It’s the middle of 2015 and we wanted to reflect on what the current state of marketing automation is. It’s such a powerful technology in a rapidly growing space, it’s really exciting to watch it’s evolution.
A Flourish of Marketing Automation Experts
First, we have many more “marketing automation experts”. More people are getting to their “required” 10,000 hours to become masters of something. And honestly, Hallelujah! We need more people who inherently understand how marketing automation most effectively works so that we can stop spraying and praying and start improving our targeted and relevant marketing.
These experts will go by a variety titles including marketing technologists, marketing operations managers, growth hackers, etc. If you are looking to deploy marketing automation and want to find someone with experience to help (amongst other complementary skillsets), start advertising for the aforementioned positions. These titles already existing in many organizations so you’re not throwing darts here – you’re going to find someone to take your marketing to the next-level.
More Providers and Platforms
There are more “me too” companies entering the space. Some are existing companies wanting to leverage this popular term. Others are attempting to be disruptive technologies. For example, earlier this year I saw someone promoting a new open source marketing automation. I knew it was only a matter of time something like that came out, but will open source marketing automation technology ever catch up to platforms that have existed for 5-10 years and have resources to continue to improve their products. We’ll just have to wait and see…
A New Buzzword
Micro-targeting is becoming a mainstream buzzword. (Watch for a MAP company to publish “The Definitive Guide to Micro-Targeting” by Q3, 2015 now that we’ve written this). Marketers are having more success having meaningful, relevant conversations (micro-targeted) with the right marketing automation platform. And those improved conversations are leading to the audience taking the actions you desire.
Micro-targeting is done by using advanced segmentation and gives you the ability to slice and dice your data in a nearly endless amount of ways. From demographic to behavioral data and more, you can understand so much more about your prospect and get them better information at the right time.
MAP, Meet AI.
Has a marketing automation company acquired some type of artificial intelligence technology, yet? I don’t think so, but we’re getting close (correct me if I’m wrong here). We are learning that AI is able to summarize BIG data but little has been done in the way of utilizing the summarized data into any effective marketing use. That’s starting to change. At some point, commercials are going to call you by name and have your personal data integrated. How does that make you feel? Personally, I am all for one-to-one communication that means something to me but it has to be done without the “creepiness” factor…or, it will be creepy at first and we’ll get used to it…
Marketing Automation Is Dying Out…
Soon enough marketing automation will cease to be referred to as marketing automation. I believe that some marketing automation platforms do an amazing job at just automating marketing, but some platforms also do SO much more. They help sales close deals. They help the finance team forecast sales. They help support teams better understand customers’ challenges. These insights are far from exclusively being related to marketing. Other companies are trying to coin different terms with varying levels of success, but above all else, it seems that the industry wants to be known as something more than marketing automation (because it is).