6 Things You Should Know About Marketing Automation in 2015

February 16, 2015

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Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Russ Glass’s LinkedIn profile. Learn more about publishing long-form content to your own LinkedIn profile here.

This is the year when personalization will reach scale and deliver real and lasting value to customers.

It might seem like too lofty of a prediction to make, given that the promise of true one-to-one marketing has gone unfulfilled in the history of the internet so far. But given certain unstoppable market trends, like the fact that processing power per dollar continues to rise and storage costs continue to decline, I think the time is at hand.

The new year isn’t quite new anymore, but here are six trends I already see unfolding.

Ad tech and marketing tech won’t just collide – they will fuse.

If you imagine a graph upon which the vertical axis represents personalization and the horizontal axis represents scale, marketing automation has historically occupied the upper-left corner, since it’s been highly relevant to individuals but really hard to scale, while ad-tech companies, for whom scale is easy but relevancy is tough, sit in the lower-right corner.

But due to the factors I touched on earlier, it’s getting exponentially easier to find signal in all the noisy data that abounds from the traces people leave on the web. In other words, scale and personalization are no longer mutually exclusive and marketing automation will finally scale in 2015.

Mobile will finally become a strong link in the nurturing process.

We all know that content consumption on mobile devices will only continue to grow. The problem for marketers has been a lack of sophistication when it comes to delivering relevant messages on mobile, given that people’s mindsets are wildly different when they’re looking at their phones in between putting their kids to bed versus when they’re at a desk staring at their laptops.

But now, due to advances in targeting, we as marketers are increasingly able to understand where people are in the buying cycle, whether they’re on a PC or a mobile device. While cross-device attribution has been possible for some time, now it actually means something, since we can vary messaging to prospects according to their needs.

Predictive analytics will become actionable for targeting.

Patterns often reveal themselves as accurate predictors of a marketer’s most lucrative customers. For example, companies that are hiring for finance and operations positions and additionally have moved into new office space in the last six months might emerge as the highest-converting leads for a marketer.

While detecting these patterns is already important for scoring leads and determining priorities for follow-up, now we can begin to play it forward and proactively target people with the right set of characteristics. Companies like Fliptop, 6Sense and Mintigo are doing really interesting work in this area.

Email will become a much more integrated part of the marketing stack.

Historically email marketing has been a siloed effort, but I see it getting more and more into sync with all the other messaging that a brand delivers to prospects. All kinds of content can now be automatically aligned with the messages people receive via email at a scale that just wasn’t possible before.

Marketers will tap into more of their internal data.

I think we’ll start to see more companies establishing teams to bring together previously disparate data sets, such as customer service, marketing and sales data. This will help brands deliver messages to prospects in an ever more targeted way. It also brings me to my final point.

Brands will keep innovating with data to build better customer experiences.

Smart marketers have already started to think about their customers more holistically. For example, I recently called an airline, and instead of being prompted to press 1 or 2 or 3 to be routed correctly, I heard this message: “Hello, Mr. Glass. We recognize you by your phone number. Are you calling about your flight tomorrow?” That is a dramatically better experience that resulted from multiple data sets being brought together with the customer in mind. And I believe we’re going to see more changes like it in the way companies interact with people in 2015 and beyond.

For more insights into where marketing is headed in 2015, along with tools and tips to help you succeed, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog.

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