When it comes to marketing automation technology, it's crucial to stay on top of the trends in the constantly evolving space. Investing in great operational platforms can skyrocket efficiency and allow you to leverage existing data like never before. Marketing automation will always be a vital tactic for growth, but execution is changing rapidly.
In 2021, we learned that streamlining your martech stack, including your automation platform, is a one-way ticket to effective, consolidated efforts. With robust reporting, well-thought-out UX, advanced security and compliance features, and reliable customer support (yes, you read that right), there’s no question that platforms like HubSpot make executing integrated B2B marketing campaigns seamless. So, where do we go from here in 2022? As we look to the future of automation in the coming year, we’re noticing some marketing automation trends rise to the top. Let’s talk about them.
Top Marketing Automation Trends for 2022
Expectations around marketing are changing. C-suites are demanding proof of ROI for digital marketing efforts, and prospective customers are hungry to protect their personal information.
Increased Data Security
We’re seeing a major shift in data collection strategy in the wake of increased customer security expectations. The emphasis is newly being placed on zero- and first-party data, rather than on third-party data. The major difference here is the relationship between you and that prospect. Use of third-party data is more often restricted as security measures continue to increase. Not to mention customers are keenly aware of their privacy. With zero- and first-party data types, you have a direct relationship with the prospect rather than having acquired their information from a third party. First-party data comes directly from your audience’s behavior – think surveys, social media profiles, feedback forms – while zero-party data comes completely unsolicited from your customer; they intentionally share this information with you.
A Shift In Targeting
The evolution of data collection leads us to our next marketing automation trend: Rethink your targeting strategy. Do you have cold prospects that haven’t heard from you? Are you doing everything you can to retain your loyal customers? Consider re-marketing your current products and services in a unique, attention-grabbing way to improve your bottom line. In 2022, the answer shouldn’t always be “find new customers.” It’s often easier to retain or re-engage the ones you already have. Take a hard look at your current pipeline and get creative with your marketing funnel.
Another great use of existing data would be to create lookalike audiences. This segmentation tool allows you to expand your reach and target those who share demographics and behaviors with your most loyal customers. Not only will you grow your prospect pool, but you’ll see major ROI from your advertising.
Track Impact Metrics
There are huge benefits to comprehensive data reporting. Tools like HubSpot make this process far less grueling than using manual spreadsheets to collect data from all your digital advertising programs. However, the data you track going into this year and moving forward should go beyond your standard KPIs, such as cost-per-lead, impressions, and conversion rate. You should also ensure you are also paying close attention to your impact metrics. Typically collected and analyzed by C-suite executives, impact metrics measure the overall health of your organization, rather than focusing only on the outcomes of a specific, finite goal. Your KPIs and your impact metrics are interconnected as they directly affect one another, so it is only logical for the long-term success of your business to analyze the two measurement standards together.
How To Gain A Competitive Advantage
Martech is a constantly evolving industry. There very well might be a whole new set of projected Q2 marketing automation best practices months from now. Staying on top of your operational efficiency is a critical way to gain an advantage against your competitors.
Your CRM is one of your greatest tools. By knowing the ins and outs of your marketing funnel, you can better understand your customer’s lifetime value and purchasing behavior, and leverage those insights to help your bottom line. When engaging with existing customers, you can use your CRM data to identify where you can expand existing accounts by cross-selling new services, grow existing contracts into new regions, and leverage customer satisfaction data to find out which customers would make great referrals.
A well-maintained automation platform means nimble and effective reporting. Reporting that, if done correctly, proves the value of marketing on ROI. This reporting can also give you a foundation for taking some calculated risks that could result in high rewards.
Adept at communicating and connecting with people of all backgrounds, William brings more than 10 years of experience leading, developing, and implementing digital marketing solutions for B2B clients. He’s worked with a variety of clients, from large multinational corporations with multiple business units to local small businesses. William previously served as the Director of Digital Strategy and Insights for a Portland, Oregon-based B2B marketing agency, helping it grow from a team of 3 to a team of more than 40. In addition to leading analytics, marketing automation, SEO, paid media, and business intelligence, William also focused on mentoring and providing team members in his department with a clear professional development path.