Adding Dimensions to the Marketing Automation Paradigm

Gary McRae, Senior Manager - Digital Channels and BD, Marketing & Communications And JeanMarie Campbell, Head of Client Development, North America, Baker McKenzie

Adding Dimensions to the Marketing Automation ParadigmGary McRae, Senior Manager - Digital Channels and BD, Marketing & Communications

"As we look to increase our client service excellence, we continue to focus our efforts on deploying martech where it will have the biggest impact on the client experience  -- enabling real-time, meaningful digital touch points that address the needs of our clients and their business."

1. In your opinion, how has the Marketing Automation landscape evolved over the years? What are some of the advantages of the current technological evolution?

Traditionally, marketing automation offered little in the way of personalization or contextualization. The fundamentals of automation were to advance the marketer's operational needs rather than the customer. Modern marketing takes into account the need of the customer and reacts to the customer regardless of channel. Integrating the multi-channel customer experience has moved automation away from a pure email-only tactic to a holistic multi-channel marketing strategy. It is delivering solutions to the customers evolving pain-points. The power of connecting the customer with the multiple channels used enables psychographic segmentation to better influence the buyer in their decision making. Data has allowed businesses to really channel their marketing efforts and take advantage of insights that werent necessarily visible before. Ultimately, marketing automation drives richer, faster, and more meaningful interactions between customers and brands to reach the marketing nirvana of creating a segment of one customer experience.

2. What according to you are some of the challenges plaguing the Marketing Automation landscape and how can they be effectively mitigated

From a technology point of view, the future of automation looks bright. Advances in AI and the ability to connect experiences will enrich the customer experience and create opportunities to increase the delivery of value to customers. As with most technologies, the promise of solving all marketing barriers is far from the truth. It's essential to understand and manage expectations and, above all, understand your client/customer. Marketing automation is only as good as the marketing and content strategies at play. To help with a successful marketing automation program, it is critical to plan for the customer experience throughout the entire marketing funnel.. Having the resources to measure and adapt marketing campaigns continually will be vital in ensuring that automation works for both the customer and the brand.


3. Which are a few technological trends influencing Marketing Automation today? What are some of the best practices businesses should adopt today to steer ahead of competitors?

There are a lot of technologies that are going to push the boundaries of marketing automation. AI will continue to develop and feature in making a more informed content decisions, perhaps even writing the content! AI will also continue to influence programmatic advertising and improving conversion attribution. Chatbots will become more sophisticated and improve the customer experience. Understanding how data can impact the marketing universe and exercising good processes and practices to ensuring good data hygiene will mitigate data risks Chatbots will eventually accelerate conversions and improve conversion rates. In many ways, the advancement of the martech environment poses a challenge to the marketing automation platforms - they have to keep up with the broader martech landscape and innovate.

Is it possible to stay ahead of competitors? That will depend on who your competitor is. What is clear is that the B2C experience is maturing faster than B2B. The gap, though, is narrowing. If a brand wants to be a leader, they need to look at the best consumer brands and bring that personal human-to-human experience to the digital consumer.

4. Do you have any advice for industry veterans or budding entrepreneurs from the Marketing Automation space?

Marketing automation isn't a silver bullet. Marketing automation is an enabler. It enables brands to engage customers with the right content at the right time, solve pain points, promote solutions and converse with the consumer through multiple digital touch-points. It's not one size fits all and so creative and technology all play a part in driving marketing forward. Marketers need to get comfortable with living in a digital-first or even a digital-only consumer. That means not only making friends with technology. It will require getting acquainted with the ever-evolving data and privacy rules, understanding analytics, and drawing insight from them. And perhaps most importantly, how to translate a marketing strategy to the technical needs of a marketing automation platform and explain it simply to stakeholders who may not be technically savvy

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