October is traditionally the month to make the planning for next year. The agile trend seems to force everyone to look no further than a month ahead, but that is no reason to throw your schedule in the air. If you really want to get somewhere with your company, then you will have to apply a strategy and long-term planning. For 2019 it is wise to seriously consider marketing automation. We give you three trends and the applications for companies.
No company buys and launches a new machine or software within a month. Marketing automation takes this length of time into account. For example, the mere collection of information by a B2B buyer can take months. Do you want to use marketing automation in 2019? Then take these marketing trends into consideration.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is not about automation. It is about more efficient marketing companies. Automation can help you with this. If you only brought a fruit basket to customers every Monday to get your sales in, then you'd better do that, for example.
Three marketing automation trends for 2019
For the coming year, we see roughly three trends when it comes to marketing automation. These trends specifically address content.
1. Qualitative content is human work
Content remains human work.
As much as we would like it: content cannot be automated. A program that produces content is commercially available, but it only works for structured data. This includes, for example, sports results and stock market reports. Writing is a profession and that will not change in 2019.
That is because people have more confidence in others and in content with a good reputation than in advertisements. A visitor to a website no longer finds ads exciting and clicks it away immediately. From one Nielsen study 2015 shows that the top four most trusted sources of advertising were: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites and reviews. Ads dangled at the bottom of the list. That will not change in the coming years either. In fact, in the coming years more and more people will use an adblocker. That is why it is so important to make the move to good content. The only question now is: how do you bring good content?
Writing is a profession in itself. It's not for nothing that many companies spend content marketing to content marketers and copywriters. A professional writer or content marketer knows exactly how he or she convinces the reader and how a text appeals to the reader. Great once you've hired a copywriter and have this amazing content in your hands, but how do you present it to your visitor? That is of course possible via text, but you could also start with branded content. Or: convert the text into a plan with only the main points and have it presented by an influencer.
Automate marketing? Sales becomes even more important
To eliminate a small misconception: with marketing automation, sales do not come in fully automatically. You automate the marketing, that part that ensures 'marketing qualified leads' in the sales process. It is the crosses that are purchased by an experienced business development specialist. And note: that is a specialist position and not a management position. Of course, a customer prefers to speak with a 'sales manager' than with an 'account manager', but more importantly, this person efficiently and successfully converts the lead to a customer. Understand the customer listen and responding well to customer needs are crucial here. Not the title. Thanks to the internet, an ever-increasing part of the sales process goes online and automatically. When you finally speak to that potential customer, expectations are high.
2. Content distribution: personalized and automatic
The rise of personalized content has been going on for years. The advent of advanced technology takes this trend to a whole new level. By collecting and analyzing data, you create a profile of your audience, you create user personas and you target a specific target group with specific content.
At Amazon and Google it has already been proven that this works. They have demonstrated the value of creating 'personalized experiences': they know exactly what the customer is looking for and show exactly those products. But personalization can already be very practical: show the target group on the product photos. So a young mother looks at the bicycle helmet, then she also sees a young mother in the accompanying photo. But if an older woman looks at the same product, a grandmother with a grandchild is shown.
Creating personalized experiences is becoming increasingly important according to Gartner. Companies that distribute content automatically and personally compete companies that do not.
A system that you could use for the automatic distribution of content is BlogsterApp. This makes it possible to automatically publish on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You can use it to schedule dates and times very specifically, so that the message is published when you expect the content to be visited the most. Particularly useful from BlogsterApp is that it is also possible to create up to five tests, with different images and titles for different networks. This makes it possible to determine for yourself which combination has the greatest impact on the reader. That way you can experience a lot of difference in traffic by just replacing the title or image. BlogsterApp also offers countless statistics.
An interesting alternative comes from Ghent: Story Chief. Free for five blog posts per month with a collaborative tool for writing content. Read the interview with here Story Chief.
3. Predict the next step in the customer journey
What is the next step in the customer journey?
The interaction with content produces data. With marketing automation you can quickly capture this data, merge it with other input, analyze it and then create predictions. You can then test fully automatically, so that the system learns to predict better. The ultimate goal is to guide the customer through the funnel to your product or service. The key questions are: where are you now and where do you want to go? What is the next step that is needed to get you further in the customer journey?
There are countless applications to scale up your content, speed up purchases, use different channels, improve the visual attractiveness of your piece and find good quality leads. They take a lot of work off your hands and ensure that the customer is approached even better. For example, artificial intelligence can learn to which users respond positively. With marketing automation you can use big data in 2019 to get to know the customer better. Machine learning devises fully automatically the perfect customer journey for every customer with quality content that is already available.