The end of 2016 is here and there is hardly a brand, company or publisher that doesn’t use marketing automation as part of their digital marketing strategy. Why is this? Because Marketing Automation has now become a norm.
We expect a welcome email when we sign up for a service, we expect discounts when we’ve been using a service for a while. When we’ve placed an order online – we need to know it has been confirmed and how to track it. If that one pair of boots that we’ve had our eyes on for a while goes on sale, then we want our favourite brand to let us know. And for all this, we need great marketing automation. Predictive marketing automation.
What we have right now, however is something that has barely scratched the surface. Average marketing automation, being used to provide average results.
The Common Complaints
Most marketing automation providers today have a set stack of offerings. You need to bring all your users into one place with a CSV and divide them into segments before you email them. Marketing automation helps with this. But does it keep your segments updated? Does it keep track of your customers as they are logged in to your website – not just names on CSV files? Can it tell you who to target a specific campaign towards by semantically understanding the contents of the campaign? Can it create campaigns for When that happens and the product is designed right, marketers will be all like:
So what is Predictive Marketing Automation?
Predictive marketing automation is the next level of marketing automation. It is intuitive and intelligent. This means humans need to be able to train machines to think not just like humans, but better than humans. You know those hundreds of ideas you have after work, or before you fall asleep or when you’re commuting to work that you put down for later and never do?
A predictive marketing automation system can actually be trained to do all that data gathering and analysis and even give you an option about what to do with the results. You run a re-engagement campaign for customers you haven’t seen in a while. With standard marketing automation, you need to think of every possible action and mine data for it.
Who deleted the email instantly? Who hovered over it but didn’t open? Who opened the email but didn’t click? Who clicked the email and then lost interest? Who was interested and actually followed through to a CTA – and most of all – what should the automatic responses be to all these scenarios. If it was me,
I would want to
- Make sure I don’t contact the deleters for a few months at least.
- A/B test different subject lines for the hoverers.
- Send another email to the openers in a week
- Send an email to the clickers with the CTA in the email in less than a week
What would most marketers probably do instead?
Look at open rates and click rates and decide what to send next time – while comparing to previous open rates and click rates. Why? Because they either don’t have the right marketing automation tool or it is too complex to create such workflows with what they use right now. This is where a predictive marketing automation tool, especially powered by AI would come in handy.
Artificial Intelligence Powered Marketing Automation
Artificial Intelligence powered marketing tools today enhance the digital experience by allowing you to recommend the right content or products to the right customer. They also let you personalize your email, onsite and app experience for customers to cater to their individual needs and tastes. And that is pretty awesome. What would be even more awesome though, is when these AI powered platforms go beyond recommendations of content and products for users – and instead begin to recommend whole campaigns and time intervals to send them in.
This way, you’re no longer sending based on your demographic or context based segments alone. You’re sending based on complex engagement algorithms that understand how you’d want to target every user and make those decisions intuitively before you have to do them yourself.
What we see today as account based marketing could be a great precursor to the more advanced artificial intelligence powered marketing ecosystem. Account based marketing already uses predictive marketing automation to do basic tasks. According to 6sense, some of these are
- Create continuously updated target account lists – The ideal prospect and customer must never be forgotten.
- Target and market to buying committees, not individuals. – There may be a person or group that decides to buy a tool, and a whole different group actually using the tool. You need to make them both happy.
- Build data-driven campaigns. – Use the engagement stats from various customers who use your marketing automation to make improvements and test with smaller customer groups before implementing new features.
These are all great ways to start not just with account-based marketing but also with predictive marketing automation – which is what companies today are getting started on and getting great results with. Getting one account relationship to be frictionless (well as little as possible) is the key to replicating that model and building stronger, data-drive, intuitive customer relationships.