If you want to drive greater value from digital marketing this year, it‘s time to get serious about marketing automation.
Automating routine tasks. Streamlining complex campaigns. Providing hyper-personalized experiences. Marketing automation technology enables all this and more.
These aren‘t just empty claims. Hard data shows that marketing automation delivers impressive business impact across the board:
- 75% of marketers using automation report it provides measurable results (Salesforce)
- Companies see 10% or higher lift in sales pipeline from automation (Aberdeen Group)
- 97% of marketers say automation improves their job performance (Pardot)
Still not convinced of the benefits? This post reveals the must-know marketing automation trends for 2023 and beyond.
You‘ll discover how to leverage automation to:
- Harness AI for next-level personalization
- Orchestrate seamless cross-channel campaigns
- Drive better mobile marketing results
- Implement bots and conversational interfaces
Let‘s dive in and explore the automation capabilities that will fuel marketing success this year.
The Booming Growth of Marketing Automation
First, let‘s look at a few key stats that underscore the accelerating adoption of marketing automation:
- 87% of marketers now use some form of marketing automation. That‘s up from just 61% in 2018, showing stunning year-over-year growth (Salesforce).
- Global spending on marketing automation is predicted to reach $25.1 billion by 2023 (Insider Intelligence).
- By 2025, the marketing automation industry will be worth over $32 billion worldwide (MarketsandMarkets).
Marketing automation isn‘t just driving greater adoption – it‘s also delivering impressive business results:
- Adobe found that businesses using automation see 10-15% more overall sales.
- Companies using marketing automation achieve over 20% faster lead growth compared to traditional methods, according to SyncApps.
- Over 80% of users report increased leads and revenue after implementing marketing automation, per Invoca.
- Personalized emails using automation have 6X higher open and click-through rates (DMA UK).
With benefits like these, it‘s easy to see why marketing automation is becoming imperative for brands. Now let‘s examine the key capabilities propelling this growth.
The Core Benefits Fueling Marketing Automation Growth
So what exactly makes marketing automation so invaluable for modern marketers? Here are some of the core benefits:
Increased Efficiency Through Automation
Marketing automation tools automate repetitive, manual tasks across channels to free up your time and resources. Instead of manually emailing leads or posting on social media, you can set up workflows to handle these activities automatically.
This efficiency advantage is huge. According to PFL, automation can slash the time spent on manual tasks by up to 80%. That helps focus your energy on big picture strategy and innovation.
Driving More Strategic Initiatives
With automation handling tedious daily activities, you‘re able to shift focus to strategic priorities. Key areas that gain more attention include:
- Developing messaging and content strategy
- Evaluating campaign performance
- Analyzing customer data and insights
- Optimizing the customer journey
- Expanding into new marketing channels
Software like ONTRAPORT feature automation workflows so sophisticated you only need to work at the strategic level.
Increased Marketing Productivity
It‘s unanimous – marketing automation makes teams more productive. A survey by Pardot found that 97% of marketers agree automation enables them to do their jobs better and faster.
By streamlining workflows, marketers can achieve previously impossible efficiency. Activities that once took days or weeks happen instantly with automation.
Actionable Customer Data and Insights
Marketing automation compiles invaluable behavioral data from across customer touchpoints. Sophisticated platforms integrate directly with your CRM or business databases for access to rich customer intelligence.
Segmenting customers and personalizing campaigns becomes infinitely easier when you have integrated data on buyers‘ interests, behaviors and more.
Highly Personalized Marketing
Speaking of personalization, marketing automation takes this to the next level by enabling tailored messaging at scale. Platforms like GetResponse make it easy to:
- Create dynamic campaign content using integrated data
- Group customers into segments for targeted messaging
- Track engagement to generate "hot lead" alerts
- Set rules to deliver personalized follow-up
Customer experiences get hyper-relevant with automation-powered personalization.
Omnichannel Campaign Coordination
With automation, you can seamlessly coordinate campaigns across channels based on your audience‘s needs. Send a series of personalized emails, then follow up with relevant social ads – all through a unified platform.
A Marketo benchmark study found that engagement rates for brands practicing omnichannel automation were 4-10X higher than single-channel approaches.
Optimized Marketing ROI
Ultimately, marketing teams are under more pressure than ever to prove ROI. Here too, automation delivers results – 79% of users track higher ROI after adopting automation according to Impact.
Specific metrics boosted by automation include:
- 10-15% increase in sales (Adobe)
- Over 20% faster lead growth rates (SyncApps)
- 6X higher email open and clickthrough rates (DMA)
Now that you understand the unmatched benefits of marketing automation, let‘s explore the key trends that will shape automation in 2023.
Trend #1: The Rise of AI and Machine Learning
Some of the most exciting developments in marketing automation involve artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities.
Sophisticated algorithms help take automation to the next level by:
- Scoring leads based on probability to convert using predictive analytics. Marketers can then focus energy on high-potential leads most likely to convert.
- Optimizing the timing and frequency of emails, ads and other messages for improved engagement.
- Personalizing campaign content in real time based on individual interests and behaviors.
- Automating complex, multi-step cross-channel journeys with predictive lead scoring.
- Offering self-optimizing abilities that continually refine campaigns based on performance data.
According to SmarterHQ, 35% of pro marketers now leverage AI-powered automation tools – a number set to rise. Platforms like HubSpot and Marketo have rolled out AI innovations like:
- HubSpot‘s AI Sidekick assesses customer data and suggests impactful follow-ups.
- Marketo‘s AI-based Personalization Studio builds machine learning right into campaigns.
As AI evolves, expect it to become indispensable for executing highly personalized and predictive campaigns not otherwise possible.
- 35% of marketers now use AI-enabled marketing automation tools (SmarterHQ)
- 45% of companies are already implementing AI, with another 47% planning to by 2020 (Adweek)
Trend #2: The Growth of Omnichannel Orchestration
Delivering continuous, personalized experiences across channels is critical. 78% of companies now consider omnichannel a priority, per Econsultancy.
Sophisticated platforms like ONTRAPORT and Marketo provide robust omnichannel orchestration using:
- A centralized database to manage customer data across touchpoints.
- Tools to map out and optimize the customer journey across channels.
- Dynamic content and personalization capabilities for individualized messaging.
- Unified analytics and attribution to measure omnichannel campaign performance.
Key omnichannel use cases include:
- Personalized email journeys that adapt based on the customer‘s website engagement.
- Custom audience segments who receive coordinated messages across social, web, email etc.
- Follow-up SMS messages after a prospect engages with a customized landing page.
- Retargeting ads that reflect recent browsing behavior on-site.
With omnichannel coordination, you engaging customers seamlessly wherever they are. Automation holds all the capabilities required execute this strategy.
- 78% of companies say omnichannel experiences are very important (Econsultancy)
- Omnichannel customers have 30% higher lifetime value than single-channel customers (Aberdeen Group)
- 91% of customers want communications personalized across channels (Epsilon)
Trend #3: Next-Level Personalization Through Customer Data
Your customers expect marketing tailored precisely to their needs and interests. Marketing automation makes this level of 1:1 personalization possible.
You can personalize messaging based on:
- Behavioral data like past engagement and purchases
- Customer profile information like demographics and preferences
- Contextual data such as browsing history or campaign interactions
Tactics enabled by marketing automation include:
- Dynamic content blocks in emails, social posts or ads powered by integrated databases
- Custom audience segments who receive targeted offers or content
- Personalized product recommendations based on an individual‘s site activity
- Smart lead scoring rules factoring in profile data and engagement metrics
- AI-driven ad and content customization based on real-time behavior signals
The data-driven personalization enabled by automation delivers big results:
- Personalized emails have 6X higher open and click rates (DMA)
- Customers who feel understood by brands have 30% higher lifetime value (Forrester)
- 71% of consumers want personalized offers and recommendations (Epsilon)
In 2023, automation will continue providing the backbone for data-driven personalization at scale.
- 71% of consumers expect personalization across channels (Epsilon)
Trend #4: Automated Mobile Marketing Capabilities
Mobile has overtaken desktop to become the #1 digital arena for consumers. Success today requires seamless mobile optimization.
Robust marketing automation platforms now provide integrated mobile features like:
- Multi-channel mobile apps to manage integrated campaigns from one platform
- Location-based triggers to deploy push notifications based on geo-fencing
- AI-optimized push notification delivery (timing, frequency and customization)
- Automated SMS campaigns following lead capture via mobile forms
- Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) to ensure fast load times on mobile
For example, the ONTRAPORT Mobile App Suite enables executing integrated, optimized mobile campaigns alongside email, social and more.
With mobile dominating, automation is mandatory for coordinating personalized messaging across mobile and desktop touchpoints.
- 60% of searches now happen on mobile devices (Google)
- 85% of time spent on mobile is in apps (App Annie)
- 91% of customers say they want personalization across mobile and desktop (Epsilon)
Trend #5: Expansion of Conversational Marketing
Messaging apps and smart speakers like Alexa have conditioned consumers to expect natural, real-time conversations. This paves the way for more automation-powered conversational interfaces.
Key applications of conversational AI include:
- Chatbots providing instant, 24/7 support via messaging apps, texts and websites. They can handle common questions, take orders, book appointments and more.
- Smart assistants like Alexa allowing voice-activated interactions to request information or recommendations.
- Chatbots collecting detailed conversational data for sentiment analysis and intent tracking to inform marketing.
Leading automation platforms either integrate with conversational interfaces like chatbots or offer their own built-in tools. For example:
- Drift provides an AI-powered chatbot that identifies sales opportunities and books meetings.
- ONTRAPORT offers SMS chat features and integrates with popular messaging apps.
- ManyChat enables creating Messenger chat sequences to capture leads.
As Juniper Research notes, the number of consumer AI chatbots will rise 600% between 2017 and 2022. Smart automation will power the next generation of conversational interfaces.
- Chatbot adoption grew 200% in the past year (Business Insider)
- Companies see 40% call volume reductions by adding chatbots (Gartner)
- By 2020, 85% of interactions will happen without human agents (Gartner)
Key Takeaways and Getting Started
The automation landscape is advancing rapidly. Chatbots, AI, omnichannel coordination, mobile optimization and data-driven personalization will shape automation capabilities going forward.
Here are some key takeaways as you look to leverage these innovations:
- Audit your martech stack. Determine if current tools support emerging automation features like AI, omnichannel coordination and mobile optimization. Look for gaps.
- Get buy-in across teams. Educate stakeholders on automation benefits and have executive endorsement before expanding investments.
- Clean up your data. Centralized, accurate customer data is mandatory for segmentation and personalized messaging. Prioritize data hygiene.
- Start small. Pilot new capabilities, measure performance, and iterate. Agile adoption helps maximize value.
- Plan for change management. Automation alters workflows and skills. Prepare teams through training and new KPIs.
Now is the time to capitalize on the latest automation innovations. By leveraging the trends outlined above, progressive marketers can gain a decisive competitive advantage. Begin scoping plans to take your marketing automation to the next level in 2023!