The Rise of Digital Marketing Automation in 2020

We saw a significant change in marketing automation throughout 2019, as more clients took interest in embedding automation into their operations. We're anticipating the demand will increase alongside technology throughout 2020, increasing team efficiencies and creativity in the process. Check out our thoughts on the rise of marketing automation and how you can benefit to start the New Year off right.

Stuart Halley
Head of Marketing

The realms of digital marketing moves a mile a minute, with industry standards changing every 3-6 months. Whether impacted from Google, Facebook and even newcomer TikTok, the industry as a whole moves where user trends are developing. Remaining on top of the changes developing in the digital landscape remain one of the biggest challenges for in-house marketing managers and business owners. I’m convinced that Ferris Bueller said it best;


With 2020 now upon us, many marketing managers now have the opportunity, and budget, to move forward with digital marketing developments in planning the year ahead. But where do you start in identifying the changes that will help define your brand performance and movements in the New Year? We’ve put together some key points that we believe will catapult Australian digital brand performance throughout 2020.


Smart Audience Segments.

As a business you know who your target audience is where to source them. Majority of brands outline this early-on in their marketing pans by creating ideal ‘customer profiles’ to aid the process. Truth is that in a modern digital age, user segments have adapted to be non-linear in channel interaction. Other than reiterating who your ideal customers are, these steps don’t necessarily create a plan of action for your marketing growth. So what do you do next?

The essence of marketing automation feeds off dynamic user data. Analyse your data to understand how & where your existing customers fit in with your brand. Assess your customers lifetime value, retention, sales frequency and brand sentiment to build micro-strategies for each audience segment. Not only will this paint a picture of your sales funnel but it will allow your marketing to be tailored more to each segments interests and place in said funnel. This creates an audience growth model that nurtures customer touch points.


(Autopilot growth engine)

User trend data can tell a lot about how your customers engage with your brand. Operating with an agile CRM that captures data through the sales funnel allows you to create audience segments based on real user data and act upon it. The opportunities to cross-sell, up-sell and capture lost leads allows for structured marketing plans that feed into specific audience interests, creating brand experiences that stand out from the crowd. If you’re an established business, look at your data. If you’re a start-up business, get data.


Software Development & API Integration.

‘Big data’ is still king of the castle when it comes to scaling business development & opportunities, and from 2020 retaining data will be essential to long-term growth. Why? Because who doesn’t  love tailored experiences that make us feel wanted?

I believe the role of integrated software technologies will scale throughout 2020, simplifying business operations and resources with increased output. Marketing plans will continue to utilise learnings captured from acquisition, growth and retention operations and the teams that integrate with them.

The caveat to this is that maintaining business operations will become vital to having a successful automation strategy, meaning that one bad apple can upset the entire process. It’s imperative that business owners and marketing managers get a grasp on their internal operational standards before diving into the world of automated AI and software development plans.



The key success metric in automating software and AI is custom objects/ fields being captured on a single user level. Being able to output custom object data into automation workflows, marketing comms and digital content sets a new standard for digital integration capabilities and customer branded experiences. Combine this with audience segments and lookalike statistics and you have an effective suite of automated marketing tools that continuously adapts as you feed it data.

Existing software developers like Marketo, Pardot and even Hubspot will continue to thrive in this environment as everything from advertising to content can be tailored to nurture customer experience. New technologies however are challenging the big players in the market, and it’s now possible to achieve the same results even on a shoe-string budget through platforms such as Autopilot, Unbounce and Zapier. Either way, harnessing automation through advanced machine learning and API syncs is a smart way to decrease your costs and increase your profitability. Unfortunately there is no simple out of the box AI automation solution, as a technical integration/ API setup will be required for optimal output.


If you need help from the leading API/ Zapier Qualified experts in Australia than give us a buzz.


Hyper personalised advertising.

From our experience there are few digital marketing companies that offer personalised customer advertising, especially when integrating with ‘traditional’ digital channels. Household names including Google and Facebook have freely allowed opportunities to target lost leads through re-marketing/ re-targeting, however 2020 will see a change in how audience segmented data is utilised to personalise these ad formats even further delivering a strong customer experience overall.

Remember how you used to set up those tags and audience groups based on triggers from pages users viewed and products they engaged with? Well it’s time to move on in 2020 and utilise real customer data to build structured audience groups to better target users. 2020 will see audience segments tailored to new vs existing customers sets and allow for detailed micro-strategies for cross/up-sell opportunities.

This is dependant on businesses not only adopting CRM/ database infrastructure but also maintaining this as a part of their daily business operations. We have seen the need for integrated CRM’s become more prevalent throughout 2019, as many brands have focused on their sales funnel and customer journey. 2020 will see the integration of CRM & marketing systems becoming more intuitive to tailor personalised ads at scale, creating stronger user experiences overall. 




(marketing automation CRM integration)


In 2018 Gartner had already pointed out that by 2020 over 90% of brands would on-board at least one major form of marketing personalisation, however content would remain a primary bottleneck. We’ve seen how 2019 was the year of content however we also saw how relevance in the market is vital to success and brand growth/ consideration. We believe moving forward brands will take audience segmentation more seriously as a part of understanding their sales pipeline and audience demographics, with both parties winning overall.

Creating brand experiences that establish a one-on-one conversation with customers will continue to evolve with technology. Audiences are expected to appreciate the relevancy and react, building brand sentiment and consideration whilst also allowing for more creative & targeted campaigns to come forth. We’ve already created in-depth marketing automation plans for clients that feed directly into marketing channel strategy. We’re excited to see how the industry continues to develop as creativity unfolds.



Increased Creativity & Accountability

As a department head or business owner, you’re probably KPI’d and focused on the growth & retention amidst your customers. From my experience working with developing brands and larger organisations, department accountability is usually the dividing line between scalability and success. This is never more true than when working with an integrated CRM system, which can be a logistical haven or nightmare depending on use case. What if you could remove the accountability roadblocks with tiered automation workflows? It’s time to sync up internally!


You know those ‘catch 22’ moments we find ourselves in from time to time? You know, like buying a pair of scissors and not being able to open the packaging because...well, you don’t have any scissors? Well the same things happen in business terms too! You want more sales, but your sales team is already struggling resulting in missed sales opportunities and more sales required to hit target.

Why not extend marketing automation into your sales opportunity pipeline, increasing staff efficiency and output by liaising with highly engaged customers as the priority. This opens up the door for more creative audience segment workflows so your team can spend more time closing deals and less time following up on every lead.



We always inform our clients that CRM systems are the backbone of integrated automation strategies. They rely on data and custom user fields to be populated, manoeuvred and updated accordingly in order for the workflows mapped out to function thereafter. Yes, there is still accountability and compliance requirements, however monitoring and automating this will save time and resources internally as well as increase output.

Align your internal teams to maximise efficiencies and system integrations. Not only will it be easier to track performance but common interests will breakdown the boundaries of accountability & increase marketing creativity.

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