Two of Laughlin Constable’s top executives in Jenny Maglio, director of marketing automation, and Benjamin Bernhard, director of digital strategy, will be speaking at MailCon in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace. Their joint session takes place Thursday, Jan. 13 starting at 9:15 a.m.
Tell us a little about the fireside chat you will host during MailCon Las Vegas 2022. What themes will be discussed?
Maglio: We’ll be discussing practical ways to shift your organization toward differentiated brand experiences. Attendees can hear from an agency perspective about real situations, stories of success, and how to avoid failure. We’re looking forward to an engaging conversation with tangible takeaways for attendees.
Why did you pick marketing automation as the central topic of your session?
Bernhard: We chose the topic because not only are we marketing automation experts, but we believe deeply in the strategy surrounding all communications and want to help companies shift from thinking about one email or campaign to creating experiences across channels, inclusive of email, and marketing automation offers the ability to help do this.
What obstacles and benefits could a company face while using marketing automation?
Maglio: Obstacles can range from personnel issues of having someone that has experience but is not an expert in a marketing automation strategy, or your ESP, to poor data standardization and internal siloes to lack of direction. The benefits are plentiful. When you create marketing automation (MA) experiences you will not only have the efficiencies that MA alone offers, but you will also see an increase in loyalty, higher engagement, and higher conversions.
What should marketers look for when migrating to a new marketing automation tool?
Maglio: There are many factors marketers should take into consideration when selecting a new or first marketing automation tool. The most important is to understand your needs now and for the future. You don’t want to get too much system and pay for something you won’t use. However, you want the platform to grow with you as your capabilities and strategy grow. No one wants to migrate systems and start over again and again. Ensure you get demos of multiple systems and talk to existing users as well. And most importantly, have a strategic plan going into your migration and implementation. This is the biggest reason we see companies fail with marketing automation ongoing.
What could companies do to secure clients’ personal data while using marketing automation?
Bernhard: PII and data privacy is a vastly important topic. MA platforms offer the security of data, but you need to be cautious if you are pulling reports or importing data to safely share and store – that means no emailing data. Along with that ensure contacts are opting in across channels, provide details on how you use data, and ensure contacts can unsubscribe from your communications.
What’s the future of marketing technology and automation?
Maglio: It is only growing in both use and capabilities. With more privacy parameters in place, marketing automation offers robust and cost-effective capabilities that convert and allow for the creation of personalized and customized experiences for your leads and customers.
Bernhard: Along with that, platforms continue to build partnerships to ensure your tech stack integrates together, creating a truly powerful system.
What is the most underrated marketing automation tool?
Maglio: To be very honest, as far as platforms go, I think each one has different benefits, and the selection of the best can vary by company needs. I will say however that I’ve been impressed with Braze as of late because of its constant innovation, service, and ability to integrate your tech stack to create experiences across channels and HubSpot’s scalability and opportunity to be everything you need within one, which is a huge benefit.
When should companies start implementing email automation platforms in their practices?
Maglio: If you are sending an email, you should be utilizing an ESP. From there, which one depends on your needs. You may decide to dip your toes in the water to start or jump right into a more robust platform. Assessing what you need is important but setting yourself up for success with implementation and training your team is what will make or break your usage and success with a platform.
Which metrics or analytics do you rely on the most when planning strategies for future campaigns?
Bernhard: Though we explore numerous metrics and analytics for an overall strategy, there are a few areas we focus on for marketing automation and email:
- Engagement rates: Open rates, click-through rates
- Conversion rates: purchases made, discounts/coupon codes used, desired actions taken online or in-app
- Subscriptions/opt-in rates and unsubscribe rate
- Cluster modeling: for larger strategy work we utilize similar behavior and attributes to cluster people into various groups that can be used to target or better understand the audiences, as well as segment them for future testing or targeting
How does a marketing automation tool differ from a CRM? How do the two complement each other?
Maglio: Though all systems do house data, a CRM system is the data and sales side of your business. Marketing automation is the marketing piece. We often use the terms interchangeably because some systems, like HubSpot, include both a CRM and MA ‘hub’ while you may integrate a more traditional CRM, like Salesforce or Dynamics, with platforms like Marketo or Eloqua.
What is the difference between a spam email and a cold email from a legal standpoint?
Maglio: I would define spam emails and cold emails as nearly the same. They are unsolicited emails sent to contacts. This would mean the contact is not legally following the email opt-in laws for that specific country. Do not buy email addresses or send emails without permission.
What strategies help grow an email subscribers’ list? How does data back your claim?
Bernhard: You can grow a subscriber list in several ways. Strategically though, you want to gather quality leads and not just increase your volume of opt-ins. You can do this by offering opt-in capabilities throughout your website, at the point of purchase, and on existing forms. An offer is an excellent way to see a boost in subscribers as well. Whatever you do, ensure you are following the proper opt-in policy for the country or countries you are collecting subscribers for.
Where did your career in marketing begin?
Maglio: I fell in love with Marketing while in DECA in high school and my passion for the discipline has only grown over time. I did a lot of direct marketing in my early years, and it morphed very naturally into email and marketing automation/CRM, which I’ve been working in for over 15 years now.
Bernhard: My career in digital marketing started with a passion for telling stories with data. My career started 13 years ago leveraging analytics platforms to provide recommendations for optimizing website experiences for a wide range of clients. As the digital landscape has vastly evolved, so too has my skill set to help brands create experiences across digital touchpoints and has led me to many digital and advertising agencies. But at the end of the day, telling stories with data has always been the underlying passion behind what I do.
To register for Mailcon, set to take place starting Jan. 11 at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, click here to get tickets.