Do marketers need an automation education?

Do marketers need an automation education?
Marketing Tech’s editor has more than a decade of editorial experience spanning computing, performance marketing and, currently, enterprise digital strategy. Simon’s career began in print, where he edited the news section of business computing title PC Plus and contributed to a variety of other special interest titles, including MacFormat and Computer Arts. He then made the transition to digital journalism, joining PerformanceIN where he covered a sector of the marketing industry where advertisers only pay on a performance basis. Most recently, Simon became editor at TechForge Media where he manages the editorial strategy of Marketing Tech and the company portfolio’s newest launch Connected Car.

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Technology is at the heart of everything digital marketing is achieving today, but there are still some subjects that are beyond a subset of marketers.

Automation is one such topic where there is evidence of a knowledge, that is according to research by marketing technology provider Adestra, which revealed more than a quarter of marketers have never heard of marketing automation.

In an era when customer experience is at the heart of everything a marketer does, automation has become an important way of leading consumers through the different stages of research, conversion and then on to satisfaction.

Improved training

Given this trend, advertisers should be doing more to ensure their employees have the relevant training to achieve KPIs. However some could be doing more, with 49% of Adestra respondents only partly familiar with automation.

Adestra sought the views of 200 UK-based, senior-level marketers from a variety of sectors and while some had insufficient knowledge, 60% of those that have implemented automation confirmed that the technology did have a positive impact on their marketing communications.

Even those with a small understanding of automation had some idea about its benefits, of which saving time was top in 74% of respondents followed by increased customer engagement and more timely communications.

Despite being familiar with automation, more than half of Adestra’s dataset worry that their company’s understanding is not yet at a stage where it will be possible to implement the technology effectively.

Understanding of data

Although having automation technology in place is the major hurdle, Steve Denner, COO of Adestra, warns that it is only one step on the route to a marketing campaign’s success.

“The key to success for marketers opting to use an automated technology is to ensure they have a thorough understanding of how to use data correctly to inform how their strategy should evolve.

“Doing this well unlocks a world of benefits and will enable marketers to enjoy highly-targeted campaigns that produce impressive results.”

As companies recognise that this could be the year of the customer, they should be setting aside budget for education in their strategy for 2015 or risk missing business targets.

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