3 Marketing Automation challenges of 2017
Each year brings marketing directors new challenges. In 2017 they should specifically focus on three key trends that may accelerate the development of their business.
Consistent experience across channels
Organizations want to offer their customers more. They want to enhance customer experience, build customer loyalty, and they would go to great lengths to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Today “omnichannel experience” is among the most important topics discussed at marketing conferences all over the world.
According to statistical data, communication habits are shifting before our very eyes, customers tend to be using more diversified tools than ever before, and the number of communication channels is incessantly growing:
- the majority of searches are performed on smartphones rather than on computers;
- as many as 10 out of 20 most popular mobile apps in Poland are in fact, communication tools – YouTube, FB Messenger, Facebook, Gmail, Google+, WhatsApp, Instagram, Skype, Snapchat, Hangouts;
- the number of people using mobile access to social services in Poland grew by 20% last year (according to: We Are Social).
Thus, delivery of the right message to the right person at the right time and via the right channel is becoming a true challenge in our rapidly transforming reality.
Companies that are able to communicate coherently across a number of channels are highly successful. Analyses show that because of brand loyalty, their customers spent an average of 4% to 10% more than single-channel customers.
Implementing a truly consistent customer experience may be quite easy if you dispose of the required knowledge and the appropriate tools. Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows integration of email, social, web and mobile channels to make users feel exceptional and individually attended to.
Big Data and personalization
Coherent communication across many channels is a great achievement, but it is not enough. The real challenge that each marketer needs to face up to today is to use all communication channels for the purpose of preparing so personalized an offer that it truly engages the customer.
The first step to accomplish this would be to do away with the silos and establish one centre of knowledge combining data derived from various channels and providing a complete picture of the customer. Like any other change, transformation attempts in this sphere may meet with resistance. Thus, the relevant decision must be taken at the top managerial level of the organization, and it needs to be fully backed by the entire C-suite.
A good solution is to introduce a high-quality CRM platform which allows data management and integrates easily with other tools, such as Marketing Automation systems.
Nonetheless, to leave all your competitors behind, you should seek to utilize Big Data engines that make it possible to analyze vast quantities of data (both online and offline), process them in real time, and develop recommendations on this basis. With such solutions, your organization will be able to provide personalized offers to hundreds of thousands of customers – the method is successfully used by Amazon in the U.S. and locally, by Polish services such as Allegro and Pracuj.pl.
Salesforce Einstein, an artificial intelligence (A.I.) tool available to everybody, is among the latest developments in the field. To explain the underlying idea in simple terms: it is as if you had the smartest scientist on your team and could ask them to analyse data, formulate conclusions, prepare a result forecast, and even give recommendations as to the next steps. Einstein is so versatile that it can provide assistance to a sales department, a customer support centre, e-commerce, marketing and other functions.
Every tool is as good as the people who use it. Even if your company is equipped with the best Marketing Automation system available, it still needs people who will be able to utilize the system’s potential to the full.
Unfortunately, Polish Marketing Automation specialists are in short supply. In this situation, one of two alternative strategies may be followed.
The first one is to recruit new people and train them. Usually, enacting this strategy requires establishing a team that will design communication and content, that will need to become adept at copywriting, email coding, database management and analytics. It is a great solution for large enterprises with complex tactics and extensive activities.
The other strategy focuses around outsourcing selected processes to contractors that know how to design and prepare professional e-mails which can be viewed using various e-mail apps, both on smartphones and on computers. Such third party contractors also provide advisory services, for instance in respect of designing effective methods of obtaining leads. Deloitte Digital, a company that combines the competency of a consulting firm, Digital One interactive agency, Stratosfera, Salesforce and uselab, is among the providers of such services.