The popularity of marketing automation has grown in the past few years and is not about to stop — in 2024 alone, its worth is predicted to reach $6.4 billion.
The key reason behind its popularity is the need for more personalized communication, better customer support, and more targeted content.
A human being alone can’t meet these expectations, but when empowered by marketing automation, companies can offer much more personalized and unique experiences at each stage of the buyer journey.
Marketing automation tools have evolved with these needs, so how will the face of marketing automation change in 2022 to better meet customer expectations?
1. Advanced chatbots
Chatbots have been around for at least a few years so far. In 2022, this technology will rely more on the capabilities of artificial intelligence and continue to be one of the most powerful marketing automation tools.
As companies have started to collect and process more information about their customers, AI algorithms can now be fueled with more customer data and, as a result, establish more patterns between different data points.
As a result, the answers and product recommendations that AI-powered chatbots can provide are more precise and relevant.
If you’re looking to introduce chatbots into your tech stack, start by evaluating different types of chatbots, including machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) chatbots to find the one that fits your business needs the best.
Marketers have used personalization in emails for quite some time, helping them generate a higher ROI from each dollar spent on email marketing.
For this technique to remain effective and provide better results, marketers need to go one step further in personalizing their communications.
To achieve this, it’s no longer enough to collect generic information on your customers such as demographics, website behavior, and email engagement. In 2022, it’s time to start interpreting this data better.
The right marketing automation tools will help you incorporate more advanced personalization criteria by building campaigns that use unique visuals, text, and call-to-action buttons. These hyper-personalized email campaigns can offer better product recommendations to customers and create content that resonates with them.
3. A multi-channel approach
Today, brands can no longer rely on just one major channel for product promotion — be it Adwords campaigns, Facebook, or email outreach. This is because the modern consumer uses more than one channel to research products before they make a buying decision.
So brands need to build relationships with customers through different mediums and establish more touch points before an actual sale happens.
By using marketing automation, you can better engage with your audience on different channels at the right time.
To build a multi-channel marketing strategy, start by choosing the channels where you can reach your customers and then map all possible touch points and what that journey would look like on each of the different channels.
4. Lifecycle marketing
Having a large number of customers who purchase only once and never come back creates a dangerous situation for a company’s growth. It requires companies to constantly increase their customer acquisition effort which can easily reach its limits.
To ensure more sustainable growth, brands need to invest more in retaining existing customers. This focus on lifecycle marketing includes a number of techniques to both acquire new customers and convert them into loyal brand advocates.
The role of marketing automation in supporting lifecycle marketing strategies will be based on helping to collect and analyze data to build a more precise ideal customer profile (ICP).
By understanding their ICP better, companies will be able to work out ways to attract more customers that fit this profile and, as a result, transform into loyal customers who buy on a recurring basis.
5. Less reliance on third-party cookies
Collecting more data about consumer behavior is indispensable for better campaign personalization. Most companies have relied on collecting third-party cookies to fuel their marketing automation software and as a result have sent more targeted campaigns and displayed more persuasive ads to their clients and leads.
In 2022, you can expect a shift in this approach due to rising user privacy concerns. Major tech brands have taken data privacy seriously with Google announcing it will slowly get rid of using third-party cookies in Chrome, and Apple letting its customers block cookies with the iOS 14 update.
Other companies should follow suit and explore new methods of collecting user information, such as first-party data. By doing so, brands will continue creating hyper-personalized campaigns that appeal to their customers.
6. Optimizing for mobile
More customers are now doing their research and buying products on the go using tablets or smartphones. Therefore, serving content to mobile users will remain important in 2022 and that’s where marketing automation tools can come in handy.
Experts would encourage companies to create responsive designs and improve page speed for mobile devices, but now, this recommendation can be considered an obvious thing to leverage SEO.
To go beyond basic optimization for mobile devices, you need to think about strategies and tools for content promotion and distribution such as push messages, SMS marketing, video marketing, and in-app ads.
7. Automating social media
As social media becomes a critical component of every strategy, marketers will look to use more automation tools to reduce manual work, especially if they’re managing more than one social media account or more than one platform.
Thanks to these tools, customers can receive answers to their questions and concerns faster and brands will be able to reduce the number of negative reviews customers leave online.
Automated post moderation will also allow social media managers to improve their response time, a tactic that can be applied to both organic and paid posts, freeing up marketers’ time for more important tasks such as social media analysis or improving their social media strategy.
By choosing to schedule posts automatically, accessing all social media accounts, and managing comments from one dashboard, companies can cater to the needs of their followers much better.
8. Keeping track of marketing expenses
It’s no secret that marketing departments use a lot of different tools and software for various purposes. Most of them don’t support lifetime licenses and are offered as monthly or annual subscriptions, so the cost of these quickly adds up.
To better control marketing’s ROI, businesses will have to turn into more data-driven processes in 2022. This will involve eliminating tools that don’t contribute to increasing revenue and will focus on expense management more than before.
Spreadsheets won’t be sufficient for this process and so to reduce manual work, marketers will look for automated expense management software.
9. Growth marketing
In 2022 and beyond, companies will need to focus on building stronger customer relations to increase customer loyalty and speed up company growth.
To achieve this goal, they’ll need to start building and implementing growth marketing automation strategies. These strategies will help carry out A/B tests at scale, streamline data collection and analysis, and improve customer onboarding.