The line between marketing and information technology departments continues to blur, as marketing solutions today rely on high-tech tools to reach their channels. Whereas the CMOs and CIOs of the past had highly segmented duties that only brought them together at the executive leadership table, today's CMO is predicted to spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017, according to Gartner.
CMOs no longer have the luxury of leaving IT decisions to the CIOs — it's time to get technical or die. This means having a firm grasp on the variety of technologies available, understanding how they work, and knowing which ones fit your marketing stack.
How Technical Should CMOs Get?
I don't believe we need to become full-out data scientists, but it's essential to understand how big data and technology solutions improve marketing efforts. Otherwise, when I find the perfect solution as the CMO, I won't necessarily be able to get the CIO or CEO on board with the integration challenges, cost, or resources required.
It’s critical to know what you need and get what you want, because predictive analytics, automated personalization and optimization, machine learning, and other exciting marketing technologies make the difference between cutting-edge campaigns and having to handle everything manually.
We already have access to sales and automation tools and technologies, which have laid the groundwork for marketers seeking to up their game. But new players are continually materializing, bringing solutions that make use of data science and machine learning along with them. As a result, translating big data into real insights is more in reach than ever before.
Below we’ve summarized some of the most interesting and exciting technologies that fit the above description for email...
Ten Email Technologies Every CMO Should Know
One marketing area that particularly benefits from tech solutions is email marketing, so here are the top 10 email technologies that all CMOs should know and consider adding to their email programs:
AudiencePoint uses analytics, historical information, and algorithms to create profiles for users depending upon how they interact with their inboxes. It then pinpoints the best time to email subscribers, based on when they are online. This helps improve deliverability, marketing metrics, and conversions.
AVARI relies on a proprietary data model that delivers highly personalized content to the inboxes of customers. Using historical data and machine learning algorithms, recommended products and other content, as well as embedded live social feeds, are generated in real time and injected into each individual’s email. It is a straightforward add-on that works with any email platform.
BriteVerify allows users to drag and drop or import their email lists. It then scans the list, verifies which email addresses are valid, and removes the ones that aren’t. This helps reduce the bounce rate and improve sender reputation.
KickDynamic makes use of open-time technology and context-based rules, such as where a recipient is located, what the weather is like at the user’s location, what kind of device is being used, and what time an email is looked at, to help determine the contents of the email.
Litmus tests and tracks emails to determine if they are meeting best practice guidelines. Its various add-on tools look at how emails render, whether or not messages pass spam filters, the quality of links, if email codes and layouts meet compatibility standards for different devices, and more.
LiveIntent provides tools for advertising in email newsletters and alerts. Its technology leverages big data, allowing marketers to buy and sell ads within the leftover available space in an email, in real time.
Movable Ink is another open-time technology that uses context-based rules to deliver personalized and context-based content, such as device-optimized campaigns, countdown timers, and weather variants.
Phrasee automates and optimizes email subject line generation. After generating subject lines, marketers can test which ones work best. The winners are fed back into the system, and machine learning and a continually learning language database use that information to improve upon brand voice.
PowerInbox allows marketers and consumers to run interactive apps inside of email. It does this by combining real-time capabilities, dynamic animation, device and geographic targeting, and personalization.
SaleCycle relies upon remarketing capabilities on websites and within email to encourage users to complete a purchase and not abandon their shopping carts. It pays particular attention to on-site behavior, such as idle time, to determine when a customer might be leaving a website.
Knowledge Is Knowing a Tomato Is a Fruit...
...Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad. In the same way, a technical CMO needs to not only be aware of the newest technologies available, but also know which of them will or won’t be a fitting addition to the company’s overall strategy and goals. Depending upon the type of business, the vertical(s) you’re dealing with, and the email campaigns you’re sending out, not only will your needs change, but so too will the tools you should be using to meet them.
In the next year and beyond, the aforementioned data science and machine learning, along with the insights they provide us with, will be focal points for CMOs. These technologies will help marketers bridge the gap between themselves and their customers, leading to higher levels of personalization and optimization.
As an in-the-know CMO, it’s your job to understand exactly how the solutions available assist marketing efforts, how they work in the short- and long-term strategies for your company, and the benefits of a particular solution over competitors the CIO or CEO may prefer.
If you aren't already diving deep into what predictive analytics and machine learning can do for your marketing, you're going to get left behind by marketing innovators. Stand up for the technology solutions you need by intimately understanding the way data science intersects with marketing solutions and determining which ones are right for you.