Automation at the heart of customer engagement – by Unifonic’s Roger Graham

 Roger Graham, VP of Marketing at Unifonic

by Roger Graham, VP of marketing at Unifonic

We know automation makes our lives easier, and its power to help businesses connect with their audiences is enormous. Still, in such a rapidly evolving field, it can be challenging to keep up with developments and leverage its full potential.

With the global marketing automation segment predicted to reach $14.2bn in 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12.3 per cent between 2020 and 2030, maximising the opportunities is a must. A massive shift in customer expectations is driving the demand for digital-first communications, and advances in automation mean we can integrate software and processes that elevate engagement to the next level. 

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Marketing communication was, traditionally, a one-way street. Companies would send out messages with no guarantee of them being read, while telemarketers made endless calls that went unanswered. Even digital advertising stopped grabbing people’s attention in a world with so many online stimuli.

Cut to the present day and two-way conversations matter. Communication is all about engaging with customers at their convenience to create an authentic dialogue that adds value. And rather than being a barrier to personal connection, automation means we can engage more deeply through the channels they prefer. Many automation tools are available to streamline omnichannel communications, improve interactions with consumers, and get more effective outcomes. Some of the main developments to take advantage of right now include:

Mobile marketing automation

With more than 70 per cent of the global population estimated to have mobile connectivity by 2023 and mobile penetration due to reach 50 per cent of the MENA population by the end of 2022, staying ahead in a mobile economy is key. Automation can give your mobile strategy a boost by allowing you to automate the delivery of hyper-personalised communications to millions of people fast via data-driven conversational marketing. This can occur on any digital channel the customer is on, in any language, at any time. By helping organisations save money, improve CX and convert more prospects into actual customers at a much higher rate, mobile marketing is proving to be a game changer in sectors ranging from retail and banking to healthcare and hospitality. Video, in particular, has become the preferred mobile content choice with WhatsApp suited to a range of rich messaging features. 63 per cent of mobile traffic was video traffic in 2020, which is forecast to increase to 79 per cent in 2027.


Chatbots have changed the way customers and businesses speak to each other. They allow teams to concentrate on revenue-generating activities and deal with more complex customer service tasks by freeing them up from answering basic requests. What used to be a nice-to-have is now a must for businesses wanting to scale up and satisfy the demand for information around the clock. A good way to improve customer satisfaction is to personalise the bot so that it remembers the customers’ information and uses that data to deliver a more memorable experience. By leveraging AI, Chatbots can understand customer sentiment, predict customer behaviour and even provide recommendations. For example, in the retail sphere, they can notify customers of new products and current promotions in line with previous interactions and order history. They can also be customized further to reflect a brand’s unique voice and personality.

Automated opt-in and data collection

As well as being a regulatory requirement, opt-ins are a crucial part of creating positive CX, allowing you to build a bank of prospects who want to be part of the conversation. By automating opt-in forms and double opt-in processes, you can capture data more easily and tailor content for a more satisfying exchange. Also, with the focus now on building first-party data strategies, there are numerous automated software options that simplify the collection, management and analysis of first-party data from multiple channels. It is in every company’s best interest to seize the opportunities in data-driven marketing that could elevate their business to a whole new level through sophisticated omnichannel customer engagement. Data-driven marketing aids in making sure media channels are used effectively and customer engagements carry over to better lead generation. It also supports marketers in having relevant conversations with customers.

Omnichannel experiences

Quality CX depends on maintaining consistent communication across multiple channels so people can move between them with minimal friction. All of the online and offline contact points we have today present plenty of ways to stand out, but they also increase the risk of a disjointed journey. Automation software allows you to keep track of customer conversations and maintain a clear view of their path from initial discovery to after-sales. Then you’re in a position to create thoughtful omnichannel workflows that build better relationships for the long term. 

Delivering memorable customer experiences across several channels requires a solid marketing automation program that expands over time. Determining which aspects of automation are right for you and integrating tools that match your goals is crucial to developing a strong engagement ecosystem built around customers’ needs. Companies that get it, win markets and those that don’t will lose customers.