Digital Wednesday: Marketing Automation

Yesterday I went to a Digital Wednesday event, the subject this time was marketing automation. This event had four speakers, all with different views and backgrounds. Everyone really engaged with the audience, people could always ask questions. The last part was a quiz for the four speakers and the whole audience could participate!

Andre Cuijpers – no, not the astronaut – kicked off the evening. He explained what marketing automation is according to him. He says it is not only email marketing, as a lot of people think initially. In fact, it’s much more than that. It’s getting the right message to the right person at the right time. Right.
He also told that marketing automation doesn’t have to be driven by marketing, it can also be used by the sales department.
He stated that the word marketing automation isn’t completely fair, because it’s never 100% automated. It always nees a human to set everything up and to make sure everything works accordingly.
For him, the most important part is data, and the collection of this. Without good data, there is no marketing automation.

The second speaker of the evening was Wing Cheung, not to be prejudice, but I did not expect that thick Amsterdam accent, at all. Wing is marketeer at DigiB, and organization that works with all kinds of chemicals.
He started off with telling that marketing automation isn’t only a B2C thing, but can also be employed in the B2B market.
According to him, getting your objectives straight is a crucial step in using marketing automation. Without clear objectives, you cannot employ marketing automation as you should. Is your objective more website visits, newsletter subscribers or something completely different? Think this through, and then kick off your marketing automation campaign.

Then Sander Janssen came on stage. He is head of Freo’s marketing team, and gave us some insights in how Freo uses marketing automation and what problems he is dealing with.
Freo uses the ‘plan-do-check-act’ principle. One of the biggest problems in the ‘do’ part is organising data, and doing this right. This is because Freo has sensitive information.
He told us they look at three types of people, prospects, customers, and ex-customers. When approaching prospects, they focus on activation. When approaching customers, they focus on retaining the customer. At last, with ex-customers they focus on getting them to come back.

The final speaker of the evenign was Alex Ballering. Alex is manager of the marketing intelligence and CRM team at Brocacef. This is a chain pharmacy organization.
Alex wants to establish a relationship with the client, to make it easier for them to come to one of their pharmacies.

At the end of the night, there was a quiz for the four speakers, and the audience could participate usign red and green cards. After everyone voted, the audience could ask questions, or comment on the statements of the speakers.

It was a fun night, with a free drink! Will definitely look into other editions of the Digital Wednesday!