How Marketing Can Be Better Automated With Big Data

December 21, 2015
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Marketing automation is the next big thing. In mid-2013, Salesforce announced the acquisition of ExactTarget which owns Pardot, the marketing automation company whose software-as-a-service application has enabled thousands of companies to automate and manage their online marketing campaigns and boost efficiency. Before this, Adobe had acquired Neolane, another cross-channel campaign management and marketing automation provider while Oracle had acquired Eloqua and Responsys who are leaders in the cloud-based marketing automation space.

Marketing automation is the next big thing. In mid-2013, Salesforce announced the acquisition of ExactTarget which owns Pardot, the marketing automation company whose software-as-a-service application has enabled thousands of companies to automate and manage their online marketing campaigns and boost efficiency. Before this, Adobe had acquired Neolane, another cross-channel campaign management and marketing automation provider while Oracle had acquired Eloqua and Responsys who are leaders in the cloud-based marketing automation space.

It is not hard to understand the mad rush in owning applications and services that help customers automate their marketing campaigns. Not too long ago, online marketing formed a small subset of a business’ larger marketing strategy. Today, not only is online marketing a category onto itself, it is also getting increasingly diversified through channels like PPC, social media, SEO, content marketing to name a broad few. This space is getting increasingly cluttered and without proper automation tools, it can get extremely difficult for businesses to manage and ensure consistency in the various inbound and outbound marketing messages.

Besides this, there are several other benefits to marketing automation: it can drastically improve the efficiency of the sales team and their sales cycle, it saves time and money in mundane marketing administrative tasks including generating reports and sending bulk email communications, improves the targeting and messaging without the need for additional resources and accelerates close rates through persistent follow-ups. While a lot of SaaS-based marketing automation tools have enabled such efficiency improvements in the past, the next step in this industry is to use big data and cloud computing to create a vastly improved marketing automation solution. Here are some areas that marketing automation businesses are working on.

Data Driven Messaging: Marketing automation today largely relies on the marketer setting filters to target prospects and customers through parameters like their location, time zone, purchasing frequency, etc. But marketing communication could become more timely and efficient if it was based on analyzing their buying behavior not just on the marketer’s own website, but also over other complementary channels. This does not necessarily have to be a privacy nightmare for the customer. Tools like BuiltWith already host tons of valuable information regarding the back-end technology infrastructure and business tools used by various businesses. This information from thousands of businesses may be mined using big data to derive crucial insights into potential buying patterns of your existing or prospective customers and marketing strategies may be automated around this.

Predictive Analytics: Marketing strategy today is based off data provided by goals and funnels. While they provide a reactive way to analyze the success of marketing campaigns, big data can help with building proactive marketing automation systems that can yield higher returns on your investments. For instance, big data analytics can tell you whether the navigational path taken by a prospective customer would lead to them signing up or not. Based on this, you can devise an email marketing campaign that could route your prospects through a navigational path that is better suited to bringing them ‘back on track’.

This is an exciting time to get started with marketing automation and with new big data driven strategies, marketing would not only get more efficient, but also smarter.