As a combination of robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), automation takes care of the mundane tasks we’d rather not spend time on, the work we don’t want to mar with human error, the interactions with customers who require instant responses and more.
Although automation has been evolving at lightning speed over the past few years, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So what does the future of automation look like? We will cover this and more in this article.
9 automation trends to watch in 2022
- Automation of high value actions
- Prioritize marketing, sales and success alignment
- Automation as a vital part of CRMs
- Automation for greater personalization
- Automation in an enterprise’s application stack
- Enterprise chatbots as full-time agents
- AI for automated decision making
- Automation of data collection and reports
- RPA helps companies become more productive
1. Automation of High Value Actions
Right now, the low-hanging fruit of automation is boring repetitive work. Automating office functions may be more difficult, but it is becoming more common.
Soon more organizations will use technology to automate quality customer experiences (CX).
According to the HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Marketing Trends Report, approximately 17% of marketers are currently integrating automation or artificial intelligence as part of their marketing strategy.
Another HubSpot blog research survey on content and media planning revealed that more than a quarter of marketers surveyed say they plan to leverage automation in their media planning strategy.
With data showing that consumers are prioritizing CX more and expecting more personalization during brand interactions, this forces brands to consider automation for larger-scale, higher-impact parts of their businesses.
2. Prioritize marketing, sales and success alignment
Automation cannot succeed when working in a silo.
That’s why it’s key for teams, especially marketing, sales and success, to be aligned as they have a huge impact on the customer journey.
It’s not enough to automate marketing emails anymore. What happens to contact transfers when a contact moves through the funnel? Or a follow-up once a customer completes a high-intent action?
Because marketing teams are only part of the journey, it’s essential that automation workflows consider user behavior beyond marketing.
3. Automation as a vital part of CRM
According to a 2021 LinkedIn report, 75% of sales professionals use technology, typically a CRM, to close more deals.
Despite this, today’s salespeople spend a large amount of time catching up on administrative work and data entry rather than selling.
As sales and marketing teams realize the potential of automation to tackle repetitive tasks, more of the leading CRM tools are developing powerful automation features.
This will enable businesses to automate routine tasks to accelerate sales cycles, send personalized marketing messages and proactively resolve customer service cases without lifting a finger.
4. Automation for greater personalization
Nearly half of consumers say they are likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a retail brand, according to Twilio’s 2022 State of Personalization report.
In the wake of the pandemic, the need for personalization grew and brands must respond or risk being left behind.
From audience segmentation and drip campaigns to product recommendations and cart abandonment notifications, personalization can’t work at scale without automation.
This new shift towards personalization means that automation will become a higher priority for brands.
5. Automation across a company’s application stack
Businesses have more tools at their fingertips than ever before.
In the future of automation, more companies will have a CIO role to oversee their large number of tools, and this position will have a high capacity for impact and change.
More than ever, the SaaS tools we choose will help our businesses be more productive, profitable and impactful.
For best results, companies will connect their tools to enable automated two-way data synchronization and greater accuracy.
6. Business chatbots as full-time agents
According to a 2021 Vonage Customer Engagement Report, one in five consumers use live chat or in-app chat daily.
While companies today mostly use live chat to facilitate real-time conversations between consumers and business representatives, more companies are setting up chatbots.
With bots, companies can provide answers to frequently asked questions and even solve problems without the involvement of a team member. Increasingly, the best chatbots serve as full-time customer service agents.
The key to a bot’s success is intelligence, which still has its limitations, but is rapidly improving.
In the future of automation, robots will be more helpful, smarter and may soon incorporate voice functionality.
7. AI for automated decision making
Decision making is tiring.
You need the right data at your fingertips, to look past your own biases and gain agreement from other stakeholders. AI will increasingly provide a solution to this, providing high-quality data that can help make the best decisions.
In a 2021 State of B2B Marketing Automation report, 58% of B2B professionals say the #1 tactic that most amplifies the success of their marketing automation tool is quality data.
While some decisions can be instantly acted upon by automation, many will – and should – go back to humans for emotional and empathic consideration.
8. Automation of data collection and reporting
Automating data management is essential to ensure data quality and integrity.
However, reporting should not involve confusing Excel exports and hours spent manipulating data.
By consolidating all of your customer data with an iPaaS solution, your tools can provide more accurate reporting with the information available.
9. RPA helps companies become more productive
RPA, also known as “robotics” or “robots”, is defined as rule-based process automation with software that uses the user interface and can run on any software, including web-based applications, systems ERP and mainframe. systems
This could include opening emails and attachments, moving files and folders, or filling out forms.
In the future, RPA is likely to become a more standard part of our workflows, either through stand-alone tools, features of tools we’re already using, or integrated applications.
Is automation changing work as we know it?
The short answer is Yesbut for the better.
A 2021 PWC survey found that 61% of people worldwide believe that automation is putting people’s jobs at risk. However, the truth is that automation is not eliminating employment opportunities, it is redefining roles.
The role of automation is to take care of tasks that machines can do better than us, eliminating human error and enabling scalability.
A common misconception about automation is that it’s a set-it-and-forget-it approach. However, this could not be further from the truth.
While it frees up time, that time is used to fuel and optimize to produce better results. So automation doesn’t mean losing the human side, it means empowering workers to focus on more impactful work.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.