Trends, like horses, are easier to ride in the direction they are going
Intriguing title, right? Imagine riding a horse backwards. A funny sighting but very impractical. Sure, some will master this crazy art, but only after long days of training. Luckily the majority of people who ride horses stick to the conventional method and face forward.
Well, why aren’t you? Surprised by the question? I bet you already have a good idea what this blog’s about… Yup, you guessed it, I’m going to talk about trends. Marketing automation trends, to be more specific. Why is it that when we speak of trends, most people are reluctant to actively pursue the possible benefits? Why are they reluctant to embrace change and find a possible better way to attract clients? Why are they unwilling to trust new technologies?
Wouldn’t it be more convenient to follow major trends when they emerge and profit from them, instead of ignoring them and “riding your horse backwards”? So come on, mount your horse facing forward and let’s explore 2 exciting trends together.
First up is influential marketing. Influential marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. You inspire, hire or outright pay influencers to get the word out for you. Influential marketing serves 4 main purposes.
First of all it drives visibility. When key influencers talk about your brand or product online, you gain visibility. More people will come in contact with your company, and what’s even more important; they come into contact through a different source. They didn’t see the content through mainstream media or ads. No, they saw your content because an influencer posted an engaging message online.
Secondly, influential marketing drives engagement. Content posted by influencers is often more engaging and more intriguing than your own corporate ads that appear on television. When people scroll the twitter feed of somebody they look up to, and that person shares a nice experience it had through the use of one of your products, those people will look at your brand more positively.
An often poorly recognized advantage of influential marketing is the fact that it drives the creation of additional content. It happens that a company provides the complete post themselves which is just being shared by their (paid) influencers. However, more often those influencers will spontaneously create content themselves. This provides you with the opportunity to reuse these positive messages and further profit from their influence.
Lastly, and for some, most importantly, influential marketing drives additional revenue. This is quite a logical effect if you combine the 3 previous advantages. Your brand and products appear more often in different sorts of media. Furthermore, the tone of these messages is spontaneously positive. People will grow more fond of your brand which in terms drives more revenue.
The second major trend is something we have all heard of: Artificial Intelligence (AI). Although we all know it (it has something to do with computer programs… right?) most people still don’t have a clue about what it’s capable of, or what some possible use cases are. Don’t be afraid if you’re not tech-savy. I’m not going to overwhelm you with technical “mumbo-jumbo”. However, if you are interested to know more about the broad possibilities of AI, don’t hesitate to reach out! We have a specialized team of data scientists that’ll come to your rescue!
Today I’m going to elaborate a bit on 2 specific use cases that demonstrate the power of AI.
1. Automatic lead scoring & grading
First things first, what is lead scoring & grading? By scoring a lead you measure how interested/engaged a lead is with your brand and products. Grading a lead means you list different variables like sector or title and assign a weight to them. The higher the lead is graded, the warmer the lead is and the more interested they are in your offering.
Most marketing automation tools already have some sort of scoring and grading system in place. However, these are static systems. You assign certain values to the specific variables and that’s it. What AI brings are dynamic systems. Based on the interactions that previous converted leads had with your brand, the system deduces the actions/variables that predict buying behavior. This allows you to optimise your sales rep’s actions. They can focus better on the most engaged and promising leads, resulting in less waste and more revenue.
2. Product recommendations
The same logic applies to product recommendations. Everybody has seen them online. Sometimes they are accurate and engaging, at other times they are completely miss targetted. When your products show up at the wrong place and the wrong time it can actually harm your brand.
Wouldn’t it be better if those recommendations were spot on, all the time? Well, AI is capable of making sure this happens. By analysing numerous transactions and finding patterns between products that are frequently bought together, AI learns which products to show to which customers. Thus, guaranteeing a better fit between browsing behaviour and product recommendation. And as we all know, if the recommended product has a better fit, it will drive your conversion rates.
Don’t hold your horses people! Ride those trends facing forward! Are you afraid of “horses”? Don’t worry, reach out and let us help you become the customer company you’re destined to be!