Updated: May 19
Marketing Automation has exploded over the past ten years. It has given marketers the ability to:
Automate email marketing communications
Personalize emails with name, company name, etc.
Set-up campaign orchestration
Create if/then sequences and triggers
However, this was just the start. Now the demand is more than just email. Marketers want the same marketing automation across all their channels.
So, the question is now, "How can I create consistent personalization across all my channels regardless of platform?"
Every marketer wants to know everything about their customer. Understanding your customer allows you to create the most effective message on the right channel at the right time. And the best way to understand your customers is through data.
With the right data-driven marketing strategy, you don't have to view customers in a broad sense. You can now access detailed information about individual consumers. The challenge is that this data isn't in a central location. Some live in your CRM, others on your website and a list of other places. Combining all this data into unified customer profiles is the burning issue marketing platform vendors try to overcome.
What are the restrictions of marketing automation tools?
More popular tools include Marketo, Mailchimp, Hubspot, and IBM. These platforms perform well on some platforms but struggle in others.
First, marketing automation tools can only manage data in the channels they manage. Pulling a combination of online and offline data to trigger a few emails doesn't cut it anymore. The marketing automation platform isn't always in the loop when a customer uses another channel. This can lead to misplaced messaging. We need tools that can access data in any form and tie it into a unified consumer profile.
Second, marketing automation tools usually can't react to real-time data. For most modern organizations, the speed and volume of data inputs typically outpace the marketing automation setup, making the data useless. Marketing needs to happen in real-time. If a VIP lead arrives on your website, you want the ability to customize the experience in real-time.
Third, a marketing automation platform doesn't offer enough options for customization. Testing and experimenting are no longer a luxury but a requirement. But to run even a single experiment, marketers need to get creative just to pull the necessary data in the platform; divide audiences into random, non-overlapping groups; and deliver those audiences to execution platforms.
Marketers of the future will need the ability:
to collect customer data in real-time in a unified customer view
to allow for real-time profiling and segmentation
to trigger consistent messaging across all channels
Marketing automation allows you to transition from weekly batch emails to hundreds, if not thousands, of personalized customer journeys. We now need the ability to create personalization at scale across multiple channels. If someone clicks on your email at breakfast, we want the ability to serve them a relevant ad on their Facebook newsfeed by lunch.
Ability to integrate your app & web data
Marketers need to have the ability to access online behavior. You need to be able to profile customer journeys based on digital behavior.
Fortunately, most marketing automation tools have taken over this responsibility. For example, most platforms allow you to create customer journeys and combine them with mail behavior (clicks, opens) with online behavior (visits, pageviews).
Digital identification continues to be the most important in personalization. Cross-channel targeting only works if we're confident we're targeting the same person. As marketers, we need to help identify, match, and link offline and known online data (email) with the unknown (1st & 3rd party cookies).
Consumers make decisions in real-time. We need to create profiles and personalization in real-time to match. We need to act on events (e.g., opens) instantly. Marketers need the ability to trigger actions based on real-time profiling (e.g., using rules such as 'everyone who clicks on this mail and hasn't purchased yet')
To attract new leads, marketers use advertising. Additionally, to retain customers who aren't engaging in your channels and platforms, ads can help boost engagement and conversion.
Advertising to segments allows you to run advertising to a specific group of identity profiles. A marketer needs to connect customers with cookies and use those cookies in advertising platforms to do this effectively. A few examples include the ability to target people who haven't opened your email, exclude advertising for customers who have already bought from you, or exclude advertising for customers who've filed a dispute.
Today, marketing automation isn't all that we'd hoped. We still need to manually create our target audiences (using queries or rule-engines), define which triggers to use and upload creatives. The mechanics still take up much of our time.
Marketers want more automation options where an audience is built based on a goal (e.g., conversions), and an optimized customer journey is defined without human intervention. This is where AI can help.
The first step is AI propensity scoring. This means AI helps by scoring each customer or lead with a propensity score to churn or buy a predefined product.
Some marketing tools provide propensity scoring out-of-the-box, giving you a propensity for each customer (a value between 0 and 1) based on a black-box model. Other tools offer more customization by allowing teams to make and iterate their own models.
AI propensity scoring brings automation. Rather than defining demographics on who is likely to churn, AI scoring helps marketers continuously analyze historical data to gather a relevant target audience automatically.
AI can also optimize marketing journeys, such as creating an algorithm to find the best way to convert a lead.
The goal of marketing automation hasn't changed. The goal is to drive campaigns at scale. Marketers want to get quick insights from data and use them to make informed strategic decisions.
Marketing strategies need to allow flexible queries and data visualization. Most vendors provide a SQL-like interface for users to query user insights or integrate with self-service reporting tools like Power BI, Tableau, or Qlik.
Marketers need to orchestrate customer interactions across all touchpoints. If this, then that. Marketing automation allows marketers to orchestrate only the channels it manages. Marketers need the ability to orchestrate a customer journey across all channels. This includes triggering various marketing execution channels and handling feedback loops.
Orchestration can only happen when two conditions are met:
Tight data integration in real-time (i.e., offline visits are directly inserted in the CEP)
A broad set of connections in real-time to execution channels
In short, a Customer Data Platform is a marketing tool/data platform where both online and offline data are gathered and combined into a 360-degree customer profile in real-time. With this, marketers can target the right person at the right time with the right message across all channels.
However, CDP platforms still face privacy issues. With Adzapier CEP, you will be able to create unified customer profiles, segment audiences based on behavior, and launch privacy-compliant campaigns. All while maintaining data locally with the option to take your data with you wherever you go.
Reach your consumers when they're most likely to buy with Adzapier Consumer Engagement Platform. Launching 2022.
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