When automation facilitated the mass production of goods during the industrial revolution, producers felt the need to understand consumers better and find an approach to inform them about commodities. As competition became intense, businesses started using marketing techniques to increase sales. Many strategies that marketeers use today still stem from that time.

It is unfair to say that marketing automation refers to software that just automates repetitive tasks. A digital marketing automation strategy aligns the sales and marketing processes by helping acquire more customers, improve targeting, increase marketing ROI, optimize productivity, improve campaign management, enhance database quality and measure performance better.

As per Forrester, there is going to be a 200% growth in the global investment in marketing automation from 2017 to 2023. However, most South African businesses are yet to adopt automation in their marketing departments. Those who have, are realizing the following benefits:  

Digital Marketing in 2020
  1. Targeting the right people with right content: Marketing automation tools powered by AI give rich insights into content. Firms can now track who opens an email and when, how long do they stay on a page and what sections they liked the most.
  2. Generating and nurturing leads: Sales and marketing emails and other forms of communication can be sent automatically, reducing time and effort; but the real catch here is personalization. AI has empowered marketeers to send out tailored content based on demographic details or browsing history, thus improving the conversion rates.
  3. Enhancing Customer Experience: Cross-Channel Campaign Management(CCCM) software enable consistent communication with customers across channels. This improves user experience and aids in cross-selling and upselling.
  4. Boosting conversion rates: As per Gartner, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human by 2020. Real-Time Interaction Management(RTIM) solutions improve the speed, accuracy and agility with which conversational bots respond to a customer across online and offline touchpoints.
  5. Customer Journey Mapping: Combined with other AI powered softwares, Lead-to-Revenue Management(L2RM) automation platforms give you insights on the customer’s buying journey- like where they are most likely to provide the maximum monetary benefits! These also help improve customer retention and lifetime value.
  6. Shorten sales cycle: User-specific content, targeted lists and efficient campaigns allow the digital marketing teams to identify better leads in lesser time and pass them on to the sales rep to pursue.

The revolution of industry brought about an evolution of marketing, and industrial revolution 4.0, with AI at heart, will be no different. It will not be long before all forward-looking companies alter their business models to make marketing automation tools an integral part of the digital strategy, significantly decreasing marketing costs and substantially increasing marketing ROI.

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Ravi Chilukuri

Posted by Ravi Chilukuri

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