Should ecommerce brands automate marketing in 2022?
Ecommerce brands and other businesses going online consider solutions that will help them fasten promotion, reach new audiences more efficiently, and treat the existing customers better. Can marketing automation be a solution? Together with Amadeus Kalinowski, COO of iiiNSIGHT, we discuss how marketing automation has evolved and why ecommerce brands should automate marketing in 2022.
Which companies will benefit most from automated marketing?
I think every company has some use for automation. We are seeing that online this way is more popular just because of the concept of doing business online. People are getting online because it gives them a sense of freedom, and you can do work wherever in the world. And now, if you add an automation tool, it enhances that dream of having this seamless business you're building.
Online businesses and ecommerce are the ones benefiting from it the most, and they're the ones who tend to be more open to adopting the new technology. But any business nowadays, in my opinion, should be considering it. We are entering the new world of marketing, and we are entering the new world of business.
The last two years have shown us that it's very tough to survive if you're not online unless you're in a specific industry. Ensuring any brand awareness or outreach to your clients is very tough. Because people couldn't go to your place, they couldn't buy from you physically.
If you have any online presence, you will encounter specific problems, certain issues where automation would just come in and solve them exceptionally quickly at a fraction of the cost and produce results that are way better, way faster.
So, online businesses – yes, but more and more companies in any sector, maybe except mining and tough manual work. If you're looking to go online, expand your business, and scale it in the digital world, you are 100% going to require some automation. Whether you have this channel or that channel, there are ways of automating everything.
How does marketing automation look in 2022?
The way we're looking at it now, especially when the introduction and development of artificial intelligence, a lot of the tedious work is being automated — SEO, copywriting, even site-building. That's where a lot of energy, a lot of time, and a lot of money are invested.
And it takes a long time before you start seeing results. In these sectors, that's where we're seeing a real boom in automation and artificial intelligence. And it's getting smarter, and smarter, and smarter. It not only becomes faster but better.
Definitely in those sectors, and we're still seeing sectors that require human intelligence that we possess.
How to understand when it's time to integrate marketing automation?
This question depends on what's your company's vision. Where do you see yourself in ten years? There are existing automation solutions that do require a certain amount to spend. It's an investment, and that's the way people should see it. Yes, maybe it costs a bit more right now, but in the long run, it will save you money, time, and a lot of headaches.
In terms of figures, it depends on the solution. Take pixels. They are not super expensive. They cost money, but there is an investment in what they generate as a result. But what is that investment bringing you? What is that ROI?
You have other technologies or solutions such as automated SEO, CRMs, and all of these solutions that will be more costly. They are for bigger companies with a bigger budget - for example, multimillion-dollar companies or half million ones. But there's a solution for every type of company.
And the beauty is that people developing those tools have that in mind. Some people develop tools for businesses that are just starting and may not have $10,000 per month to spend on a particular solution, but they have a few thousand and are willing to do it. Other companies have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend per month and are eager to adopt a more expensive technology.
So, it depends on where the company is at and what they are looking to achieve.
When you're just starting up, you should look at other solutions that are less expensive because your goals should be realistic for where you are right now. So these variables have to be considered, and once you factor those properly, you can assess 'OK, what is it that I need?' What solution do I need? What solution can I afford?
Personalization is a key marketing tactic widely used in recent years. Doesn't automation ruin it?
Automation augments personalization, and it depends on where you apply it. Let's say you're good at creating marketing strategies, but you got to promote your business. You got to do SEO and run Ads; you have to do all these simple steps to attract clients. Well, now you're taking time out of your day to do stuff you're not good at and don't want to do. And it's not what your purpose is as a business. Now you add automation, and automation does all this long, tedious, and hair-pulling work for you, so you can do what you're good at.
When they are combined and work synergetic, you can see that personalization is just being augmented by automation. People are a bit afraid of automation, obviously relieving work behind robots, basically to codes and programs. It is scary and not something that many people are comfortable with. But it is a necessary transition if we want to evolve riders in the business world or the world in general.
When they invented the first car, it was the machine. We were riding horses. Could we trust something that's not sentient? How could we trust something that's not living? There is a certain period of adaptation, of trust that has to be built between humans and technology. But I believe more and more businesses will realize the power of it, and it's not there to ruin or to replace. It's there to help - help humans focus on what they are best at.
It only enhances personalization if used correctly in the proper setting and for the right problems. It allows us to focus more on creating that personalized experience while leaving all the systematic and routine work to a robot.
Will marketing automation replace marketing teams someday?
We have a responsibility as humans to gauge where we are going regarding technology. Will it replace it? I hope not. I cannot predict; I can hope that it won't.
Technology has helped us create not only marketing materials but other types of materials that are mind-blowing. I watched the video of these new 3D billboards in New York, where a zombie creature looks like it's coming out at you. You wouldn't have that 20 years ago. And that's because we didn't have the technology that allowed us to do it. Technology will enable us to create and evolve and move forward as human species.
We've all seen Terminator. We've all seen what we can do. We don't want to get there. But if it's used correctly, with the right context, and with the right intention, it won't kill. It will replace and give space to something new.
Again, people were breeding horses for transportation when cars came along. That job was not popular anymore, but we have new jobs being created for car production. The same thing can be seen in marketing automation. We may not have SEO or copywriting experts in the future. Still, we'll have scientists or engineers that can program machines, codes, and systems, which will allow business and the world, in general, to move toward a more sophisticated, more technologically advanced society.