Hottest Marketing Automation Trends for 2018 Published December 14, 2017 With 2018 just around the corner there’s a lot of talk about what the new year will bring. Marketing blogs are abuzz with opinions about new technology, theories about how to respond to changing customer behaviour, and thoughts about the way we send emails. In this blog post, we take some time to focus in on what we think the biggest marketing automation trends will be in 2018. Marketing automation is fairly mature as marketing technology goes, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t big developments happening. These new trends with continue to reinforce the benefits that marketing automation offers businesses of all shapes and sizes. Learn how to future-proof your marketing for the year ahead. Dynamic journeys Customers face an unprecedented amount of choice when they shop today. As a result, customer behaviour has become more diverse and erratic. To account for this, email automations in 2018 will be designed to be more responsive to the individual customer’s actions and interests. Automations will create a one-to-one, personalised dialogue based on the customer’s very latest action. Brands with automations that just follow a map of predefined journeys risk falling behind. Social suggestions As the fight for the customer’s attention continues, more marketers will be using the power of social proof in their automations. In 2018, we expect to see a greater number of automations asking for customers to share recommendations, reviews, and purchases with their social networks. This is an attempt to cut through the noise of mass advertising. Smart retail and travel brands will run these automations alongside social media campaigns that encourage customers to share photos of their experiences. This taps into the power of social proof and makes use of persuasive user generated content. Real-time updates With data becoming more freely accessible, marketers will be able to send more real-time alerts. These could be updates on the weather at resorts by travel companies, more accurate information on when to expect a delivery, or a heads up that customers can pre-order their favourite products. Whatever form they take, the focus on real-time alerts will ultimately lead to more convenience and better informed life choices by the consumer. Lapsed customers More marketers are realising they’re hemorrhaging customers. With this in mind, we predict a greater emphasis on creating more engaging and timely automations—designed to stop customers leaving brands. Replenishment emails and basket abandonment campaigns that pre-populate carts and offer incentives will bring customers back, keeping them loyal to the brands they love. Mobile moments With more and more consumers browsing on smartphones rather than desktops, mobile presents some unique automation opportunities in 2018. Being on the move means more automations will be triggered by where people are. We predict the brands who make location-based offers and target messages to drive footfall into the nearest store will get ahead. Predictive personalisation Behavioural targeting technology and customer insight software will let marketers offer an increased level of personalisation in their automations. Personalised product recommendations are easy to make. They may be based on what’s been browsed, or what people are likely to want according to trends in customer data. The software required to spot missed opportunities around customer’s potential interests is now very accessible—and we predict this will be used to greater effect in 2018. Expect to see more brands using software to trigger insightful email automations which prompt action. Takeaway These are just a handful of hottest marketing automation trends we predict will shape email in 2018. A running theme is automations that are more relevant and responsive to customers’ actions. The continuing improvements in the availability of customer data will allow marketers to create and manage more timely, personalised, and helpful automations. These will nurture the relationship with their customer base, forming a series of individual one-to-one email dialogues. And the technology is already available for you to roll these out in the new year. PureTargeting offers all of the capabilities we’ve mentioned, leaving you free to take advantage of the latests trends in marketing automation in 2018.