What allows Sales Automation (SA) and Marketing Automation (MA) to be on an upward trajectory? Tech, baby. As we move into the automated future, the friction of MA/SA implementation should be first to go. The star of the show, ladies and gentle-bots: Artificial Intelligence.
Waves of Innovation
Gartner has represented the constant growth of SA through different “waves”:
- “Wave 1: Client-server and desktop based sales systems”
- “Wave 2: Web 2.0 and API-based sales systems”
- “Wave 3: Algorithmic SA with predictive analytics and AI”
Waves 1 and 2 were gnarly, but we’re on the front end of the big kahuna – #3. Tech is simplifying the sales process by automating – and thereby accelerating – communication between sales and marketing departments. Knowledge Tree states, “Automated analytics about the performance of content can be automatically shuttled back to marketing so they can see which content performs and which doesn’t. The result is that teams can invest in assists that win and eliminate low-performers.”
Box checked for automation – but what about AI? CRMs are the biggest intersection of sales and marketing departments. According to Medium, “AI applications in CRM is just a tip of the iceberg. As AI technology strengthens, CRM which is ripe for disruption is going to be the biggest beneficiary moving from being a system of records to a really helpful tool helping organizations become more efficient and productive.”
As long as the machines don’t rise up against us, the future is looking much smoother.
The Huffington Post quoted a Gleanster study which, “…reports that 90% of respondents report regular and periodic use of Marketing Automation for large-volume email campaigns.” The article continues to explain that MA, “has revolutionized the way organizations are managing their time and targets.” Now the best possible prospects are given time to convert, saving time, energy, and money.
Data integrations and predictive analysis will be the main focus for MA growth, via AI integration.
The Huffington Post continues, “The most valuable use of AI in marketing is to enable personalized conversations with customers, knowing their goals, ambitions and profiles. This type of personalized communication eliminates spam, which often plagues marketing today.” Digital natives know when they’re being spammed, unwillingly part of chain emails, etc., and the lack of personalization is an instant red flag. In spite of this, in recent years many have concluded that mass emailing works… but does it? This answer isn’t so black and white.
Personalized one-on-one conversations can now move beyond simple list segmentations. “…Visitors can expect to have a unique conversation with the brand, based on their specific needs. Dynamic ad copy, one-to-one emails, customized website and mobile experience, AI will make hyper-personalization possible at scale.”
AI may allow MA to practice safe marketing. Rather than communicating with promiscuity, the personalized approach that AI has introduced will reach mass audiences creating interactions that are aligned with actual individuals, rather than more vague segments.
Wrapping It Up…
AI has expanded well-beyond sitting on your kitchen counter (ordering your paper towels and surreptitiously shilling for Burger King.) It’s being implemented across MadTech, and SA/MA are no exception. If only we could get it to open the pod bay doors.