Marketing Automation Evolution…

Marketing automation has been somewhat of a blessing to many employed in the field; it’s freed up a lot of time and reduced the tedium associated with repetitive tasks. Automation swooped in providing a range of tools to save time and effort needed day to day. Still, the digital marketing landscape is evolving further, driven by changing consumer behaviour and demands; on average, consumers now spend more time online than ever but they’re after a more personalised experience overall, with authenticity facilitating sales. Data will continue to reshape the digital landscape and drive engagement for consumers all the while allowing digital marketers to deploy more successful campaigns. Automation creates a multitude of ROI opportunities hence why it has some such a large influence on development. Below are three of the ways marketing automation is evolving in 2018…

Contextual marketing

Most marketers can agree that traditional advertising no longer works. Consumers don’t enjoy the inherently inauthentic nature of advertising, usually an interruption of what they’re watching. This approach simply no longer holds appeal to the switched-on consumer.

Integrating advertising experiences contextually is seen much more favourably since the ads are tailored to individual customers. This, of course, requires automation to process and consolidate swathes of data into coherent and personalised content in a timely manner. Marketers will still have to create marketing content to be deployed in different scenarios but it’s with the help of automation and a customer data platform that the best opportunities will be selected for maximum success.

This approach, however, is still in its infancy with only a few companies having the capacity and resources to implement contextual marketing across the board.

Semantic SEO

Semantic SEO aims to decipher what kind of question the person typing words into a search bar is actually trying to answer. It’s about connecting those underlying dots and bringing the most relevant content, as fast as possible, to the end user.

Semantic SEO is used to boost traditional optimisation by adding automated analysis to traditional keyword strategy. This approach is about adding value to SEO for everyone involved as better content can be created and tailored to users whilst giving marketers a better understanding of user behaviour.

This marketing technique goes a long way to improve the traffic of a website by employing meaningful metadata through the removal of ambiguity in search queries and further creates clusters of content, grouped semantically by topic rather than keywords, developing meaningfully-connected networks that better respond to user searches. The traditional (even outdated) version of SEO relies on a rigid framework of keywords whilst the semantic version is a dynamic, evolving entity that’s responsive to language and context.

Virtual Reality (VR)

VR remains a slightly fringe and unexplored territory for many markets, not just marketers, but the possibilities are truly endless if the technology is well utilised.

One way of creating valuable marketing experiences in VR would be through touch-points whereby a user, through interactions with VR objects, for example, triggers branded content that’s at once unique and part of the wider VR experience. It’s unrealistic to think that this technology will be managed and deployed manually so automation will be the tool for most of VR-specific marketing content.

Currently, the technology doesn’t have mass-market reach due to cost limitations, but some companies are trying to add VR elements to their offerings. Luxury brands, specifically, have always been focused on experiences and storytelling as ways of connecting and influencing consumers to purchase – VR takes this to the next level by growing the connection between consumer and brand in ever more personal ways.

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