How can marketers better use technology to maximise their returns?

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Sponsored content in collaboration with Pure360. Views expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect ClickZ’s opinions.

Now more than ever before, marketers have a wealth of technology at their fingertips helping them to run campaigns.

In spite of this, the sophistication of delivery for many marketing campaigns is remarkably low – particularly in email marketing, where marketers will resort to “batch and blast” tactics that don’t deliver the returns that they could.

With all the tools that have been created to help marketers deliver stronger campaigns, why does this problem still persist? Komal Helyer, Head of Marketing at email marketing and automation company Pure360, believes that it’s due to a combination of things.

“There’s a lot of noise; there’s a lot of noise for marketers, there’s a lot of noise for consumers, and marketers themselves are extremely busy. Unless you’re a huge brand with a dedicated email team, I think marketers find it really hard to cut through all the different channels.

“It’s not that marketers don’t know what they should be doing, because it’s clear that they do. Marketers have the technology at their fingertips, but I think they’re finding it really difficult to bring the two together.”

Is email still worthwhile?

With so many different channels we can use to communicate with consumers, the debate as to whether email marketing is still worthwhile has cropped up over and over again throughout the years. But Helyer – who has been in email marketing for twelve years, “since the birth, really, of email marketing” – has no doubt that email is still the best channel for delivering ROI.

“Email ROI is really high,” she says. “Whenever a third-party carries out a review of marketing channels, email is always at the top. But when you look at sophistication, it’s low across the board, and particularly for email.

“This is something that I found several years ago, and it still hasn’t changed. You’ve got brands that just send out a newsletter because they think that they have to.”

A vector graphic of a tablet with an email icon on the screen, and three coloured envelopes, blue, green and purple, spiralling upwards from the tablet.
Image by Maialisa, available via CC0

Helyer adds that the problem of unsophisticated email marketing goes beyond doing marketing for the sake of marketing, and extends to the lack of measurable goals in marketers’ campaigns.

“You’ve got to understand the intricacies for each of the campaigns, and you’ve got to understand the objectives – marketers still, to this day, sometimes don’t even have their own objectives. And they’re measuring the wrong things in the wrong places.”

Pure360’s solution to this has been to launch a unique tool for marketers, The Pure360 Marketing Suite. It combines Pure360’s signature Email Maturity Model with a suite of four modules: PureCampaign, PurePromotions, PureTargeting and PureIntelligence. The Email Maturity Model allows marketers to discover exactly how advanced their email marketing is compared to the rest of industry, and take steps to improve their results.

Keeping it modular

So how does The Pure360 Marketing Suite work, and how do the different components fit together?

“Pure360 has a unique combination of suite modules with email at its core – we have email at the core of everything we do,” explains Helyer.

“There are four key modules, and they make up the full journey that we think email marketers should be taking with their campaigns and strategy. From the very start of sending campaigns, all the way through to bringing together a whole range of different data sources and being able to target, automate and build workflows off the top of that.”

A diagram illustrating the Pure360 marketing suite, with the four modules - PureCampaign, PurePromotions, PureTargeting and PureIntelligence - arranged in like segments of a pie chart around the core, which is labelled 'Pure360 Marketing Suite'. A black rim runs around the outside of the chart, labelled 'Email Maturity Model & Best Practice Framework'.
The Pure360 Marketing Suite structure. Image: Pure360

“Our product suite is very much aligned to our Email Maturity Model. As you grow in your sophistication, you can then bolt on additional technologies as and when you need them.

“The reason we kept it modular is because actually, a lot of companies don’t really need all the singing and dancing software and features until they grow in their sophistication. So we built a model that is really for marketers, based on where they sit in their maturity and sophistication.

“As you grow, we help you make the most of the technology you’ve got, and then when you want to move to the next stage, you can bolt on additional modules. This makes it flexible and better suited to marketers and businesses.”

A diagram illustrating the different stages of Pure360's 'Email Maturity Model'.

Image: Pure360

Marketing no-brainers

The four different suite modules – PureCampaign, PurePromotions, PureTargeting and PureIntelligence – fit together in a complementary way to cover all stages of the marketing journey. PureCampaign, the email and SMS delivery tool, is the ‘hub’ which ties everything together.

“It allows you to send emails; it allows you to segment and then do targeting, personalisation, reporting off the back of that,” says Helyer. “It all starts with PureCampaign. You need PureCampaign before you can purchase any other modules.”

PurePromotions allows brands to grow their lists and increase customer loyalty, which it achieves using viral campaign techniques that can be sent out via email, social and web. “You can easily create contests, promotions and sweepstakes; there’s lots of really neat ways that you can use the template to grow your database,” Helyer explains.

A screen showcasing different viral templates for PurePromotions, including templates named 'wine magic', 'yoga' and 'indie rainbow'. The templates are laid out in a grid format, with the heading 'Choose template' at the top.

Image: Pure360

PureTargeting is a module aimed at ecommerce brands, or any business which has a ‘basket’ on its website. It uses retargeting to help brands gain back lost revenue from abandoned baskets or abandoned browsing sessions. Although retargeting is fast becoming a staple tool in marketers’ arsenals, Helyer finds that many brands still aren’t using this extremely effective method of regaining lost revenue.

“We joke about ‘marketing no-brainers’,” she laughs. “Why do brands not do this? When actually, your ROI could be huge. If you talk to the majority of ecommerce customers, ecommerce brands will not be using this technology, and it’s got to be one of the biggest marketing no-brainers.”

Finally, there is PureIntelligence, a data intelligence solution which collates different sources of data together to provide a single customer view. “This is the piece that truly allows you to send the right message at the right time, and also across the right channel – because we can serve it across email and SMS as well.”

A screenshot of two analytics graphs from the PureIntelligence module, one showing page views over the last 24 hours, and the other one showing recovered value in the past 24 hours.

Image: Pure360

Pure360 is constantly evolving and updating its marketing offerings, and it recently launched a new and improved version of PureCampaign in response to customer feedback.

“We’ve got a new dashboard that enables you to have a really insightful look at the top-level metrics of your campaign, and you can also drill in and deep-dive into specific areas if you want an in-depth understanding. We’ve optimised that to make it much more fluid, useful and insightful to the marketer,” says Helyer.

The company has also developed a ‘drag-and-drop’ email format, which much like the Marketing Suite itself, makes everything modular – allowing marketers to seamlessly switch out different ‘blocks’ of an email in order to change an element, rather than needing to redesign the whole thing.

“We understand that modular is the way to go; it enables our customers to build templates and emails without needing to have any technical or creative skills.”

The relaunched PureCampaign also offers finely honed automation and segmentation functionality, allowing marketers to segment their audience by demographic data, by level of engagement, and even by different types of device.

‘Focus on your email’

Behind all of Pure360’s offerings is a desire to allow marketers to serve themselves, equipping them with the tools and resources that will enable them to do everything they need without outside help.

“They could go to an agency, and they’d probably pay tens of thousands of pounds a month for the support and the guidance. This is a way for the mid-market, really, to be able to self-serve but ultimately improve and move up the Maturity Model with the help of dedicated account management.

“We do it together; our account managers take each customer, and create the best-practice framework according to who they are and what industry they’re in. It really gives them a benchmark and a structured journey, in terms of the steps that they can take to move up through the stages of email maturity and sophistication. They’re really easy steps to implement, and aligned to the technology that they have.”

Helyer’s core piece of advice for marketers looking to improve their returns would be to ignore the ‘shiny’, exciting new fads that come along and focus on what matters: email.

A blue silhouette of a person in profile, with a darker blue circle inside their head, and a closed envelope icon inside that circle.

Image by geralt, available via CC0

“I spoke at TFM [Technology for Marketing] the other week, and one of the keynotes talked about how marketers need to ‘stop with all the shiny things – focus on your email’. Look at all these research papers which are telling you that email drives the highest ROI – yet it seems that marketers aren’t finding the time to spend on email and devising approaches that can really reap its benefits.

“Marketers know the overall strategy, but how they do it with the technology is really what matters. I think some of the shiny things that come about just take a lot of their space up, and there’s very little time to do what’s really going to drive returns.”

To find out more about The Pure360 Marketing Suite and other marketing services that Pure360 has to offer, visit the Pure360 website.

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