3 Future Trends for Marketing Automation

During the Q & A session of my talk today at Drupal Camp Atlanta, one of the audience members asked the question, “where do you see marketing automation going?” Thinking about it for a second, I answered that I saw several trends on the horizon for marketing automation.

Here are three future trends for marketing automation:

  • Benchmarking – With vendors like Pardot signing up a critical mass of customers, there’s an opportunity to benchmark results anonymously across different categories and become the Nielson Ratings of B2B marketers (e.g. for companies of this industry, size, and price point, here’s the average sales cycle, conversion rates, ROI, etc).
  • Big Data / Machine Learning – Most lead scoring is done with a very static model of assigning values to certain web pages, forms, activities, etc. such that it doesn’t take into account actual data from previous prospects that turned into customers. Using big data tools and machine learning, marketing automation systems will be able to automatically build scores around a prospect’s propensity to buy that will be much more accurate.
  • 3rd Generation Platforms – With Eloqua being a first generation platform and Pardot being a second generation platform, in the next few years a strong 3rd generation platform will emerge that’s simpler and cheaper, just like Mailchimp did to the email marketing space.

So, there you have it: three future trends for marketing automation. Marketing automation as an industry is still only getting started with less than a 10% adoption in the market. These three future trends are the natural evolution of the market and we’ll see them within three years, if not sooner.

What else? What your thoughts and these three ideas and what are some other future trends you see for marketing automation?

8 thoughts on “3 Future Trends for Marketing Automation

  1. That sounds spot on David. As consumers we are used to choice, benchmarking, price sensitivity – from eBay to gocomp… (Dreadful songs) to trip-advisor to Which? InB2B the genuinely personal touch / recommendations seem to be more important but the trends you suggest can still support that if well used and integrated.

    Be interested in marketing trends for charities, social enterprises etc. There is a resistance to spending any time or money on marketing – and yet perhaps automation to increase ROI is the only sustainable solution. To jump from minimal effort to automation is a big ask?

    Many (charities but perhaps others too) will be put off by their experience of the automated marketing they receive which is so often wasteful of precious resources to filter out the 95%+ of calls emails texts letters faxes that are irrelevant or misleading or pretend to be from a hospital or council or police but are in fact selling advertising space.

    I look forward to hearing more from you,
    Kind Regards, Rob Marsh
    CEO West Kent YMCA
    Rob@WestKentYMCA.org.uk
    projects, referrals, contacts, news, jobs http://www.WestKentYMCA.org.uk

    West Kent YMCA | Helping Young People Build Their Future | life-changing developments | Charity No803529 | Company No2512960
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    http://www.twitter.com/WestKentYMCA
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  2. Some ideas: in-app messaging, user satisfaction monitoring, better usage analytics and recorded freemium usage patterns, and real automation in grading based on people’s prospect demographics. Oh yeah – and making it easier to use 🙂

  3. I think there could be some interesting things ahead for MAP. Some thoughts:

    1. It’d be cool to see a new platform launch that is separate from an email client and would let you plug in ExactTarget, SendGrid or something like that. The email sending is a commodity. There’s no need to build this part in.
    2. it’d be cool to mark conversions and identify cookies through social as well as forms. If someone is signed into Twitter or FB and hits a page, you can recognize them this way in addition to clicking on emails.
    3. It’d be cool to have the marketing automation platform to have it’s own CRM so if you were small enough (or courageous enough), you could bypass Salesforce entirely. These two are so tight, it makes sense for it to be the same product.

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