What is marketing automation?

With many different technologies, software and platforms available today to communicate your marketing messages through, it can be a stretch to keep up the pace and ensure your objectives are consistently and effectively being met. As a good chef employs a prep cook to prepare ingredients before they tackle a dish, more and more businesses are turning towards marketing automation tools to ensure the basics of their communication strategies are taken care of - which will leave much more time and energy to focus on running the business instead of playing catch up!

If you’re looking for an agency offering the best marketing automation solutions, engage the team at U and see the difference an innovative and personalised automation system can have for your company. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B or B2C company, we have the tools and systems to help you generate leads on autopilot.

Marketing – The Past

In 2004, social media was in its infancy and segmenting was still something you did to an orange – not an email marketing campaign. Back then, big data was the fancy of an Orwellian dystopia, and cookies were something you ate with milk – not pixels which followed you around the internet. Moving at a tech-turbo speed, traditional marketing has changed more in the past five years than in the past 50.

Once upon a time, we wrote letters instead of texts. Marketing automation software was virtually unheard of. Between now and then, our lives have shifted significantly and so has marketing – especially in the way consumers seek information. Moving on from methods like cold emails and pamphlets, marketing has morphed into a consumer-led process. With a simple click or swipe, there’s more choice than ever, which has led to a huge shift in customer expectations. There’s no such thing as a passive customer anymore.

"marketing has changed more in the past five years than in the past 50"

Modern multi-channel marketing has shifted the balance of power from the company to the consumer, coupled with an expectation that brands make life easier. To stay relevant, companies must move from generic audiences and mass campaigns to tailoring the right content to the right consumer at the right time. The amount and nature of touchpoints have skyrocketed and marketers now need to juggle the many options of apps, smartphones, email marketing and social media platforms.

Technology has led this leap in data derived from social media and the emergence of marketing automation software and platforms. Marketers now have an accurate understanding of who and where their customers are, as well as where they sit in the buyer’s cycle. But with this democratisation of data – cutting through the cosmos of competition is now the true test of a marketer’s success. Watch this space for ways and why championing cross-channel marketing is a must, as well as comprehensive automation solutions for all your pain points.

Marketing – The Present

Consumers have become hyper-connected, and as brand marketing spills into the social media space, the question at the top of most marketers’ minds is how they can stay competitive and connected. Between balancing influencers and integrating multi-channel campaigns, developing marketing automation systems and strategies is now more challenging than touching your nose with your elbow.

Never has there been so much choice and so little clarity. On the one hand – data and insights have brought sales and marketing teams closer together so they can focus on creating a 1:1 connection between the brand and the customer. On the other hand – it’s an options overload. Between the different devices, segments, platforms and channels, knowing where to find your customer feels like a game of ‘Where’s Wally?’

While today’s marketer is pulled in many directions, they’re still speaking to an audience, not an individual. Sure, they can access the tools and data needed to create personalised interactions but navigating them sometimes requires a PhD and a bigger budget than the average GDP. Old-school analogue tactics have given way to an ever-expanding digital landscape, and so begins the race to remain relevant, personal and connected.

As much as brands have evolved, customers have too. Both B2B and B2C consumers are more discerning than ever before. No longer wanting to be ‘sold’ to, consumers now value experience and convenience over price. Herein lies the challenge for modern marketers – how to sell your product without actually selling your product.

"Consumers have become

In a short period of time we’ve gone from brochures to billboards to biddable keywords; modern marketing has become part art, part science. Balancing creative with data analysis has turned the traditional marketing campaign on its head. Instead of using ads to spruik their wares, marketers are now leveraging influencers and online communities.

Looking ahead ten years – marketing automation software, tools, systems and platforms will take centre stage. In fact, in a decade’s time, this article could have been written by AI, automatically summarised into a neat soundbyte and delivered seamlessly to you via a socially integrated chat-bot. So that’s where we’re at. Watch this space for how U is bridging the gap between buyers and brands through fully integrated marketing automation services.

Marketing – The Future

These days, relevancy is king. Responding to a landscape of generic and shouty messaging, consumers have developed ‘selective hearing.’ With most of us spending ⅓ of our waking lives attached to a device, the ubiquity of technology has made reaching customers easy – it’s keeping them engaged that’s challenging.

Instant gratification means consumers want what they want; when they want it. If brands can’t keep up, they risk their message drowning in a sea of saturation. With busy lives and more competitive communication, it’s no wonder consumers are gravitating to brands that ‘get’ them.

Future marketers need to help companies understand what their customers want, as well as use integrated marketing technology and software to translate customers' needs into campaigns that are relevant, personalised and engaging. Messages don’t need to be complicated; just considered. Here are three standouts on the marketing horizon:

"Relevancy is king"

Marketing Integration

Integrated marketing joins all the dots, providing a connected framework of messages where at the push of a button, you can sync all your communication across all platforms, devices and channels. It’s less about human intervention and more about relying on technology to keep campaigns consistent and relevant to the individual.

Marketing Automation Platforms & Tools

The future is automated; from email and SMS to landing pages and digital campaigns, marketing automation tools and systems keeps messaging on point. Because databases are updated in real-time – consumers expect timely, personalised and relevant messaging. U’s marketing automation solution allows marketers to create measurable and connected campaigns.

Hyper Personalisation

Hyper personalisation is about relevancy; picking up on trends and patterns to produce personalised messaging. Personalisation uses intelligent data to deliver the right information at the right time to the right customers. With so much competition, customers crave feeling special and understood.

For companies to cut through, marketers need to think about customers as individuals and innovate brand experiences that provide legitimate value. An example of this is BP’s new fuel payment app. Designed for parents and motorists in a hurry, the smartphone app lets you use your location to find the nearest BP petrol station and pay at the pump using your smartphone.

The future is now, and it’s all about delivering relevant and customised cross-channel communication to help you build a relationship with your customers. It’s creating a seamless experience where customers can receive individual messages through web, print, SMS, social media sharing, QR codes and more. In today’s fast-paced digital environment, U can’t afford not to.

The Marketing Automation Agency of the Future

Now more than ever it’s crucial to have the right marketing automation software and tools to skyrocket your business growth. The U team focusses on leveraging marketing automation platforms and solutions so that your ideal customers receive the relevant and personalised attention they need, and you generate the results you want.

For more information on how our marketing automation services can best help your company, contact us today.

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