Marketing technology continues to evolve at a dizzying pace. As consumer behaviors and preferences change rapidly, brands must keep up with the latest innovations to deliver seamless customer experiences.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore the 8 biggest marketing automation trends that are transforming digital marketing in 2023 and beyond.
For each key trend, I‘ll explain:
- How the technology works and what it enables
- The core benefits and capabilities it unlocks for marketers
- Real-world examples and statistics that showcase the major impact
- Key tips to help you capitalize on the trend
Let‘s dive in and explore the automation capabilities that will drive marketing success now and in the years ahead.
1. Omnichannel Campaign Automation
Omnichannel marketing focuses on engaging customers across multiple touchpoints to provide a unified brand experience. This includes websites, mobile apps, email, social ads, online chat, in-store interactions, and more.
Automation technology plays a central role in orchestrating seamless omnichannel campaigns by:
- Collecting customer data across channels to create unified profiles
- Triggering personalized messages or offers when customers take actions
- Ensuring messaging consistency across channels
- Managing cross-channel budgets and attribution
Brands that connect customer data and automate omnichannel personalization see significant results:
- Omnichannel customers spend 4% more on average than single-channel customers (Aberdeen Group)
- 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize them and provide consistent experiences across channels (Econsultancy)
However, marketers face a few key challenges with omnichannel execution:
Challenge #1: Data Accuracy
When customer details like names, emails, and phone numbers change, disconnected systems send messages to outdated or obsolete addresses. This frustrates customers and damages the brand experience.
Challenge #2: Cross-Channel Data Management
Customer interactions across different channels and devices must be tracked, synthesized, and centralized. Without a unified profile, marketers miss the full picture of the customer lifecycle.
This makes mapping the true customer journey to identify bottlenecks virtually impossible. Just 39% of marketers say they can quantitatively track omnichannel data (Aberdeen Group).
The Solution: Marketing Automation
Automation technology helps tackle these omnichannel challenges by:
- Maintaining clean, current customer data from web APIs and CRM systems
- Tracking behaviors on websites, mobile apps, and ads to create unified profiles
- Triggering coordinated messages across the optimal mix of channels
This delivers personalized, impactful experiences. Marketers see higher campaign performance and customers enjoy more seamless brand interactions.
Tip for marketers: Audit your tech stack to identify any gaps in connecting customer data or orchestrating omnichannel campaigns. Look for platforms with built-in integrations, event tracking, and cross-channel execution capabilities.
2. Multichannel Campaign Orchestration
While omnichannel involves the entire customer lifecycle, multichannel campaign orchestration focuses on coordinating a specific initiative across channels.
The goal is to align different touchpoints like email, web, social media, and ads to convey one unified brand story. Automation technology handles the heavy lifting of executing coordinated campaigns across channels.
Let‘s look at some examples of orchestrating a campaign with automation:
- A website visitor downloads an ebook. Automation instantly sends a personalized "Thank You" email with a special offer.
- Someone clicks a link in an email. Automation shows them a coordinated web page continuing the promo.
- A current customer gets tagged by a brand on social media. Automation immediately serves them a complementary ad.
This sequenced storytelling helps guide the prospect towards conversion. Automation replaces inefficient manual efforts with coordinated engagement at scale.
Results show this interplay between channels drives significant gains:
- Multi-ad campaigns lift conversion rates by 25% compared to single-ad campaigns (Marketing Science Institute)
- Touching prospects across 10+ channels makes them 30% more likely to convert compared to 5 channels (Omnisend)
However, running orchestrated initiatives requires tackling some challenges:
Challenge #1: Message Personalization
Campaign elements like emails, web pages, and ads must feature relevant customization to resonate at an individual level.
Challenge #2: Timing Optimization
Touchpoints across channels need optimal sequencing and cadence based on lead readiness signals.
The Solution: Campaign Orchestration Software
Automation technology tackles these pain points by handling coordinated campaign execution across channels:
- Web and advertising integrations enable capturing lead actions to trigger sequenced messages and offers.
- Workflows auto-update content elements with subscriber names, purchase history, and other data for personalization.
- Analytics track engagement across channels to refine timing and cadence for conversions.
With the heavy lifting automated, marketers can focus fully on campaign optimization rather than manual coordination.
Tip for marketers: Map out your customer journeys to identify key stages and actions that signal readiness for cross-channel outreach. Then build sequenced automations to react in real time.
3. Location-Based Mobile Marketing Automation
Mobile has quickly become the #1 digital platform. Smartphones now drive over 50% of web traffic worldwide (StatCounter).
Location-based mobile automation leverages built-in smartphone sensors to deliver hyper-targeted local experiences. Examples include:
- Sending push notifications when users are nearby a store location
- Triggering in-app promotions for nearby shops, restaurants or events
- Personalizing ads based on recalling frequently visited local businesses
Top mobile marketing automation platforms provide turnkey localized capabilities like:
- Integrations with mapping APIs to access real-time user location data
- Geofencing to detect when users enter or exit specified geographic zones
- Beacon technology interactions when users are in proximity of in-store sensors
Proximity-based mobile automation delivers major dividends:
- 2x higher conversion rates for location-based push notifications vs regular notifications (Leanplum)
- 4-10x higher click-through rates for location-based mobile ads vs non-targeted ads (Uberall)
However, this emerging trend comes with a few requirements:
Challenge #1: Precise Location Targeting
Accuracy is critical to provide relevant mobile experiences and avoid annoying consumers with irrelevant outreach.
Challenge #2: Regulatory Compliance
Brands must comply with regulations like GDPR when collecting and leveraging user location data. Proper opt-in consent is essential.
The Solution: Mobile Marketing Automation Platforms
Top mobile automation solutions help address these requirements by providing:
- Precise geotargeting capabilities needing only ~160 feet of accuracy on average to trigger local actions
- User permission settings and opt-in flows to ensure regulatory compliance
With the right technology, proximity-based mobile marketing automation unlocks transformative potential for higher conversions and engagement.
Tip for marketers: Audit your mobile app and ads strategy to identify key moments when location-based experiences could boost conversions. Shopping, dining out, travel, and entertainment are ripe opportunities.
4. Lifecycle Marketing Automation
The customer lifecycle spans the entire journey from initial discovery to loyalty. Lifecycle marketing focuses on nurturing long-term relationships by providing relevant, valuable content at each stage.
Automation plays a key role in executing effective lifecycle marketing by:
- Monitoring digital body language to determine user stage and intent
- Mapping out ideal journeys to guide users through conversion funnels
- Personalizing messaging based on interests, behaviors, and attributes
- Optimizing workflows over time based on response and engagement data
Automating lifecycle marketing delivers major dividends:
- 7.5x higher conversion rates from prospects nurtured with targeted content vs generic content (Demand Gen Report)
- 31% increase in customer lifetime value with personalized lifecycle marketing campaigns (Forrester)
However, orchestrating sophisticated lifecycle marketing comes with challenges:
Challenge #1: Data Collection Across Touchpoints
Marketers need to capture extensive behavioral signals from ads, email, web, mobile, and more to infer intent.
Challenge #2: Granular Segmentation
Prospects must be divided into highly specific segments to deliver hyper-targeted content.
The Solution: Lifecycle Marketing Automation Platforms
Robust marketing automation solutions help tackle these obstacles by providing:
- Integrations to capture first, second, and third-party data from all channels
- Intelligence to analyze signals and build rich customer personas
- Segmentation to define audiences based on multiple attributes and behaviors
- Workflows to nurture audiences with tailored content across channels
With the right foundation, brands can optimize automation across the entire customer journey to maximize engagement and loyalty.
Tip for marketers: Build segments based on key events and signals that indicate user progress through conversion funnels. Then create targeted journeys.
5. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Automation
Account-based marketing focuses on landing major accounts by coordinating personalized campaigns tailored to key decision-makers. This is a shift from broad-based demand generation.
ABM relies heavily on marketing automation technologies to:
- Build custom account and contact profiles based on firmographic data, tech stacks, and other attributes
- Orchestrate multi-channel campaigns with messaging aligned to account needs
- Track account-level engagement across channels to optimize targeting
- Automate follow-ups and coverage expansion across buying groups
Research shows ABM automation delivers exponential efficiency gains:
- 98% higher return on investment (ROI) for campaigns personalized with account intelligence vs generic campaigns (Demandbase)
- 7x increase in conversion rates from target accounts, on average, with ABM automation (Terminus)
However, coordinating account-based orchestration comes with challenges:
Challenge #1: Firmographic Data Collection
Compiling B2B data like technologies used, keywords, social handles, and attributes for ideal accounts is arduous without automation.
Challenge #2: Multi-Channel Coordination
Orchestrating initiatives across channels tailored to account needs and roles takes extensive manual effort.
The Solution: ABM Automation Platforms
Leading ABM automation solutions provide built-in functionality to streamline targeted account execution:
- Firmographic data enrichment to build detailed company and contact profiles
- Integrations with Salesforce, LinkedIn, and other sources to track engagement
- Account-level reporting to quantify campaign impact and optimize efforts
- AI-powered recommendations to expand targeting across relevant new contacts and accounts
With ABM automation, account selection, data management, and campaign coordination is streamlined for business growth.
Tip for marketers: Audit your website, ads, emails, and content. Identify areas to add personalization elements like company, role, use cases, and challenges.
6. Conversational Marketing Automation with Chatbots
Chatbots allow natural, engaging conversations that mimic human interactions at scale on any digital channel. Key capabilities provided by conversational AI include:
- Answering common product questions 24/7 with guided Q&A bots
- Qualifying leads by capturing contact details through conversations
- Providing personalized recommendations based on past user interactions and behaviors
- Expediting support calls by handling common inquiries
Statistics show chatbots deliver dramatic efficiency gains:
- Up to 30% of customer inquiries can be completely resolved by bots without human assistance (IBM)
- Chatbots resolve customer service inquiries 23x faster on average compared to human reps (IBM)
- 24/7 availability across channels. Humans work limited hours.
However, driving successful customer engagement with chatbots presents some obstacles:
Challenge #1: Handling Complex Questions
Advanced conversational queries require AI training investments beyond basic guided conversation flows.
Challenge #2: Integrating Across Channels
Chatbot deployments must be coordinated across web, app, SMS, social media, and call center for unified experiences.
The Solution: Marketing Automation with Conversational AI
Leading marketing automation platforms now provide robust chatbot capabilities to overcome these challenges:
- Natural language processing to understand open-ended questions and discussions
- Knowledge bases and machine learning to improve responses over time
- Seamless deployment across digital channels and human hand-off
- Contact profiles and behavioral history to personalize conversations
With consumer appetite for conversational interfaces skyrocketing, chatbot-powered marketing automation delivers transformative benefits.
Tip for marketers: Build chatbots focused on high-frequency FAQs and common pain points. Monitor conversations to identify areas for self-service vs human support.
7. Content Marketing Automation
Producing a high volume of quality, targeted content is critical but time-intensive. Content automation streamlines content generation and distribution:
- AI content creation – Auto-generate blog posts, social posts, and more based on prompts with natural language AI.
- Personalized content – Auto-populate web pages, emails, and ads with visitor names, interests, and dynamic product data.
- Cross-channel distribution – Syndicate content across channels and trigger personalized follow-ups when users engage.
- Performance optimization – Continuously A/B test content elements to improve engagement. Auto-optimize promotion timing based on opens.
Automating content workflows fuels measurable results:
- Companies using content automation see 63% more leads on average over 2 years (Demand Gen Report)
- 8-10X higher click-through rates for personalized vs generic content (Evergage)
But marketers aiming to maximize content ROI face some obstacles:
Challenge #1: Production Bandwidth
Creating large volumes of strategic content taxes writer resources.
Challenge #2: Personalization Effort
Populating different content formats with dynamic data is tedious and time-intensive.
The Solution: Content Marketing Automation
Leading marketing automation platforms streamline content workflows:
- AI content generators create initial draft blog posts, social media captions, and more in seconds based on prompts.
- Workflows auto-insert subscriber attributes into emails, webpages, and ads for personalization at scale.
- Analytics identify highest-performing content across channels to guide resource allocation.
Marketers regain time for strategy and optimization. The volume and performance of content skyrockets.
Tip for marketers: Set up workflows to repurpose top performing content across multiple formats like blogs, social posts, and emails.
8. Real-Time Personalization Automation
Website experiences are static and irrelevant to anonymous visitors. Real-time personalization uses data to tailor interactions in the moment:
- Behavioral targeting – Track activities like page visits, searches, and clicks to serve contextual content.
- Geo-targeting – Customize messaging based on user location data.
- Identity resolution – Identify known contacts to showcase past activity and preferences.
- Predictive segmentation – Categorize anonymous visitors based on inferred attributes to personalize journeys.
Real-time personalization delivers big wins:
- 10-30% increase in conversion rates from targeted experiences (Evergage)
- 38% higher click-through rates for personalized vs generic ads (LoopMe)
But marketers looking to implement face difficulties:
Challenge #1: Cross-Channel Identity
Connecting data from web, mobile, social, and offline sources to identify visitors.
Challenge #2: Complex Infrastructure
Integrating data and decisioning systems to respond instantly based on insights.
The Solution: Real-Time Personalization Platforms
Robust personalization systems help tackle these needs:
- Built-in identity graph and matching across online and offline data
- Low-latency decisioning to select optimal content in milliseconds
- Predictive models to categorize anonymous users based on behaviors
- Testing capabilities to continuously optimize targeting and content performance
With the right foundations, marketers can tap into on-site behavior to tailor seamless, high-converting experiences.
Tip for marketers: Identify key pages with high bounce rates. Implement targeted overlays and messaging matching visitor segments.
Modern automation empowers marketers to scale personalization, increase productivity, and optimize experience impact across the customer lifecycle.
Here are my key recommended actions after exploring the top marketing automation trends:
- Audit your tech stack – Identify any gaps in critical capabilities like omnichannel coordination, chatbots, or real-time personalization based on your goals.
- Start small, measure results – Pilot a couple high-impact use cases like triggered campaigns, chatbots, or geo-targeting. Quantify engagement and ROI.
- Expand across customer journey – Gradually scale proven tactics across more of the lifecycle from acquisition to conversions and retention.
- Keep optimizing over time – Leverage automation reporting to refine segments, journeys, content, and channel mix based on performance.
Early adopters will gain a distinct competitive advantage as consumers expect ever-more-relevant, seamless brand experiences.
Hopefully this comprehensive guide provides a helpful overview of the marketing automation trends and technologies shaping marketing today. Let me know if you have any other questions!