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Adobe Summit Recap: How AI and Automation Are Impacting Brands

May 15, 2018

A cross-functional team of HLKers attended the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas this spring to test drive the latest and greatest marketing technology solutions transforming our clients' businesses. We were inspired by the Summit's theme,"Experience Makers," which served as an important reminder for us — and for all attendees — to put people and the security of their information before the platform. After all, this is what leads to the best customer experiences, and it's why having a partner is still vitally important in the AI era.

Adobe Summit

The conference opened with a keynote address from Brad Rencher, Adobe executive vice president and general manager of digital experiences, who shared a Forrester report on the business impact of investing in experiences. The study found that companies that make experiences their business see returns through 1.6 times greater brand awareness and 36 percent faster revenue growth. So, with this clear impact on the bottom line, how can brands craft more meaningful customer engagements through experiences?

As digital marketers, we know that automation holds the key to generating personalized touchpoints at scale. And while email, display and texting campaigns immediately come to mind, the future of automation expands into websites, apps, virtual assistants and in-store activations. As brands and agencies come up with more creative ways to interact with customers one-on-one, it's crucial that we first build a strong foundation to successfully expand automation across mediums.

To ensure that a brand's marketing automation strategy can be leveraged to its full capacity, we have listed three ways an agency partner can help a client enhance data and content regardless of platform.

  1. Streamline data to make it actionable in real time.
    With constant interactions across many touchpoints, it is easy for data to become siloed, leading to a partial view of the customer profile and messages that don't align with their needs. Unifying the data into a useful format is necessary to uncover insights and segment audiences.

  2. Understand your customer and how you can be of service to them.
    Once data is streamlined, brands can better understand where customers are in the purchasing process to more effectively deliver the content they need when and where they need it. However, automation can have a bad reputation for spamming customers with irrelevant messages — or even being "creepy." While a "happy birthday" email may not move the needle, customizing interior design tips based on a recent furniture purchase may be more like it. These human insights are key to developing a robust content strategy to support automation.

  3. Build loyalty through the safe handling of customer information.
    While marketers are eager to use data for personalization, they also have a responsibility to maintain customers' privacy. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect in the European Union this month, the time is now to safeguard customer information, and in turn improve their trust. It's critical that global brands respect privacy rights by securing consent, making data anonymous, defining a breach communications protocol and responsibly handling information.

With these fundamental elements in place, agency-client relationships will be stronger and marketers can be more confident that their strategic automation plans will drive more meaningful engagements with customers — and positively impact a brand's bottom line.