Automation is a hot topic in marketing right now, stirring the interest of companies of all sizes as the costs begin to drop. So, this month in Adestra Profiles, Joe Matthews shares insight into what his team does and what role marketing automation plays in it.
A: What are the first steps when you join the project management team?
J: For me personally when I started, it was getting up to the same standards of the team, so that involved getting an APM qualification, which is an introductory certificate in project management. Even though I studied computing and technology in university, we have to be comfortable with project management to ensure clients gets that same level of service and professionalism whoever they talk to. And of course, the higher you get in the team, the more advanced qualifications you need.
A: What about clients, what are their first steps in a project with Adestra?
J: Usually by the time the project comes through to our team, we already have an idea of what the client’s needs are. They’ll have already spoken to an Account Manager or Salesperson, and they will give us an overview of:
- what their needs are
- what they’re trying to achieve
- how the new client would like their account setup, if it’s a new account setup
We care a lot about servicing our clients in the right way from the very beginning and continuously throughout our relationship with them.
Part of my job is handling account migrations and setups. I make sure new clients understand what we need to do to get them up and running, and what needs to be done at their end for the process to go smoothly.
We focus on making sure the account is set up correctly and works like a charm from day 1. No one likes to go back and forth afterwards, so communication is key at this stage.
A: What are some of the setup activities you work on?
J: Well, with bigger clients like retailers, we do a lot of integration work like website integration, welcome programs, confirmation emails and general data feeds from their CRM platform to update our system every day.
And even though smaller clients don’t use all of our features, we find that over time they grow with us, they start taking advantage of our capabilities more and get better results. It’s a nice feeling to help and see a client grow. But it’s all about what suits them to begin with.
A: What are some of the technologies that have increased in demand from our clients, new and old?
J: Definitely marketing automation. When I started, it wasn’t a very big thing but we’ve seen more interest in email automation and dynamic content generation. I work with a lot of our agency clients and I’ve seen a great uplift in, for example, abandoned basket and checkout, or even abandoned browsing emails. I’ve also seen more recommended product feeds brought into email. One of our partners Peerius helps with that. You can use it to create different algorithms to decide what goes in that feed – it can be the most recent thing the customer has browsed, the products they have browsed the most or a lot of other things you can do.
And even though B2C companies started using marketing automation triggers first, we’ve seen a great uplift in the B2B sector as well.
Also the use of API has definitely increased. For example:
- triggering automated emails from actions on websites
- live incremental feeds from CRM systems to update MessageFocus contacts
- building templates in CMS systems and sending them to MessageFocus
A: What advice would you give companies seeking to start using automation?
J: First, they should make sure they clearly outline the purpose of the project involving automation, the benefits they hope to realize from it and everyone’s roles in the process. And make sure this is clear to all the parties involved, as it can lower the risk of the project failing.
Marketing automation has become a pretty standard thing in email marketing, with our team seeing a lot more projects coming through based around different types of automation, from data feeds, to transactional emails, automated series of campaigns and much more. Recently we have seen an increase in clients using and interested in intelligent real-time content, including things like video in email, live images, countdown timers, and product recommendations.
However identifying the reason for the marketing automation to happen, and the benefits from it, including any risks, will help determine the decision of whether to implement or not.
Joe Matthews is one of the Digital Project Managers at Adestra and his passion for computing is put into making sure every detail is given its importance. He has been with Adestra for 3 years and handles new account setups, API integration and marketing automation.