishers would do better to lay aside that and focus on other initiatives, like developing their apps which won’t be as affected by ad blocking”.

Keeping Up with Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, in opposition to the traditional processes involving RFPs, human negotiations or manual insertion orders. This strategy is a cost-effective way to advertisers to promote their brand online. “Programmatic is extremely efficient and unparalleled in its ability to pair rich audience data with ad inventory and targeting,” states eMarketer senior analyst Lauren Fisher. “Buyers and sellers are also becoming more comfortable with the technology. As a result, it is being rapidly adopted across a variety of channels and ad formats.”

For this good reason or another, it was one of those fancy collocations we’ve been hearing quite often in 2016. Both advertisers and publishers are rapidly adopting programmatic ad-buying and selling tools. According to Business Insider, more than 80% of agencies and brands already purchase display ads programmatically, while an even greater proportion of publishers are regarding programmatic channels as a part of their sales strategies.

Therefore, investments in programmatic ads have increased. Brands’ spendings on programmatic advertising is growing fast, at about 20% each year. At present time, this channel is now accounting for an average of 16% of digital ad spend across respondents, compared to 10% in 2014 (Statistics source – Business Insider).

The IAB even estimates that programmatic spending will grow to over 80% by 2020. Marketers, be ready to roll – there’s no doubt that programmatic advertising’s potential is huge.

Outstream Videos

Outstream video ads are the ones which play outside the video that users are watching. The ad might play either before (so-called, pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) the publisher’s video content. Being quite a new thing on the marketing block, this type of ads has earned an overnight popularity among publishers, marketers, and users globally. Research shows that Internet users view outstream video ads for 25% longer than instream.

When asked about the types of video ads that would be more or much more important to their clients’ overall ad portfolios in the future, 77% of agencies worldwide cited out-stream ads, as did 70% of advertisers. According to the survey by eMarketer, for both of these groups, outstream videos was the first pick.  

MA2

(chart source – https://instapage.com/)

Outstream videos offer a number of great advantages. For instance, they can be monetized by all publishers: you don’t have to host video content on your website to sell video ad placements. Moreover, advertisers can expand their reach far beyond video players, to publishers of editorial content like CNN and Forbes.

According to the Washington Post, by 2019, online videos are expected to generate 15.4 billion , and grab astonishing 80% of all internet traffic. It’s fair to say that online video has already shaped the course of corporate history, and now it’s about to define the future, too.

P.S. What trends would you add to the list? Leave your comments and share your opinion. Are you interested in building your own Marketing Automation software? Contact us.

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