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As one of the email marketing technology providers listed in ChiefMartec’s Marketing Technology Landscape, we know that this vast ecosystem couldn’t thrive the way it does without partnerships between the various providers. But how do you choose the best mix of providers for your organisation? We asked Liz Smith, our Partnerships Manager to help us answer that question.

A: Liz, what do you think have been the biggest changes in the marketing industry in recent years?

L: I think brands have become a lot more aware of putting customers first. At one point, marketers were ticking the boxes of the channels they should have but they didn’t really think how these knitted together. It was a box-ticking exercise: email – check; social – check; customers – ? Whereas now there is a lot more awareness about automation, customer journeys, and making data the key part of marketing activities.

A: What about in terms of the technology?

L: I’m amazed by the amount of niche players. You hear a lot about companies that offer everything, but actually when you look at something like the ChiefMartec Landscape, and you start to knit it all together into how it can seamlessly work, it’s quite impressive! That’s generated two big consequences: the consolidation of smaller companies into large players with big promises, and the backlash of being so big that you can’t be agile. There are so many companies doing the part they do so well, that it’s difficult for large companies to become experts in that particular piece of the ecosystem that they provide.

A: How can a company know what provider to choose?2015 Email Census

L: It depends on a lot of different aspects, but research from the 2015 Email Industry Census shows that the real differentiator is actually the service that comes with the technology. And look for apiece of tech that fits your other technical requirements. If we look at the retail space, there’s a flood of companies that provide product recommendations, basket abandonment, conversion capture – the way you’ll use these depends on your own CRM system so find what works with what you already have unless you want to start from scratch.

A: What makes a partnership worth pursuing from a technical perspective?

L: I think it’s about working with companies that are experts in their field, who are constantly looking for innovation, and that can give you scalability. This, in turn, will allow you to concentrate on what you do best.

A: And what do you think makes a partnership work long-term?

L: Commitment from both sides to work together, a good fit both culturally and technology wise, and also similar ethos and approach to customers. We describe ourselves as a company obsessed with their customers’ success so for Adestra, that third element is crucial. From a branding perspective, we don’t want to white-label anything, passing someone else’s technology as our own. And I think that works both ways; partners that are happy to put us forward are safe in the knowledge that we’ll do the same. I think that works really well.

A: Lastly, going behind your expertise, what is one thing people wouldn’t guess about you.

L: I’ll do better, I’ll give you two! (laughs) I’m still the record holder for 800-metres freestyle under 10 in Wales, and I also have a painting hanging in a gallery in Italy.

About Liz Smith

Liz is Adestra’s Partnerships Manager. She looks after the development of our relationships with technology and channel partners, helping us grow our network of customer-obsessed providers. This gives us the agility to offer customers what they need to maximize their return from email marketing.