Do you think of marketing automation as e-mail marketing? Think again, because in 2020 it will go much further than that. What do you think about content automation or social media automation? What is possible with marketing automation and which trends do you really need to work on? There are many ways to use marketing automation for your organization. Nevertheless, starting with marketing automation is still quite complicated for many companies. How do you best tackle this and what should you take into account? Which marketing automation trends will really make the difference in 2020? What will you do in the daily practice of brands? What works or doesn’t work anymore? Many questions and reason enough for us to ask 10 experts about their vision on the most important marketing automation trends of 2020. Mathijs van der Hurk , Joran Hofman , Annemarie ten Brinke , Wouter Wiersma , Remco van Meel , Chantal Smink , Jeroen Bos , Mariska Paul , Cheryl Bunskoek and Martijn Hertog identify the 12 most important trends and share valuable tips. Content: Trend # 1: ROI Trend # 2: From cost item to revenue model Trend # 3: Predictive lead scoring Trend # 4: Customer experience becomes even more important Trend # 5: Personalized content Trend # 6: Personalization 2.0: the evolution of chatbots Trend # 7: A greater role for AI in marketing automation Trend # 8: Switch in content formats Trend # 9: From funnel to flywheel Trend # 10: Integration Trend # 11: First the content in order, then marketing automation Trend # 12: Voice search and marketing automation Conclusion Trend # 1: ROI According to Annemarie ten Brinke , 2020 will be the year in which we really use marketing automation for a purpose: “Marketing automation is hot. Not for nothing of course, because it can indeed be an important part of your marketing strategy. From the first contact moment that visitors visit your website, you ensure with marketing automation that customers receive the right information. You send this via the right channel and at the right time. It’s just not something you do for a while. ” Mathijs van der Hurk explains why marketing automation is so hot: “It offers the opportunity to warm up your prospects in a low-threshold way (nurtures). Tooling is also becoming cheaper and more accessible (for example, Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign ). The larger packages are also being implemented more often, for example: Net Results , Act-On and Marketo . ” Tricia O’Donnell gives five reasons to use marketing automation in 2020: Saves a lot of time Maximizes your ROI Gives insight into your customers Provides more consistency Makes personalization possible Classic email marketing still has one of the highest conversion rates of all online marketing resources that you can use. But marketing automation goes further. From personalized content in your emails and even on your website to automatically personalized follow-up actions. What is your target? Do you also use marketing automation in your marketing strategy? You can only calculate your ROI if you know what you want to achieve. More leads or especially better leads? More conversions or strengthening your image? More sales with your existing customers or more new customers? Annemarie ten Brinke : “Using marketing automation simply because it is a trend is no reason. Whether you want to use B2C or B2B marketing automation, think carefully about the goal in advance. Demonstrable contribution to the operating result Martijn Hertog joins Annemarie ten Brinke and mainly sees that marketing automation will demonstrably contribute to the operating result in 2020. He goes one step further: “In the past year, many companies have invested in marketing automation to optimize customer experience and targeting. In the first instance it was the big organizations’ turn, now we see more and more smaller organizations that also opt for marketing automation. These organizations are now in the operational phase. In the coming years, marketing automation technology must also make an impact on the operating results of the organizations through the implementation of trigger-based and real-time campaigns. ” Trend # 2: From cost item to revenue model According to Wouter Wiersma , marketing automation will play a major role in terms of measurability and insight in 2020: “One of the most important issues that I believe is the measurability of marketing efforts at management level. Marketing automation can mean a lot in this. What role does marketing play in your overall objectives? This could cause a shift in 2020. Marketing will be seen more as a revenue model, with budgets 1-on-1 linked to their contribution. ” What do you mean exactly, Wouter? “Marketing automation can provide insight into which leads have ultimately grown into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and ultimately customers. With Google Analytics alone that doesn’t work. By attaching a Cost Per Lead (CPL) here, you determine better where your budget is most effective and you then manage that. If you can also calculate the Lifetime Value (LTV) of these customers, you can calculate an ROI on that channel. Because you know what the LTV is, you can easily calculate what a new customer can cost. For this you use the margin that is achieved and the costs that you incur. That does not only apply to online channels, but also to offline channels. ” Trend # 3: Predictive lead scoring Wouter Wiersma also sees a major role for marketing automation in the field of predictive lead scoring: “A trend that plays a more concrete role in marketing automation is predictive lead scoring. Did you know that 96% of the visitors who visit your website are not yet ‘ready to buy’? That is why nurturing your leads is enormously important. Give them the right information at the right time, in the right context. Thanks to marketing automation you can make statements about the historic flow. Which leads actually become customers? You can look at factors such as the number of employees, position, sector and more. This way you focus on which leads are ‘most likely to convert’. That way you do more effective and efficient sales. ” Martijn Hertog is also convinced that predictive lead scoring will become increasingly popular in 2020: “Leads are automatically qualified using an algorithm. That way you identify the most promising leads. Every provider of marketing automation systems includes different variables in this formula. That is different, but there are some variables that are used the most, namely: Page visits Email Interactions Personal information Demographic data By using predictive lead scoring, only promising leads are forwarded to sales. This makes sales employees work more efficiently, because they no longer spend unnecessary time on the less valuable or even bad leads. ” Trend # 4: Customer experience becomes even more important Remco van Meel is clear about this: customer experience will be the most important distinguishing factor in 2020: “Companies are slowly realizing that consumers have easier access to online information and are developing online social circles faster and faster. The era of advertisements that do not meet the demands of the consumer and that are not displayed at the right time, the right location and the right time is over. The customer experience is therefore more important than ever. According to a recent Walker study , customer experience in 2020 is even the most important distinguishing factor. Actually, this trend has been going on for some time, but it is now becoming incredibly important. A Gartner survey shows that more than 50% of brands are reforming their strategy and investing a lot in optimizing the customer experience. ” But what is the role of marketing automation in this, Remco? “With marketing automation, companies themselves determine how users deal with their products and services online. Companies focus more on creating effective user experiences through multiple channels that are driven by data – and therefore really respond to the needs of the visitor at the right time. Marketing automation for optimizing the customer experience is therefore more important than ever! ” Annemarie ten Brinke adds: “Marketing is only successful if you know who your target group is and how you can reach them. Inbound marketing is one of the marketing tools that are frequently used for this. With inbound marketing you send the right message at the right time to the right target group. Your target group finds itself in certain phases of the customer journey. Having insight into a customer journey is an important part of the success of marketing automation. Whether you work with e-mail or social media. The most important advantage of applying automation to your target group is that you know exactly what they think, find and what stops them. You do that based on customer data and personas. With marketing automation you can automate your marketing in every phase of the customer journey to achieve your goals. A different message and perhaps another means that you automate fit into each phase. This will become increasingly important in 2020. ” Trend # 5: Personalized content Remco van Meel continues: “Following on from the customer experience, the value of your content also becomes extremely important. That was of course already, but we are increasingly seeing a shift from product-driven marketing to a buyer experience, where the product is part of the marketing. It is the process from visitor to customer to promoter that gets stronger and stronger. Your content will play a huge role in this. The visitor expects that the content increasingly matches their historical behavior, personal data, behavior on the website and the phase in which they find themselves. In short, it must match the needs they have. Is the content that you offer not relevant? Then a visitor drops out faster and faster. ” Annemarie ten Brinke adds: “ Research shows that almost 75% of website visitors get frustrated when they see content they are not interested in. Moreover, about half of the visitors visit your website longer if they have a personalized user experience. That is why personalized marketing automation cannot be missed in 2020. ” Also read: the 14 content marketing trends of 2020 From bulk to one-to-one marketing Remco van Meel : “We are used to sending our marketing communications to various lists. All these people on the list will then see the same advertisement or e-mail. In addition, many companies use ‘bulk media’ such as Facebook and Instagram. A trend that has been around for a while and will certainly continue in 2020 is the individualization of media consumption. This trend is also noticeable within marketing. Bulk expressions are often much less effective. Visitors expect to see more and more relevant content. Within marketing automation you see this reflected in the use of dynamic or liquid content, where the content matches the interests or data that is known about a user. This will certainly develop further in 2020. ” Joran Hofman also sees personalization as an important trend: “By bringing together all data about customers or prospects you become even more relevant and personal in your messages on the different channels. You can see that marketing automation is now mainly email marketing. In 2020 it will be more omnichannel, with real contact being sought with the customer. Where he or she wants it. The time of ‘one-size-fits-all marketing’ is over. ” But how are we going to make that personalization move, Joran? “In order to become more personal and to make predictions about what your visitor finds interesting, we will make much more use of artificial intelligence in the coming years.” Cheryl Bunskoek is also convinced of more personalization in 2020: “In 2020 we will see more and more personalization in the content distributed through marketing automation. From small personalizations in videos, to freely present personalizations in landing pages and e-mails using ‘smart content’. This also saves time for the marketer. ” Save time? How? Cheryl Bunskoek continues: “Marketing automation software in combination with ‘smart’ content (or dynamic content) helps you to write content for segments without having to prepare a lot of e-mails. Artificial intelligence also plays a role in this. With artificial intelligence, we are increasingly able to offer the right content to the right person at the right time. ” Trend # 6: Personalization 2.0: the evolution of chatbots Joran Hofman continues: “A good example is chat bots. Thanks to marketing automation and AI, they will become really smart in the coming year. In addition to giving relevant answers, they will collect even more data to give users better answers in future messages. ” Annemarie ten Brinke also sees a major role for self-learning chatbots: “Social messaging is also ideal for self-learning chatbots. Thanks to new technological developments such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, these social messaging chatbots learn from previous contact moments. Working with a chatbot has big advantages, think of: Your chatbot is always online (comparable to a 24/7 employee) Saves costs Very short response time Personalization of automatic messages On the other hand, you must know what your visitors often ask and how you can then automate that. You will not be the first company that misses a lot with a chatbot that does not answer the questions asked and above all causes frustration. ” Trend # 7: A greater role for AI in marketing automation According to Remco van Meel , the rise of chatbots was the start of the AI ​​trend in marketing automation: “This is currently developing strongly. In addition to the live chat options, more and more use is being made of the data known to the user. As a result, artificial intelligence can be used to enter into a conversation with the visitor or lead. By using this technique together with a marketing automation tool, you greatly enrich the profiles of your lead. The content that you send out also better meets the needs of this user. ” Cheryl Bunskoek adds: “Marketing automation software HubSpot applies this for example when scanning business cards or the footer of an email: the tool ‘reads’ the content offered, puts this in context and then places the information with the correct’ properties in the CRM. All in all, chatbots in combination with AI will increasingly contribute to providing the right information to visitors, leads and customers. Ranging from lead generation to customer service: the bots start to communicate with the target group in an increasingly personal way. Chatbots are developing at lightning speed and in 2020 they can put more questions and forms of communication in the right context. A asked question or request for information is processed much better. In fact, I predict that making a distinction between a bone and a human will be very difficult! ” “I predict that making a distinction between a bone and a human will be very difficult!” Cheryl Bunskoek Trend # 8: Switch in content formats Cheryl Bunskoek also sees a change in content formats: “We can already see it: more and more podcasts are being used to spread a message and to bind audiences to a brand or company. Our target groups are busy enough nowadays. Many people prefer to listen than to read. For example on the road while they are working or exercising. They listen to their favorite podcasts. Although this is not directly linked to marketing automation, it does play a role in inbound marketing. ” Would you rather listen to this blog than read? Subscribe to our podcast . Trend # 9: From funnel to flywheel Satisfied customers have been the basis for good and healthy business operations for years. In the first place because they remain customers, but just as important: satisfied customers create new customers. Whether you call it word of mouth, influencers or ambassadors. It is high time to actively manage this with your marketing automation. Marketing automation does not stop when someone has become a customer. Remco van Meel adds: “Absolutely not, it often starts then! My tip is to use a new model instead of the traditional funnel: the flywheel. A flywheel goes a lot further than a funnel. A flywheel takes the customer as the center and puts the phases and content around it. The sooner you provide the flywheel with leads and content, the faster you can welcome your customers and turn them into ambassadors. And the great thing: with marketing automation you can send content to your lead or customer in every phase of the purchasing process (and afterwards). Especially your customer becomes very important in this. So make sure you always start from your customer, even if your target group is not that far yet! ” Trend # 10: Integration Martijn Hertog emphasizes that marketing automation should not be a toy for the marketing department: “Marketing and sales technology should not only work for the department in question, but cooperation is also necessary. Links and connections between different technologies ensure an integrated system and alignment between the marketing and sales departments. Good integration between CRM and marketing automation is an essential step in this. Have you got this in order? Then leads smoothly go through the marketing and sales tunnel. Thanks to this link, marketing can direct relevant leads to sales, including all data and information that they have already collected about this lead. ” Jeroen Bos goes one step further: “For me, 2020 is all about skipping unnecessary steps. Do not implement a comprehensive e-mail marketing solution, but immediately take the step to a Customer Data Platform (CDP). Aided by the need to communicate more relevantly with customers, so that you ultimately earn more from that customer. Or better said: increasing the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Big data in a new jacket. And luckily there are more than 100 different solutions to choose from. So there is always one that fits your business perfectly! ” Trend # 11: First the content in order, then marketing automation Where, as far as Jeroen Bos is concerned, you are allowed to skip some steps, Chantal Smink warns that you first need to have the basics in order: “Everyone wants to do marketing automation, because it is a trend. Sometimes systems are purchased that are more expensive than a Ferrari and then it appears…. that there is no content at all. And not only that: nobody has an idea what to do with that system. What does the customer journey look like? How do you guide customers from one phase to another in the customer journey? And that is precisely the intention of marketing automation. I have seen enough companies that have the best marketing automation software and then want to furnish their system with boring brochures and ‘white papers’. But if you look at the white papers, they explain how fantastic their product is and how much easier life will become when you start using their product. Then you can still have such an expensive marketing automation system, with that content you will not achieve your goal. This type of content is useful in the do phase, but not to recruit new prospects who are still in a ‘see’ or ‘think’ phase. So make sure you have content that can bother people, and that really benefits them. Such content often has a price tag. Many companies do not know which skills belong to the future job profile of their dream client. That means that you have to get that knowledge from outside and you have to interview people who do know that. If you take 4-5 interviews and want to bundle them in one “heavy” white paper, then you are thousands of euros further before the white paper is actually written, corrected, approved and formatted. And that scares many people again. I find it shocking that many companies are unable to create content that their reader finds interesting and relevant. You cannot do marketing automation with just ‘do’ content. That is why I say: first create content for a year and then buy such an expensive marketing automation system, ”says Chantal Smink . CopyRobin proves, among other things, that creating good content does not have to be expensive . A copywriting service with more than 180 copywriters, which creates content based on a subscription or bundle on demand. Trend # 12: Voice search and marketing automation The latest trend of this series links marketing automation to another trend: voice. Mariska Paul: “By 2022 , 55% of households are expected to have a smart speaker at home . 55% of all online searches will also be vote-driven. Now, voice search optimization may not be something that takes place directly in your marketing automation platform, but by using certain (SEO) tools you can optimize and distribute your content for voice search more easily and better. Marketing automation helps you with that process. It provides you with detailed reports and analyzes to better understand and target your target group and current customers. Its ultimate goal is to score featured snippets with highly relevant content. Featured snippets are eligible for voice search. ” You can read more about this in the blog: The 11 SEO trends of 2020 Conclusion Marketing automation is indispensable in the online marketing world, but still faces challenges in 2020. From good content for every phase and for every buyer persona, to well integrated and implemented tooling. As Grady Booch said long before the marketing automation era: “a fool with a tool is still a fool”. That certainly also applies to marketing automation. But clever use of the possibilities of marketing automation goes much further than just automation. It provides more options, more personalization and perhaps the most important: more insight into the customer, the costs and the opportunities. Maybe we should call this trend marketing integration next year instead of automation. As always, we are curious about your opinion. Which marketing automation trends are most important to you in 2020? Have we missed trends? Or perhaps exaggerated? Let me know in the comments! Want to experience for yourself what it’s like to have your content written? Try CopyRobin Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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