Marketing Automation for B2B: The Dirty Truth and the Good News!
by Tony Shannon
Technology has unquestionably changed the landscape of business. Marketing has arguably been one of the most heavily impacted players in the business arena and technology isn't done just yet.
That begs the question, what does the future look like for inbound marketing? Partnering with the professionals like those at Hubspot is what it takes to be successful. Part of that involves staying ahead of the curve so the future of inbound marketing is a required and ongoing conversation.
Although none of us have a crystal ball or claim to be prophetic, we do recognize indicators, trends and clues to where inbound marketing is headed.
Since mobile-first-indexing was recently reported to be coming soon to individual sites, it seemed an appropriate time to review the current state of inbound marketing and take a look ahead. What is in store for marketers and companies now and beyond?
The Changing Definition of Inbound Marketing
The definition of inbound marketing is already beginning to be recognized as a strategy for winning customers and increasing sales. We have witnessed this in how the most influential marketing platforms are being used.
From social networking and email campaigns to content-driven marketing strategies, it is apparent that inbound marketing is becoming more proactive.
As technology continues to push the envelope, marketers are finding new avenues to employ inbound marketing techniques.
This includes using more artificial intelligence, marketing automation technologies and engaging customers with personalized content.
Social media still looks to be the lead-dog in inbound marketing strategies - but don't think that changes aren't coming there either...
What’s Coming Next for the Biggest Social Media Platforms?
Sometimes it doesn't take a crystal ball or tarot cards to see the future. In the case of inbound marketing and its future, it is more a matter of paying attention and watching the trends.
Below we will take a quick glance at some of the new features and releases this year and provide some predictions for the coming year:
- Private Social Messaging - This communication medium will continue to play a significant role as we've watched companies like WhatsApp grow to over 1 billion active monthly users.
- Virtual Reality - Like private social messaging, virtual reality isn't new but it may just now be catching fire. From lesser-know brands such as GoPro to leaders like Facebook using virtual reality, this trend will only become more popular. Improved headsets and video tools should also act to promote this trend.
- Live Video - In the same vein as virtual reality, we are recognizing a strong lean toward video marketing. Facebook is again reflecting the pulse of the public and this year has made the popular and growing 360 video available.
- Ephemeral Content - So what is that, right? Think Snapchat here. This is content that is short-lived, from a few moments to usually no longer than 24 hours. There really doesn't seem to be much reasoning behind its popularity but people like it and Snapchat has proven that.
- Chatbots - Once again, not necessarily new but especially with the increasing imprint of artificial intelligence these chatty robots could quickly become game-changers.
- Mobile Everything! - What looks inevitable is a seismic shift into all things mobile this year, in 2018 and for years to come. From apps to social mobile ad marketing strategies, mobile is now every marketers main focus.
- Email Gets Personal - Big Data when used effectively translates into filtering information from many different data silos. That equates into a personalized email strategy that drives and primarily influences email content. The complexity of using a Big Data Personalization algorithm will likely prevent it from ever finding wide-scale deployment - but it is effective nonetheless.
- Customer Engagement Email - Using email to create more inbound marketing traffic is becoming an increasingly popular use of this particular medium. Using email interactivity to pull some of your landing page interactions into emails offers an array of possibilities. For example, consider using hamburger menus for fast food chains or other navigational tools like: Carousels, Image galleries, Offer reveals and Add-to-cart functionality. Increasing email interactions potentially lowers hurdles to engagement. This means customers clicking into your business with more intent.
Thinking about what you need to gain the edge, stay ahead of the curve and how to get the most out of your marketing campaign? Don't let the benefits of marketing automation go untapped...
3 Benefits of Automating Inbound Marketing
- Expect the increasing mobile trend to become even more powerful. Being where your customers are is one half the battle to winning conversion rates (remember how customer data helps to accomplish this). Using the mobile avenue to significantly increase traffic and thereby boost sales should prove to be a winning formula.
- Businesses in every industry use email on some level. Automating your email marketing campaign can save time and money. The forecast is that this will be a necessary expenditure in order to keep pace with competitors. Making the best use of your email will equate to keeping up and most importantly, success.
- AI will look to become more of a core impetus behind the what, why and how of inbound marketing campaigns. It will also enable companies to use even smarter automation availing such data as personal profiles and spending habits to inform and direct marketing strategists.
What’s Next for Inbound Marketing?
Few industries have ever moved at the speed of marketing. Even fewer industries have gone through so many dramatic and impacting changes. Both exciting and scary, but the opportunity is undeniable.
Contact us to learn how we can help improve your campaign and effectively employ marketing automation for your business. The dirty truth is that automating your marketing processes will take some work and thoughtful planning. The good news is - it works!