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Top 8 Marketing Automation Trends for 2021

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July 27, 2020
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 min read
The Zowie Team

The new decade is here. Marketers and entrepreneurs should update their strategies to the current reality. We have gathered insights from 8 experts about the future of marketing automation. Keep reading to check them out!

1. Conversational Marketing
"In the upcoming year, companies will have to pay attention to the way they are communicating with their customers. Automation does not have to mean impersonal and emotionless interactions, as customers do not like that. Even though you might conclude that Internet users are not willing to interact with bots, Ubisend’s data show that, in fact, 35% of consumers would like to see more companies using chatbots. The key to effective automation is conversational marketing. In 2021, keep in mind two-way communication, listening to customers’ needs and engaging with consumers in a fast, yet understanding way. Make the most of AI-powered tools which use natural language processing and machine learning to improve customer experience."
— Maja Schaefer, CEO at Zowie
2. If you think personalization begins and ends by calling the user by their name, think again!
"In 2021 personalization is all about identifying specific behaviors and product preference. It can be as simple as not sending emails to people who don’t open them or as complex as sending a specific product discount to people who have visited the product’s page more than 5 times over the last month. Segmenting your leads as early as possible is not just a trend - it’s a proven conversion strategy and increasingly more users will expect to see it from you. Your landing pages and forms need to get smarter in 2021 in order for you to be able to identify high value leads and give them the attention they deserve. Marketing is one to many but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Personalize every step of your funnel with interactive content for a more one-on-one experience."
— Monika Ben, Growth Hacker at
3. Exciting times ahead! Marketing automation is nothing new, but I predict it’s tight marriage with personalization AND VR/AR.
"I predict that brands won't be afraid of making the most of technology and testing out new solutions – they know they have a lot to lose if they do not bother testing. I also think that chatbots do it all – take care of customer service, use the highest technology to deliver flawless customer experience and have an impact on the business goals. Companies have a real last call to benefit from it."
— Paweł Ogonowski, COO & Co-founder at Growcode
4. Smart AI A/B Testing
"Marketing automation platforms will continue to implement AI and machine learning into their platforms. One of the first ways marketers will see this impacting their campaigns will be with automated A/B testing. Automation platforms will start to test messaging, segmentation, workflows and more as they continue to learn about a specific user persona. The more data these platforms take in, the better A/B tests they'll perform, and ultimately lead to more optimized campaigns that take less work to craft those messages."
— Levi Olmstead, Director of Marketing at
5. AI-Powered Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems and Voice Bots
"The sonorous voice that urges you to ‘Press 1’ or ‘Stay on the line’ will be doing a lot more than that in the future. In 2021, business owners will rely on these call center tools to improve their marketing efforts. Experts have also revealed that AI-embedded IVRs, chatbots and voice bots will be able to master complicated probability calculations and transform the future of customer experience centers. Through Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning Programs, these AI-powered call center tools will have the capacity to understand requests and satisfy the customer’s needs fully.

According to a recent survey, ninety-two percent of call center managers acknowledged that IVRs and voice bots have been very effective in pacifying angry customers and improving customer experience. And it’s no secret that satisfied customers eventually become loyal brand ambassadors. If deployed correctly, AI-powered IVRs will become indispensable customer service and marketing automation tools. The business industry can tag 2021, the year of super-intelligent IVRs and voice bots."
— Chioma Iwunze, Online Marketer at Time Doctor
6. Single Customer View: A Prerequisite for Effective Marketing Automation in 2021
"If you want to do powerful marketing automation in 2021, you need to have a single customer view (SCV). So what exactly is an SCV? A single customer view is a complete picture of each of your individual customers, built from your aggregated customer data, most likely kept in a customer data platform. It shows you transactional data (what they’ve bought), behavioral data (what they’ve clicked on), contact data (email addresses), communication data (what campaigns they’ve received), and more. You can see a visual representation below:
customer data platform for single customer view
Why is an SCV important? To send the most effective marketing campaigns, you need to understand your customer. And nothing helps you understand your customer more than a single customer view. A SCV enables powerful use cases like optimal sending time, fully automated personalized customer journeys, and granular segmentation of your audience. It’s the foundation that enables the next generation of marketing automation. If you’re ready to take the next step in your marketing efforts, make sure you have a single customer view."
— Lukas Sitar, Inbound Content Specialist at
7. Automate Customer Reward and Incentive Campaigns
"By implementing reward incentives into our clients’ marketing automation they:
- Increase Conversion Rates
- Drive new Business Referrals
- Show Customer Appreciation
- Increase Retention and Brand Loyalty

We use Rybbon to automate and manage our clients' gifting and incentive campaigns.
That allows us to easily automate and track outcomes so that we, and our clients, understand the ROI on their campaigns. It is getting harder and harder to stand out in today’s crowded market place. Plus, buyers are demanding more personalized interactions across a variety of channels. Gifting is one of those strategies that help our clients with both of those challenges. They stand out from the crowd, while also deepening their relationship with their prospects and customers."
—Kristy Hartman, Managing Partner at Ariad Partners
8. MarTech is growing steadily and as recent studies show, CMOs are allocating a third of their budget in digital transformation which is expected to grow in upcoming years.
"In the marketing world driven by data, AI is the main catalyst driving businesses and as an indicator of this, surveys have shown that businesses using innovative technologies show a steady growth of 30% annually. This suggests that managers are recognizing the power of analytics and data insights to scale their business and experts predict to have more budget allocated in innovation and technology, and less in CX. Thus, it's relatively safe to presume that marketing automation will show a major step forward in 2021 with a strong focus on advanced data analytics."
— Steve Habazin,

Now you know which aspects you should consider in your marketing strategy for 2021. Do not hesitate about trying new solutions and tools to improve your brand’s performance. Let us know if you have any questions about conversational marketing - we will be happy to help!

While you're here, why not check out how to improve your content marketing strategy? Read more: 5 Content Marketing Strategies to Try in 2020