At the risk of stating the obvious, marketing today isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago - and the same can be said of marketing automation, marketing automation software, and the channels we use to market. In fact, these things aren’t the same as they were 10 months ago. As a marketer, you’ve probably already come to the same conclusion I have: that we, as marketers, are no longer in control of the customer buying journey. Customers are. Learn more about how to keep up with these changes in our webinar with Salesforce marketing insights leader Mathew Sweezey, “The Future of Marketing Automation is MORE.”
As marketers, we must still craft appropriate messaging to share with our future customers, but with customers in control, we no longer choose the channels by which they’ll find us. I probably don’t need to tell you that just sending marketing emails and updating your website won't give you the coverage you need.
For starters, Mary Meeker reports that online and mobile usage continues to grow, with mobile usage steadily increasing about 10% year-over-year since 2013. Of course, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that “do 10% more mobile” isn’t exactly a comprehensive marketing strategy, either. Or that mobile isn't necessarily the be-all, end-all of multi-channel marketing. Nothing is anymore.
Consider our friends in retail: Forbes reports that online sales for retailers have grown nearly 10% annually, and will make up 50% of sales by 2035, yet 70% of Gen Z shoppers prefer brick-and-mortar. The foreseeable future of retail is omni-channel. Likewise, the foreseeable future of marketing could also be said to be omni-channel. You need a holistic strategy, finely tuned for your customers, that incorporates every channel where your potential customers live (be it social, search, mobile, or whatever else).
It’s also not enough to just blast the same message out across every channel, willy-nilly, 24 hours a day. Reaching out to a prospect who just downloaded your latest eBook, with an automated offer to download that same eBook, is amateur-hour stuff, and reflects poorly on your company and your brand.
Today, you need just-in-time messaging that sends the right message to the right person at the right time - whenever and wherever they happen to be. In other words, you need messaging that isn’t just multi-channel, but also contextual. These are all insights covered by Mathew in his popular article, “The Future of Marketing 2018,” and I tend to agree with much of what he puts forth there.
So, pursuing a multi-channel, highly contextual marketing strategy is essential for modern marketing. However, I think you also know that trying to do this manually is impossible at any kind of scale. You have dozens, thousands, or even millions of potential customers waiting for you - each with a different set of needs, each with a different story, and each on a different leg of their buying journey.
Hence the very well-documented rise of marketing automation software. And what is marketing automation but the latest in the long line of silver bullets that were going to solve all our problems? As good as they are, and there is good software out there, there aren’t any marketing automation platforms that can single-handedly tackle a challenge this complex.
A quick look at the landscape reveals that, at very least, there’s no shortage of marketing automation software to help with what ails you. In fact, there are more than 6,000 marketing software applications out there today. Research suggests that best-in-class marketing teams use an average of 14 different tools. That’s because as marketers, we’re grappling with bigger, more-complicated challenges than ever. And software is a part of the solution...but it isn’t the whole picture.
This is why you need a holistic, Marketing Automation 2.0 strategy - one that extends beyond your choice of software. Beyond touting your products’ shiny features, you need to build engagement with prospective customers. You need messaging that isn’t just prescriptive, but participatory. And above all else, you need marketing automation that connects your message to your prospects through every relevant channel, with the context they already expect from you.
How can you implement Marketing Automation 2.0 into your marketing strategy? Learn how by joining me and Mathew Sweezey for our webinar, “The Future of Marketing Automation is MORE.”