Three emerging marketing automation trends to leverage in 2015
2014 was the year of customer centric marketing. Companies of all sizes focused on capturing prospect and client interests to develop communication and collateral that spoke to specific needs. Emails, offerings and ads became more tailored on keywords that would resonate with each prospect individually, in a masked way that made it possible for marketers to manage. Business and consumer prospects alike are getting smarter and more selective when it comes to making buying decisions, forcing marketers to work harder when developing their message, marketing collateral and campaigns.
As we make our way into 2015, marketing trends continue to develop to ensure your message is reaching the right prospects at the right time and in a fashion in which they are compelled to interact. While it can be certain that additional trends will emerge throughout the year, right now there are three to focus on to immediately start leveraging through marketing automation efforts:
Content marketing. Marketing through content is not a new idea, but has become a major source of conversation in late 2014 and shows no signs of losing steam in 2015. Although the customer experience demands a constant flow of relevant and recent content, a Content Marketing Institute blog reports that 64 percent of B2B content marketers say their biggest challenge is producing enough content.
To partially alleviate the challenge of producing enough content, use marketing automation to reuse and repurpose content. Transition blog article points into email communication, use whitepapers to develop blog ideas to link through social media and develop video content based on testimonials, product focused collateral or company overviews. Hosting and linking content out of a marketing automation tool will provide insight into what types of collateral your target audience prefers, what individual pieces are performing the best and allow marketers to effectively report the ROI of the content being produced. Reporting on engagement will continue to feed the cycle of repurposing content based on the best performing blogs, collateral and videos.
In addition to having content to support marketing campaigns, it is equally important to ensure the content you’re delivering is relevant to the prospect in terms of their stage in the buying cycle. A Pardot blog states that as consumers progress through the buying cycle, they also seek out different types on content. Use marketing automation to assess what level of engagement the prospect has to estimate their stage and deliver content that helps move them along to a closed/won opportunity efficiently.
Storytelling through content. While companies have been focusing on capturing prospect information that supports tailored campaigns in 2014, a trend to focus on in 2015 that drives personalization home is storytelling. Creating content to support an organization’s message on every channel is important, but creating content that resonates on top of supporting the message is key. Use common pain points in your space to create a journey through emails, blogs and other collateral, and puts the prospect in the center of the story.
Use marketing automation to report on prospect behavior and engagement to gain insight on what the common pain points are, what keywords prospects are searching for to solve those problems and what kind of collateral is being accessed the most. Developing or reworking content that allows prospects to see themselves in the story, identify with the pain point, determine your organization as a candidate and feel inspired to complete the call-to-action ultimately supports the sales pipeline and makes for more effective marketing efforts.
Designing for mobile. The focus on ensuring a consistent experience across every device is not fading away in 2015. According to a recent Pardot blog, 43 percent of marketers report that 31 to 50 percent of subscribers open their emails on a mobile device. Marketing automation tools support creating email templates that are responsive to all devices and email providers.
In addition to developing responsive emails, also focus on ensuring calls-to-action, collateral and shared content via social media are providing a pleasant experience. Sending a prospect to a nonresponsive landing page from a marketing email is likely to result in the page being abandoned and losing that prospect. To maintain prospect respect and engagement, keep mobile responsiveness front of mind in 2015.
Utilizing marketing automation to incorporate the emerging trends of 2015 in campaigns is a great way to maximize the ROI of the system itself. Be sure to share your thoughts on these trends as well as other trends that you have found in your space specifically in the comments below.