Marketing automation software may promise a technological utopia but, once you've invested, are you getting the best out of the increased functionality that is now at your disposal?
In an age where the average smartphone has more computing power than the old Apollo moon lander, keeping pace with technological change, as well as remaining up to date with the ever-evolving number of services available to us, can prove challenging. By the time most of us have upgraded and come to terms with the latest smartphone or games console, the next version is already being prepared for release.
This is the big obstacle that marketers must overcome, knowing how to maximize the myriad relevant technologies that are now at their fingertips.
Apple has pioneered "instruction-less" unboxing, leaving each of its customers to go on a solo voyage to explore and navigate its products. However, intuition and a lot of development hours aside, are we missing out on anything from the shortcuts to the deep-rooted capabilities? Marketing automation software may promise a similar technological utopia but, once you've invested, are you getting the best out of the increased functionality that is now at your disposal?
The phrase "we probably won't use all of the functionality we've invested in, but it's nice to know we've got it" is becoming increasingly common. Clearly some marketers are failing to tap into the full complement of features and functions they are investing in. This is often due to a lack of knowledge on how to utilize these additional functions, as well as companies investing in a suite of technology which is way beyond their requirements and, therefore, unnecessary.
Although, this isn't to suggest that marketers are at fault - the problem is that the speed at which technology is changing is so rapid, finding the time to learn new skills which are necessary to maximize the software can be difficult. Some also fail to accurately evaluate their brand's requirements, which, in turn, impacts on their ability to best meet these needs.
With this in mind, marketers need to consider whether they have the right people with the right skills in place to make the best use of any investment. If not, then the question to ask is whether the existing workforce can up-skill or skill-shift, or whether new talent is needed, both of which a good vendor should be able to advise their client on. In today's world, one person is no longer enough to manage and develop a large-scale marketing campaign. Much like the development of a computer game, the complexity and range of jobs that now make up the process, such as coding, script, and sound, are too much for an individual and requires an entire team of experts.
Furthermore, to help marketers fully understand the capabilities of a specific automated marketing solution and utilize all of the components available to them, companies should look to a provider that offers additional support and guidance.
From real-time support, training, project management, or access to specialist designers, organizations can enjoy a range of benefits from a technology provider which focuses on customer service.
If marketers can secure access to expert insight as well as the all-round support from a trusted service provider, they stand a far better chance of unleashing the full potential of automation and implementing a marketing strategy that better engages the audience and increases conversion rates.
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Denner is the co-founder and director of Adestra, and is highly experienced in developing email solutions, having headed up teams responsible for bringing four separate email applications to market. A veteran of 13 years' experience in the industry, Denner has worked with many organizations on delivering technical solutions to real business challenges and goals.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
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