CleverTouch founder Adam Sharp looks at how marketing automation has transformed the job of the modern Marketing Manager.

The idea of quarterly campaigns is replaced with continuous campaign

Because the technology wasn’t there, Marketers have in the past had to be very tactical in their campaign activity. They focussed on the need to be creative, and hence over-focussed on brand and imagery to the detriment of the customer experience and journey.

With programme-oriented and automated technology, campaigns can be set up and just allowed to run without thinking about them. No longer are campaigns driven by the marketers hitting the ‘send button’, but instead, driven and determined by the user wanting to learn and know more.Case in point: We have a campaign running with a major global brand that has been running continuously, and fully automated for four years, with no need for manual intervention.

Brand management is replaced with reputation management

In the 90s and the 00s brand consistency was big. Brand management and logo and image use or misuse was a big part of the marketer’s remit. Information and information management were largely ignored or left to IT.

Nowadays, insightful marketers are defining which technologies they are using and in doing so taking ownership for the information that is created and stored inside these systems too. Data governance, privacy and security are now critical components in reputation management and the CEO wants marketing, not IT, to own it.

ROI is replaced with forecasting 

Campaigns used to be discrete activities used once, and then dropped. ROI was a metric based on historical data. Imagine driving a car via without the rear view mirror. It’s useful, but not ideal.

Marketing Automation is ideally about continuous always-on activity, at a minimum it should be about repeatable campaigns and processes that can be tweaked as required. By the very nature of repeatable and automated campaign programmes, it now means that marketers can predict future outcomes base on past behaviours and metrics.

For the marketer that can now forecast the business impact that marketing provides, this new commercial understanding suddenly has the ear of the CEO.

Increased marketing silos is replaced with reduced marketing silos

Marketing used to be quite easy and quite slow too, largely offline and outbound. Now the marketer’s role has shifted to managing inbound & outbound, offline & online. This means ever increasing numbers of channels are being added all time and all the while our attention spans as consumers are collapsing. Snapchat, Vine and Instagram are testament to that.

The more silos of data, the more spreadsheets and more juggling of data, it gets messy and stressy, in equal measures. One of the great things about Marketing Automation at its basic level, is that it reduces some of silos. Email, analytics, CRM integration, workflow etc. It won’t get rid of all of them but it will go a long way to amalgamating the important stuff so you can provide a pulse on the state of the business and meaningful reporting.

For the more advanced organisations, Marketing Automation becomes the bedrock of their Marketing Infrastructure, around which other applications are centred and whole ecosystems are being developed. See Oracle’s Eloqua Cloud Connectors or Salesforce’s Pardot Connectors as examples.

Content marketing strategy is replaced with customer journey frameworks

There are so many chilling statistics about exactly how much content is actually wasted or read, (we love irony). Whatever the numbers, anecdotally many organisations are fast becoming content factories, spewing out even more copious amounts of content designed to sell rather than help or trigger some emotional attachment.

This Hubspot blog post sums it up nicely, and increasingly marketers are realising the content strategy (if you really need one) is driven by the holistic journey not the individual asset.

We believe that those companies that develop coherent customer journey frameworks and automate them put themselves at a massive advantage to their competitors. The use of the frameworks cannot be under-estimated - they provide an architectural drawing that defines the journey to be built inside the technology platform and a similarly coherent plan for content production. This is much better than random acts of content creation.

Marketing is no longer the recipient of technology, but the driver of new technology

In the past, marketing departments outsourced their technology needs to the IT function to specify; or if they were really slow and unresponsive they might use a service provider. This was fine for a while, but now the CEO is looking to the CMO to understand the technology, the new channels, and even invent new business models as byproducts on technology innovation; and articulate this opportunity back to the business in a language that the business understands.

It is now incumbent on the marketer to own the information flow within an organisation. The single view of the truth and managing all the information touch points is now marketing’s remit.

Those marketers that seek to understand the impact of technology and are changing the way they work and the role of marketing will be the CMOs of the future. It is as simple as that.

About Adam Sharp

Having worked for various Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Iron Mountain and Quantum in senior marketing positions. Adam had the idea for CleverTouch six years ago. Adam has a degree from Cardiff in Applied Psychology and an MBA from Southampton.  He is on the Executive Council of the IDM and is a past lecturer on the MSc Digital Marketing course at MMU. He played rugby in the national league a long time ago.

About CleverTouch:

CleverTouch is Europe's fastest growing Marketing Automation consultancy, created by marketers specifically with Marketing Automation in mind. It is the trusted partner of more users of Marketing Automation in Europe, than anyone else, with over 200 clients’ incl. B2B Marketing and Econsultancy. The company was the only Marketing Automation consulting partner in Europe to be recognised by Forrester Research in their recent Marketing Automation adoption in Europe publication; based wholly on customer feedback.