Professional marketers specializing in marketing automation are soon to experience a new evolution and transition to cognitive infused marketing automation campaigns. Marketing automation, data, and some creative thinking have enabled all of us to become better at driving more revenue and improving customer acquisition. This is an exciting time where marketing automation is now ready to evolve to another level. Here are the evolutionary steps that are taking us to the new world of cognitive infused marketing automaton.
1. First Steps – Email to Marketing Automation
For the first few years and sometimes even now, marketers can be confused how to define marketing automation. Most marketers in my experience think marketing automation is a slightly more advanced way to deploy emails. This is not the case.
Marketing automation goes far beyond email and the platform becomes the central hub towards which one should drive all marketing channels. The true difference is un how marketing automation platforms help marketers close the loop between website behaviors and targeted triggered SMS, mobile, and email events.
This new world of automation has allowed marketers to be more effective by doing more with fewer human resources.
2. The Dawn of Comprehension – Marketing Automation Programs
Many marketing automation platforms have been implemented with the expectation that the systems will magically make something happen and get the company some kind of result. This is so far from the truth that it is funny.
Strategy, planning, building, testing and measuring new campaigns are essential in every step within a marketing automaton program. As companies became better at finding new campaigns and programs, some essential marketing automation programs became evident.
If you have not already done so, if it makes sense for your business, don’t forget about testing abandoned cart, reactivation, welcome, up-sell and transactional programs. These tested and true programs are most likely to help you dramatically improve your business.
3. The Essential Building Blocks – Data
As marketing programs advance, data points that outline website behaviors, interactions, product interests and past purchase information become essential to every campaign you plan to run now and in the future.
This refocus on data points that must be used within marketing automation programs makes one thing perfectly clear for the professional marketer. The data they need access to resides in more disparate systems than they thought.
Companies are now becoming better at connecting disparate systems to bring together customer data points so that more targeted campaigns can be built. Data is not only essential to marketing automation, it is the fuel that drives every complex interaction. Don’t worry about trying to integrate every data system you have in place. Simply take the time to identify what data aligns to what you want to accomplish. Keeping all of this in mind will allow you to combine profile, demographic, purchase history, and online behavioral data to create true one-to-one messaging.
4. Identity Crisis – The Many Names of Marketing Automation
Now that marketing automation has been around for a relatively long time, marketers have gone to great lengths to describe what must be done within the marketing automation platform to get the job done.
“One-to-one marketing”, “lifecycle marketing”, and the “customer journey” are perhaps the most popular descriptors of what is done when building marketing automation campaigns. These types of marketing are great titles to use when writing a white paper but the truth is we are oversimplifying what can been done.
Marketing automation is now set for its next evolutionary step.
5. Evolved to Cognitive Marketing Automation
Marketing automation has changed and evolved slowly over the last seven years. Best practices have become clear and the uses of specific data points have become essential to every advanced behavioral marketing automation campaign. This journey has been interesting to say the least but cognitive marketing automation is just around the corner.
There has been no better time than now to be involved with marketing automation and the move to cognitive-infused applications. This post is not meant to cover everything within IoT (The Internet of Things) nor all of the specific changes one will see with the addition of cognitive support within advanced marketing systems.
A lot of what is being planned within cognitive applications has yet to be determined but there are a lot of amazing things where these additions can make marketing better moving forward. In the future, cognitive applications will add a layer of artificial intelligence to provide guidance and direction on how to make your marketing campaigns better by bringing together the functionality of campaign automation, marketing insights and real-time personalization.
The amazing cognitive power of marketing automation becomes a reliable assistant to help you learn and identify the best course of action to make more proactive changes within your marketing campaigns. Marketers are faced with too much data to analyze and need to make fast course corrections when needed. Artificial intelligence will soon be able to sift through the massive amounts of data and identify patterns and campaigns that will help make the representation of your brand more fluid and reactive to your audience.
The last piece of good news is we think there will always be a place for marketers in the world of cognitive marketing automation applications. Human creativity and the marketer in all of us will be forever enhanced by the support of artificial intelligence and cognitive marketing systems.
This is the most exciting time be a part of the digital marketing world. The future of marketing automation is cognitive and I am honored to be a small part of the direction we are going. Happy cognitive marketing!