30 Experts Discuss Marketing Automation Trends That Will Have The Biggest Impact On B2B Marketers In 2018

December 12, 2017 | Robbie Richards


We’ve all been on the receiving end of terrible marketing automation – poorly targeted, ill-timed, and irrelevant messaging.

While marketing automation can be powerful for growing marketing teams, it can also do more harm than good if not configured or implemented properly.

Today, automation tools allow better timing, personalization, and in some cases, are capable of completely replacing humans.

This maturity has led to a surge in adoption — B2B adoption grew by 1100% between 2011 and 2014 alone:

Growth in adoption of marketing technology adoption

It’s no longer a tool for spamming leads sick of impersonal emails.

The marketing industry is embracing deeper analytics, integrations that align teams targeting leads at different stages of the funnel, and AI that can predict the results of a campaign and auto-optimize in real-time without human intervention.

AI has seen a huge surge of investment in 2017. And it’s only expected to rise:

Growth of AI adoption

Ex-Google and Facebook CMO consultant Andy Betts says all CMOs need to quickly get comfortable with using AI, or risk falling behind:

“The CMO’s best play at this point is to prepare what you can and commit to staying on top of the news around AI applications in marketing as it breaks. The opportunity is right around the corner; get in position now to recognize it.”

It’s not just AI driving the growth and adoption of marketing automation, either. Developments in multi-variate testing and audience targeting will further empower marketers in 2018.

Marketing automation already outperforms paid search and blogging for customer acquisition, and is more effective than analytics and social media for improving customer retention:

With so much growth, and so many B2B companies planning to use marketing automation to support so many critical aspects of their business, we wanted to define what marketers should be on the lookout for, and what trends and opportunities they can use to increase success.

We reached out to 30 B2B marketing executives and asked the following question:

 

What are the 3 marketing automation trends you think will have the biggest impact on B2B marketers in 2018?

Before we dive into the individual responses, here are 5 marketing automation trends the experts agreed you should be leveraging in 2018:

  1. Artificial intelligence will help marketers effectively deliver personalized content at the right time. AI may not be able to pass the Turing test (or even walk properly), but it is amazingly effective at organizing data, identifying patterns, and optimizing marketing communication automatically to improve metrics across the board.

    MailChimp’s Timewarp (which adjusts delivery time based on the recipient’s time zone) is an early example of this, but we’re going to see deeper, smarter innovations as the AI industry evolves at a lightning-fast rate.

     

  2. Chatbots will become a primary channel for lead and customer education. Enrichment data collection and improvements in natural language processing will make chatbots a more targeted and convenient resource for lead education than even knowledge bases or static content.

    Chatbots could also be used to analyze the behavior of individual visitors and share relevant resources for every stage of the funnel.

    And, thanks to better integrations, these chatbots will pass information to the other sales and marketing tools in an organization’s marketing technology stack.

     

  3. The lines between sales and marketing will continue to blur as marketing automation tools help align these two departments. Sales and marketing are traditionally two siloed operations, but a lead’s preference for personalized content and helpful resources (instead of ads, more ads, then pushy sales pitches) will force businesses to better align sales and marketing.

    Thankfully, marketing automation tools are focussing on integrations which give the whole organization better visibility over lead and customer data, and allow all departments to make better decisions.

     

  4. LinkedIn account-based marketing will make it easy to automate highly-targeted campaigns.  LinkedIn has a ton of data on vital metrics like company size, employee count, and industry.

    With this power, marketers can connect with their dream prospects across multiple audience groups, delivering custom messaging based on deep data insights.

     

  5. Multivariate testing will offer marketers much more data on what works, and what doesn’t. A/B testing is essential, but it’s also evolving into something far more complex.

    Multivariate testing — where campaigns are generated based on combinations of multiple variables — is seeing growing support in popular tools like MailChimp, Pardot, and Marketo.

    This will give marketers a better idea about why their campaigns are effective. And, it’ll happen at a much faster rate because every communication can be tested for multiple conversion factors.

 

Now, let’s jump into the responses.

 

 

30 Experts Discuss Top Marketing Automation Trends Heading Into 2018

 

 

Ann Handley

MarketingProfs | Chief Content Officer

 

  1. User experience. Marketers will focus less on the automation and more on the customer: Is the automation delivering the best possible experience for the customer ? (This could be wishful thinking on my part.)
  2. Quality content. Less becomes more. (I say this every year. I hope it’s finally true.) Marketers become increasingly sophisticated with their marketing automation programs.
  3. This is the year of “How can we get more excellent with our use of automation to enhance customer loyalty?”

 

 

Kathryn Hawkins

Eucalypt | Principal

 

  1. Personalized content streams – marketers can now develop curated email sequences that link to content that’s valuable to a specific individual, based on what s/he has viewed in the past. It will be easier to create a highly personalized relationship with a prospect, provided that you invest the time to develop content that targets clear audience segments and speaks to their needs.
  2. Account-based marketing – As more marketers move to account-based marketing, marketing automation enables you to get a solid picture of how many users from a particular organization are visiting your website or downloading your content.

    Automation allows you to take an integrated approach, using activity triggers from anyone within an organization as a signal to re-engage with existing contacts at that organization.

  3. Multi-variant testing – While many marketers already A/B test email headlines, marketing automation is making it easier to test out a wide variety of factors, including landing page copy or design, article headlines, and more. With modern software, marketers will continually test variables to determine what content is most successful, and optimize for best results.

 

 

Brian Carter

Brian Carter | Keynote Speaker & Author

 

Right now the marketing automation we’re looking increases production, insights and optimization speed while making up for skill gaps and limited time and resources.

  1. Analytics Streamlining: Only jedis can take on the Death Star without analytics and tracking, and unfortunately, jedis are only in the movies. Real world marketers need front-and-center dashboards of only the most important info to make the right decisions.

    Marketers who get the right KPI’s to take action quicker and optimize faster, are the all-stars in their category. And the companies that learn from their data the fastest and innovate best also serve their customers best, are the most bulletproof to disruption and have the most secure futures.

  2. Content Marketing Production: On the Internet, you’re either a shining star or the invisible man. It’s gold when automation empowers marketers to produce more original, valuable, attention-grabbing content. And content marketing can be a harrowing as a fire rescue; requiring training, skills and speed to succeed. But too many companies don’t have adequate processes, skills or equipment, so their opportunities keep turning to ashes.

    Automation that systematizes content marketing processes and reduces the required skills will save the day.

  3. Insight-Generating Artificial Intelligence: For most companies, data is like the powerful robot Voltron (composed of multiple robots, when they come together it is one of the most powerful forces in the universe!). This Voltron of insights from our data could change everything with the power it generates for us, but it’s all in pieces, useless… and we don’t know the secret of how to put it together.

Most companies have tons of data they aren’t using, and access to even more consumer data, both free and paid. They haven’t organized it or pulled the insights from it. Businesses are not as smart as the information they have. They don’t know what they know, let alone what they don’t know.

What’s worse, more information is coming in all the time, while people and trends change in real-time, so your data and insights from five years ago may be invalid. It’s going to require artificial intelligence to pull all this data together, keep it current, and extract insights from it, or at least put it in a form that humans can use to derive customer-satisfying, business-changing, revenue-generating insights from.

We need AI to turn our idle data into a valuable voltron. Put all that together- and what we need right now from marketing automation is the right info on-time, revenue-generating insights, and content marketing that gets results, even if we have a small marketing team and even if they don’t have a ton of training or experience.

 

 

Chad Pollitt

relevance.com | Co-founder

 

There’s really only one trend in marketing automation that will have the biggest impact on B2B marketers next year. However, this trend will have impacts in several different areas of marketing automation.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will have the biggest impact of all the trends for B2B marketers using automation and will effect the following areas:

  1. Lead Scoring – AI can automatically prioritize contacts most likely to convert to business based on history and past deals. This enhances segmentation.
  2. Predictive Consumer Engagement – AI tied to marketing automation, email and a website can help discover insights about why consumers click or purchase, and drives smarter marketing using predicted behavior to segment, trigger custom buyers journeys, personalize messages, and more.
  3. Day-parting – AI has the power not only to send the right message to the right segment, but to know the optimal time and day to send it. In addition, it can help marketers understand the time cadence on which to send an email workflow overtime to a contact.

 

 

Jose Han

Salted Stone | Technical Marketing Manager

 

B2B marketing automation trends in 2018 will be driven by personalization, dynamic data, and smart content.

  1. AI technology applications like Chat Bots will be leveraged for website visitors looking to learn more about a business, product, or service. Search and knowledge bases will ultimately become secondary resources after these tools. Using enrichment data will allow marketers to determine a visitor’s company, industry, and annual revenue.
  2. B2B marketers can then use information to showcase a relevant content offering on the homepage, or personalize a dynamic drip campaign with case studies and content addressing unique pain points. Service and product providers can also customize which pricing tiers are listed “above the fold” for each lead, based on the enriched annual revenue data connected to each visitor.
  3. Automation of Account-Based Marketing campaigns through platforms like LinkedIn is becoming easier, as well, thanks to highly targeted paid advertisements. Marketers can upload a list of specific companies in the target demographic, and trust that the appropriate copy and link will be served without additional intervention.

 

 

Tara Belt

Primus Software Corporation | Director of Sales & Marketing

 

We live in a “Digital Only World” today and “Digital technology” whether we like or not, is becoming more and more disruptive to businesses today.

B2B marketers have spent decades developing recipient-specific campaigns that address the needs and interests of all the people in the buying cycle and now have access to automation tools that help them streamline their marketing efforts.

Customers today are constantly being bombarded with marketing content companies need to get creative to stand apart from their competition.

The future of marketing lies in understanding customers as individuals — not audiences — and using that information to deliver one-on-one relationships with their customers. Automation will soon be a standard tool for every marketer. Here are just a few thoughts on marketing automation trends I believe will influence B2B marketers in 2018.

  1. Account Based Marketing (ABM) for a personalized approach to target accounts. Instead of starting with marketing channels to generate leads, an ABM strategy begins with identifying and targeting best-fit accounts that have the biggest revenue potential for your business.

    Marketers can then use technology to serve personalized messaging to decision-makers at these accounts on the channels they are actively using. I find this extremely valuable for enterprise sales executives and account managers who have a targeted list of accounts.

    An ABM program also enables management to create sales territories that convert, discover connections to target accounts and build a list of role-based contacts, and to develop-level campaigns as well as sales offerings to secure meetings.

  2. Streaming will be deployed. Companies are really getting creative with live video. Video has evolved into short, fast-paced, subtitled snippets of share-worthy content. Every platform wants to give you the opportunity to live stream these days. Video usage has become mainstream and several of our customers are using video to generate leads. Videos have a 45% conversion rate and an excellent tool for customer engagement.
  3. Marketers begin developing augmented reality content (AR). One advantage of augmented reality marketing is Personalization: the customer can upload their own content to create a personalized form of media marketed to them only.

    With the latest iPhones designed for augmented reality, brands must think about ways to develop augmented experiences. Brands are looking for ways to use augmented reality to not only attract new consumers but to also boost sales and profits.

    As demand for AR technology rises, more digital marketing software providers are entering the space.

2018 will be a huge year for marketers and as technology continues to advance, so will marketing automation tools. My advice to those who brands who do not want to fall behind and who want to stay ahead of the curve is to start testing and implementing some of the hottest trends in B2B marketing automation.

 

 

Ron Sela

Ron Sela Consulting | Growth Marketing Advisor

 

B2B businesses are constantly searching to accomplish more with their operations, and without a doubt are preparing to automate their businesses for the long – term; a process which will become more comfortable to carry out in 2018.

The three marketing automation trends I believe will be of most significant impact on the B2B markets in 2018 are as follows:

  1. Substantial changes in artificial intelligence (AI) are the first to reasonably expect. With AI, it is now much easier to predict consumer behavior than it was in days past; a development which business owners and operators appreciate.

    The ability to accurately predict the behavior of a business’ consumers may lead to increased sales of the products and services the business offers, together with additional returns on investment.

    When using AI, it is also possible to anticipate changes in a business’ market and the outcomes of the campaigns implemented in that market. AI allows businesses to amend their campaign strategies until they attain their ideal model, and provides insight into the exact content which the businesses should advertise to their customers and prospective customers.

  2. Meaningful advancements in integrated marketing automation are also proposed to be of considerable impact. All competent business owners and operators are aware that certain tasks are time – consuming because they must be repeated several times throughout the business day (such as making online posts across the different social media platforms).

    With integrated marketing automation, it is possible to perform one action and have it take effect across multiple channels. Everything ranging from email to customer relationship management can be integrated, enabling one to achieve more with less effort.

  3. Predictive analytics takes AI to new heights and works in tandem with AI to generate information on matters ranging from: the conduct and intentions of the business’ customers; the steps the business needs to take to encourage customer loyalty; whether it should invest in another business; and/or what the business should foresee when interacting with other businesses and/or their customers.

 

 

Kent Lewis

Anvil Media, Inc. | President & Founder

 

I believe the 3 marketing automation trends of 2018 include:

  1. Corporate executives (CxOs) will embrace marketing automation and create a culture that will allow MA teams to be more effective, vs. the typically siloed approach that has been historically prevalent.
  2. Sales and Marketing teams will better define processes that will improve efficiency and effectiveness of MA programs, especially around consistent creation of unique, compelling content that feeds the engine.
  3. The platforms will improve tracking across multiple channels and enhance current attribution weighting by channel and content, especially around video.

 

 

Dustin Tysick

Jostle | Growth Marketing Director

 

  1. Better integration with live chat & chatbots. Almost every site has live chat now and a lot of bots qualifying leads. Currently this information isn’t passed on to MA systems well. That is likely to change.
  2. More account-based targeting options. HubSpot launched their integration with Terminus and I think that is just the start of a trend here.
  3. Stronger personalization. Pulling in company news or other relevant data. Personalizing first name, company name etc. just isn’t enough any more.

 

 

Bernie Borges

Vengreso | CMO

 

  1. Increased integration between marketing and sales.
  2. Increased use of AI especially for predictive lead scoring.
  3. Redefining LinkedIn’s role as part marketing automation.

The first two predictions are nothing more than making further progress on trends from 2017.

We’re just getting started with AI especially in the area of predictive lead scoring which continues to blur the lines between marketing and sales automation.

As LinkedIn gets further integrated with the Microsoft stack including Office 365 and CRM, the social network will become known as a key element of the B2B marketing automation stack. B2B marketers will need to become more proficient with LinkedIn rather consider it only the domain of sales.

 

 

Ian Cleary

RazorSocial | Founder

 

  1. The growth of Chatbots – I think there is massive potential for growing chatbots as lead generation tools. Through chatbots we can become an automated resource sharing tool and provide options for opting in to marketing funnels.
  2. Personalization – I think B2B companies have been very slow to implement personalization but with it increasingly difficult to increase traffic I think B2B marketers will start focussing more on optimizing conversion of existing traffic and personalization will be key part to this.
  3. Customer experience – I think that we have some ‘over automation’ with some funnels so more work will be done to ensure that their is a better customer experience. This may involve less automation for later stages in the funnel and more personal interaction.

 

 

Ben Bradley

Less use of “single click automation” will be a major trend for 2018. What do I mean by single click automation? You visit a website. You register for a white paper download. You get an email. Open it, and you get another one in two days. Ignore it and three days later, you get another one. And so it goes.

Simplistic IF/THEN marketing automation statements are probably the most overused feature of marketing automation software.
And, arguably…

  • The best way to alienate your prospects
  • The least efficient way to generate positive ROI from your marketing automation investment. And, to make matters worse, single click automation does very little to leverage the power of marketing automation software as a lead intelligence gathering machine.

 

 

Stewart Anderson

MuteSix | Chief Marketing Officer

 

  1. Continued focus on ABM and personalization in the marketing process.
  2. Increase use of video.
  3. Greater marketing involvement in post-sale process/customer experience (see HubSpot’s upcoming release of the Customer Hub as a reflection of this trend).

 

 

Susan Tucker

Lure Agency | Director of Digital Strategy

 

I think the three biggest marketing automation trends for B2B marketers in 2018 will be:

  1. Social media
  2. Customer service
  3. Personalization

Facebook has been rolling out some amazing messaging features that marketers are gobbling up – even in the B2B segment. From IM capabilities to embedded opt-in forms, Facebook is leading the charge.

Customer service automation continues to be more sophisticated, delivering a level of responsiveness that isn’t humanly possible.

And, lastly, automation allows brands to give prospects what they want and when from content to messaging with personalization. It’s an exciting time to be a marketer! I can’t wait to explore new ways to deliver these opportunities to our clients.

 

 

Larysa Chaplin

Vacancysoft | Director of Marketing and Innovation

 

  1. Landing pages for capturing leads
  2. Predictive Analytics
  3. Artificial Intelligence

Landing pages are very effective for capturing leads, and improving product/proposition based on A/B tests and engagement analysis. Great tool which enables companies and products to experiment with branding, identities and promotions.

With Predictive Analytics it is possible to target prospective clients based on their intention to buy allowing to interact with them increasing chances of success. Being able to predict clients’ behaviour helps to take appropriate steps to fulfil their needs, leading to client satisfaction and retention.

AI developed within marketing automation tools helps to make sense of data gathered from websites, e-campaigns and landing pages. AI based tools save time by tracking campaigns and forecasting their outcomes, predicting client behaviour, creating and pushing relevant and personalised content, as well as several other essential marketing activities. Not to mention all intelligent chat-bots and support tools which replicate human interactions.

 

 

Leeyen Rogers

JotForm | VP of Marketing

 

Email and in-product personalization will become more standard. Companies will continue to broaden their personalization strategy and will move away from sending a large and diverse user base the same generic message. Trigger-based and action oriented messaging will continue to ramp up as companies seek to increase conversions through personalization.

Multivariate testing will have a big impact in 2018 as it moves into the “essential” category for marketing. An increased focus on landing page optimization and user experience will have a positive impact for both companies and website visitors.

 

 

Meagen Eisenberg

MongoDB | CMO

 

  1. Further automation of the qualification process and hand-off between marketing and sales (i.e. tools like Conversica)
  2. An easier way to access and automate all the customer touchpoints and data to better market from acquisition to web to product to sales interactions (i.e. marketing automation platforms blending with account-based marketing solutions, such as ZenIQ, Olono.ai)
  3. Influencer marketing will continue to involve – with your network and influencers leading media (i.e. apps and tools like Accompany, Insightpool and Nudge)

 

 

Michelle Delgado

Clutch | Content Developer & Marketer

 

  1. Automated Welcome Emails: At Clutch, we used to have our newsletter subscribers fill out a form to let us know their preferences. Now, we rely on automated email software to make the process smoother and more seamless for users.

    After a new subscriber signs up on our website (no more clicking through to a separate page!), our software automatically sends a welcome email that gives them the opportunity to update their preferences. This way, subscribers aren’t forced to navigate a form unless they decide that they decide they want more control over the emails they receive from Clutch.

  2. Reengagement Emails: We are planning to start a new initiative to reengage newsletter subscribers. If a subscriber hasn’t opened one of our newsletters for weeks, we will soon send an automated email inviting them to update their preferences.

    Although we’re sad to see subscribers go, we also plan to give them the option to unsubscribe–sometimes, we all hit a limit of how many newsletters we can realistically read in a week, and a little empathy for subscribers can go a long way.

  3. Time Zone Management: We work with clients all over the world, so scheduling an email for 8:00 am our time means some would get it in the middle of the night! Instead, we have recently started using Mailchimp’s Time Warp feature, which ensures that everyone receives our newsletter at 8:00 am in their time zone, no matter where they are. Just remember to schedule 24 hours in advance!

 

 

Pam Neely

PamNeely.com | Content Strategist/Creator

 

  1. Personalization (beyond inserting first names)
  2. Predictive Analytics
  3. More use of messaging apps/social contacts

 

 

Michael Brenner

Marketing Insider Group | Keynote Speaker, Author, and CEO of Marketing Insider

 

  1. 2018 will see more marketers using AI-driven content personalization to deliver the right content to the right person at the right tim.
  2. AI-driven content planning to help brands understand what kind of content resonates with their audience most,
  3. We’ll see a bigger focus on the art of storytelling to reach audiences with stories that touch their hearts and inspire their minds to act.

 

 

Mandy McEwen

Mod Girl Marketing | Founder & CEO

 

  1. Marketing automation tools will become more connected. With the hundreds of tools available out there, marketing automation can be a hassle and lead to duplicated efforts across platforms. As we enter 2018, more sites will begin connecting to other tools – whether through 3rd-party apps like Zapier or IFTTT or on their own – to allow for a more streamlined experience for your audience.
  2. Automation will better complement manual marketing. Rather than viewing automation as a completely separate entity, B2B marketers will continue their efforts to personalize marketing automation and make it fit in with their manual marketing. By the end of 2018, it will be difficult to tell if a message was sent by a robot or by a human – resulting in a better experience for your audience and more leads for you.
  3. B2B marketers will begin using marketing automation tools on LinkedIn more purposefully. Though this has been popular for social media sites (such as Twitter and Instagram) and email marketing for years, few B2B marketers have utilized automation tools on their personal LinkedIn profiles.

    However, B2B marketing is about making personal connections with your potential clients, and LinkedIn is the #1 place to do that. In 2018 and beyond, marketers will combine automation techniques used on social media and email to quickly connect with their dream prospects through their profile and via personal messages.

 

 

Will Egan

Ausmed | CMO

 

  1. Artificial Intelligence  – AI powered website and campaign optimisation may emerge as in 2018 as an important trend in B2B marketing. The one drawback of these types of technologies is the fact that they rely heavily on large volumes of data (something not generally available in B2B settings).
  2. Data Enrichment – Data enrichment is my top pick for underground B2B marketing practices that will go mainstream in 2017. Organisations like Segment, Hunter and Clearbit are carving out a role between the lead generation and marketing qualified lead stages. Services like Fusion from Vero are a great example of this being applied in realtime to the marketing automation pipeline.
  3. Integrated CRMs – Compared to B2C, most B2B CRMs still stink. By applying a B2C mindset around data, online tracking and communications, companies will have an opportunity to significantly increase the performance of their marketing automation programs.

 

 

Jason Jue

Triblio | CMO

 

  1. More sales people will be doing marketing automation functions such as nurturing and qualifying leads using sales email automation tools. Marketers will play a role in creating campaign templates and developing governance rules.
  2. Marketing automation will start before an email is captured through a form fill. Why? Buyers will continue the trend of avoiding filling out forms. Sirius has recognized this trend by introducing a next gen funnel that adds a stage prior to a form fill. Marketers must attract and recognize qualified anonymous buyers and nurture them with interactive and engaging content prior to completing forms.

    Bonus stat for this point: Using Triblio’s clients data of hundreds of thousands of form fills, 45% of prospects visit a website or landing page 90 days before filling out a form, and 67% engage 30 days before.

  3. Marketing automation will be account based. We’ll group leads into account segments. We’ll score and nurture based on the engagement of known contacts and unknown visitor behavior in target accounts. Instead of lead nurturing and a lead score, we’ll be thinking about account nurturing and account score.

 

 

Meghan Barrett

Modelo.io | Senior Marketing Specialist

 

Marketing automation is without a doubt changing the way that B2B marketers reach both potential customers and existing customers, and will continue to have a big impact in 2018.

  1. The first identifiable trend for 2018 relates to automated referral marketing, which will allow B2B marketers to increase leads and conversions through expanding their networks.
  2. The second trend focuses on creating relatable, personalized experiences for understanding individual contacts with the help of marketing automation.
  3. Lastly, the third trend involves B2B marketers utilizing chatbots and AI, specifically for mobile marketing, to streamline automated communication efforts.

 

 

Barbara Rozgonyi

  1. Super Competitive Creative. How will B2B companies up their email open rates? By being more creative with PR [Personality+Reputation] in 3D formats: digital, direct and dynamic.
  2. Hyper Precise Sales Process Paths. Where are they coming from and where are they going? B2B companies will realize the virtual reality of the need for mapping from the prospect’s location to their destination.
  3. Pinpoint Customer Data Points. The days of data overwhelm will be over as B2B companies focus on the triggers to the actions that matter all along the customer experience journey.

 

 

Christine B. Whittemore

Simple Marketing Now | Chief Simplifier

 

I expect B2B marketers to embrace three aspects of marketing automation in 2018:

  1. It generates actionable insights based on data. Marketing automation enables you to integrate multiple tools so they provide meaning about customers and business. That might lead to better lead qualifying communications, different product decisions or changes in the sales process based not on gut feel, but rather on customer feedback data.
  2. It forces alignment between sales and marketing processes. Marketing automation assumes that it will help qualify leads for sales. To do that effectively requires collaboration between the two functions. Otherwise, how can you effectively identify the ideal touchpoints, qualification parameters and when a prospect is sales-ready.
  3. It requires smart, thoughtful, strategic human input to be effective. Marketing automation is just a tool. In order for chatbots to work, lead nurturing sequences to convince, A/B tests to inform, personalization to connect, and lead scoring to qualify, you need experts who understand customers and the business and how to map that knowledge into the software.

 

 

Barb Easter

Dryrun | Director of Customer Engagement

 

This particular aspect of business is a behemoth; I and my team are so glad to see automation software has made massive leaps in terms of UI, functionality and power over the past couple of years.

For us, it’s all about signal to noise ratio – this is going to be the biggest difference that B2B marketers see in the upcoming year.

  1. It seems really fundamental, but a useful dashboard is a gamechanger – we’ve watched dashboards become more and more powerful and intuitive – allowing a person or small team with a single vision to mold the brand and interact with users at all stages of the cycle to propel them into meaningful and fruitful interactions.
  2. Further to that, this type of dashboard allows us to personalize then automate emails and video which research tells us are key to engaging users and helping them make a buying decision.
  3. Finally, a great dashboard provides flags and triggers to manage engagement and provide information during micro-moments – those times when customers are looking for information and emotion…increasingly via mobile.

We’re looking forward to 2018 as the year where technology makes another leap forward to match our vision and helps us engage our customers in our mission for cash flow management.

 

 

Chris Grant

BabelQuest | Inbound Strategist

 

  1. The big one for me is going to be an increase in the use of end to end automation – integrating automation across the whole customer lifecycle from first click to purchase to renewal.
  2. The rise of the chatbots is just beginning, so I’d expect to see this grow massively at 2018 goes on.
  3. We’ll also see more suppliers of standalone solutions adding functionality and re-branding their products as marketing automation solutions.

 

 

Gil Allouche

Metadata | Founder \ Metadata

 

  1. Lead scoring
  2. Predictive marketing
  3. Account-based targeting (re-targeting marketing automation contacts with ads)

 

 

David Hoos

The Good | Content Marketing Strategist

 

There are two trends that I think will occur within the automation space and a third that I think will occur outside of that space.

  1. First, I’m convinced that automation will expand to more portions of the funnel.
  2. Second, I think the tools for automation will mature to provide better end-to-end attribution.
  3. Lastly, related to the first two, I believe we’ll begin to see a reaction by consumers against big data that helps drive automation, and we’ll see a push toward greater security and privacy.

Which Marketing Automation Trends Will You Leverage in Your Business?

Chatbots, AI, multi-variate testing…

Which emerging marketing automation trends will your company take advantage of in 2018? Are there any not listed above?

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