Hi-diddly-ho reader-inos!

Besides promising not to channel my inner Ned Flanders for the rest of this post, I’m excited today to share a post that isn’t my usual technical ninja stuff.

Rather, since I see a lot of businesses and technologies, I wanted to share what I believe are the trends you’re going to see more in Marketing Automation for 2017.

Why do you care? Well, for starters, some of this stuff is really cool and could probably benefit your business. Next, knowing what is possible with technology is very important to stay competitive. That doesn’t mean you have to master using the technology, you can always hire people for that, but its good to have a general understanding so you can strategize properly.

Marketing Automation Prediction #1 for 2017: Automated social funnels

Social FunnelIn the past year or so, the savviest of marketers have begun aligning their social ads with their sales funnels. Basically, if you are in the middle of a launch (for example) and getting hit with launch emails, when you are trolling around Facebok you also see the same launch messaging via ads because you are in that part of the funnel.

True omnichannel marketing used to be really hard, if not nearly impossible. Thanks to Google’s and Facebook’s tracking pixel we can now do remarketing easier than ever which is the key tactic for these automated social funnels.

If you give your name/email for some free resource and you don’t download it right away, you’re going to start seeing ads reminding you to download it until you do. That kind of stuff is going to become more common in 2017.

Marketing Automation Prediction #2 for 2017: More robust and meaningful data centralization

Technology is great. However, in our modern age of digital tools, getting data from the different systems into one holistic view can be a severe challenge. Especially for small businesses.

Aggregate DataThese past few years we’ve seen more and more tools that exist solely to connect different systems together. A great example is Zapier. It is a platform that allows you easily connect different services together automatically without writing any code.

For a more ground level example, if an order comes in through Infusionsoft, Zapier can push an invoice into your accounting system whether or not there is an official integration with Infusionsoft.

The next evolution of these services that act as a connection platform is the reporting aspect. That is why we’ll see centralization of all this data as a big trend over the next 12 months.

As more and more of these Zapier-like services crop up (IFTTT, Workato, etc), the data visualization and reporting functionality is going to become a critical feature (if not THE most important feature).

Because at the end of the day, if you are spending money on tools and cannot trace that expense to inbound revenue, you can’t make educated business decisions.

Marketing Automation Prediction #3 for 2017: More push notifications

This was one that I think is going to be the next “big thing” for marketers. Push notifications are those little messages that show up on your phone from different apps. You got a text. CoolGuy333 made a comment. That kind of stuff.

Push notifications can also exist for browsers too.

In the past year I saw a few big names test this technology and saw a handful of services show up. If you see the big dogs testing stuff, its worth keeping your finger on the pulse to see what happens.

Turns out there are many ways this kind of technology can be used. On the website it can be used to engage prospective buyers into a conversation or drive them to a particular resource. For any kind of software or app, it is one of the most powerful engagement tools in your arsenal.

Case in point: I have some apps on my phone that I NEVER use. But every once in a while a notification will crop up and I’ll open it because why not. Boom! That notification just got the user back into the app 🙂

This is not the “silver bullet” that the gurus probably will make it out to be. Rather, it is another digital messaging channel that can be customized and used to enhance the customer experience. Put simply: your strategy needs to be sound if you are going to use push notifications (just like any other channel).

What do you think? Do you disagree? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!