MWC19: Interview With GSMA Program Director Andrew Parker 

Technologists and mobile marketers the world over are preparing to descend on Barcelona for this year’s GSMA’s MWC 2019. AList sat down with Andrew Parker, GSMA’s program marketing director for IoT, to get some insights on what’s new this year and what marketers should look out for at the annual event.

How will this year’s MWC be different from last year’s event? 

The main difference this year is the theme of the whole event, which is Intelligent Connectivity. This year you are going to see a broader view of the future of mobile. This year the focus is on 5G, it’s obviously in sharp focus this year. The developments of IoT, the developments of smart platforms such as AI and Big Data. Because what we are arguing is the development of those three technologies is going to have a massive impact on the world. Three very exciting, emerging technologies. So you are going to see more demonstrations of the technology that represent those three technologies, rather than just mobile.

What are some trends at MWC that marketers should look out for? 

For marketers there is the use of mobile more and more; it’s the whole range of things. For example, you see mobile apps using AR to promote products. I think AR, particularly on mobile, is something that marketers can apply fairly quickly because they can build it into apps. One of my favorites is an app where you can call the walls of your house to see what the color will look like. For marketers, in pure mobile, I think that’s one example.

Other aspects of broader, slightly more advanced areas—I think the use of smart advertising, where we to see external advertising taking advantage of mobile-connected screens and reacting through the day to different audiences, so they can present different messages to people passing by. You will see more connected billboards—quality billboard space is something of a higher premium—and certainly 5G enables high-definition video. Also, the two-way nature of 5G—being able to recognize people that are passing the billboard. It depends how far out you want to look.

By this time next year, do you think 5G will still be the ‘shiny new thing’?

I think so because 5Gs are rolling out this year. It’s going to take some time for the networks to roll out and for the products to mature to deliver applications. We are still at a very early stage there. 5G just rolling out. I think it’s about how 5Gs are being utilized and grow up together with the other technology. We’ll be over pure speed or pure low latency. What we will be more interested in is the application across the network. Hopefully, there will be more case of what you can do with 5G, how it will impact entertainment, sports, transportation and public services. The big applications. We’ll get over the basic 5G, but I think we’ll still be talking about how all these other technologies merged together to deliver real benefit. And I hope that, whether the debate goes because it’s all about the benefits for consumers and businesses.

In regards to planning MWC, technology moves so fast, how do you anticipate and also leave room for innovation as you are planning through the year?

The way we do it is we talk to a lot of people. Out ideal piece of technology that we like to show in something like Innovation City is something which isn’t too far out but [also] hasn’t been seen before. We engage with the number of businesses and now the GSMA certainly is reaching out. And what we do is we are trying to reach out to the operators, but we also reach out to a number of other industries. And certainly, in my area, the IoT perspective, the more companies that we talk to and partner the more interesting [it gets]. They’re the ones who give us those cutting edge applications.

For example, we’ve got this thing called Intelligent Water, which is going to be at Innovation City this year. And that’s a company called BeWhere, who are working with the city of Toronto and they are putting sensors into the water pipelines to measure water pressure and determine where leaks are within the network. So the city of Toronto is using that data and [putting it] onto a platform and it helps to model the water network underground. With that example, to BeWhere they are partnering in Europe with Orange and with Huawei in Canada.

Therefore, you have to talk to a range of different people to get the demos and understand what’s happening in the marketplace. You can’t just look in one place anymore.

What are you personally are excited about? 

It’s a whole bunch of stuff on there. I’m really excited to see the SKYSHIP from KT. That’s basically an airship which coordinates drones and ground activity during an emergency crisis. That looks really cool. The idea is that if the base station goes up on an airship and the base station coordinates a whole range of different helpers in a zone.

Also looking forward to meeting Sophia as well. I’ve not actually met her before. Sophia is joining Innovation City this year and is going to give her own perspective of where sees 5G going because being a hard-wired, connected robot, which she is at the moment—she’s acquiring legs and will need mobile connectivity. Sophia will be talking about how she sees mobile helping her communicate with the cloud-based platform, which is basic intelligence. And also how AI is going to develop. Those couple of examples are ones that I’m certainly excited about.

New ‘Amazon Moments’ Offer In-App Rewards To Help Avoid Churn

People love to be rewarded, it’s human nature. Research, conducted by Dr. Robert Cialdini and described in his book Influence: The Psychology of Behavior, shows that the pleasure reward circuit in the brain is an area that can be highly stimulated by food, sales or special offers. This is exactly what makes rewards so addictive and what makes them a killer marketing technique.

Amazon knows this. The company is debuting a new service, Amazon Moments, that will allow marketers to easily offer unique perks to customers who complete high-value actions, such as subscription renewal.

TikTok, Bravo, Sony Crackle, Sesame Street, Washington Post, Disney Heroes and other brands have already tested Amazon Moments. And according to Amir Kabbara, Amazon’s head of digital marketing and consumer innovation, these brands saw impressive results.

Also, an unnamed “video streaming service” created an Amazon Moments targeted campaign toward “lapsed” customers (previous customers that terminated their subscription), and with the new Amazon tool, these customers were two times more likely to subscribe again, Kabbara said. Subscriber numbers also doubled during the company’s Moments campaign.

He continued, “If you look back in history, marketers used to either discount their products, extend free trials if it’s a subscription app, or give away items to drive engagement. And some marketers, especially on the loyalty side, ended up spending a ton of time trying to source rewards and figuring out how to deliver the products to their customers.”

According to Kabbara, Amazon faced this problem too—the company struggled to engage more customers and now aims to put this hassle to an end with the new tool.

The process is quite simple: Amazon Moments automatically creates a customer-reward landing page for every single campaign and shares the rewards links—containing the rewards API—with marketers.

“The reward link works like magic,” Kabbara said, “Customers click on it, go through to collect their rewards on Amazon, and, by the way, with all the benefits that they expect from Amazon. If it’s a Prime customer, [he or she] will get same day shipping; and any customer can, of course, track their items.”

Marketers, in their turn, are presented with the choice of choosing one Amazon product, several products, or a monetary reward that then can be spent on Amazon, but this, again, gives more options to a customer.

Kabbara said that it is up to the marketer to determine the experience that they want for their customers. However, what the company typically recommends is to give the customer an option to redeem their reward right away, inside the app, which provides more gratification—instead of making them wait for a confirmation email.

“Through this program, we really want to give marketers a new way to guide engagement, create promotions, but delight the customer with fun moments that lastwhile we are at it,” Kabbara said.

DMPs, CDPs, DSPs And The Ecosystem Of Customer Data

Marketers want to genuinely know their audience—this is obvious. And using data is vital for brands to best tap into their customer’s needs or ones they want to acquire. This data has been collected in many ways, through online surveys, telephone interviews, focus groups and, most recently, over social media. DMPs or Data Management Platforms try to go deeper by consolidating all of this information in one place.

In December, Lotame released a follow-up report to one released a month prior, called Data Activation & Success. It found around 80 percent of 300 marketing professionals surveyed use a DMP in their organization.

So what exactly is this magical tool? The platform lets marketers collect, organize and activate their first-party data for digital marketing. According to a whitepaper by BlueKai—an Oracle-owned, data management platform—a marketer can compare their data to third-party data to make “smarter media buying and campaign making decisions.” DMPs, says BlueKai, help marketers achieve better campaign performance, overall ROI and deliver targeted results.

“Our clients use DMP as a tool for prospecting—taking known customer and using some of our features within the product to do things like look-a-like modeling, to intelligently find more customers that want to get down the funnel,” said Brian O’Connor, Lotame’s VP of product to AList.

“They (customers) will come to us and ask how they should go about this, and a DMP allows for customer suppression. To make sure that you’re not marketing a product to an existing customer because that is a waste of ad dollars in your marketing strategy.”

However, not everyone believes DMPs are very useful. Steven Wolfe Pereira, chief marketing officer at Quantcast, an AI technology company told AList feels data management platforms became a “mess.”

“Maybe people back in the day, thought it was going to be very helpful, but I feel with how things have evolved, people realize these DMPs are probably not the right tools that people necessarily need,” said Pereira.

“A lot of marketers have been saying—not my words, but their words—DMPs are where data goes to die.”

Pereira used the example that if you want to do something in real time, you have to take your data and put it into then DMP—which takes it offline—then build a third party segment, cleanse the data or activate the data, all of which could take weeks.

DSPs, demand-side platforms, and SSPs, supply-side platforms, are similar but exactly the same as DMPs. They’re both non-controversial, and pretty straight-forward, automated ways to purchase advertising.

SSPs play a critical role in the digital marketing ecosystem, and they aggregate supply in that marketplace—designed to maximize impressions prices. DSPs are used to buy display, video, and search ads in a cheaper, more efficient way. Depending on whether you’re a publisher that’s trying to sell inventory, or you’re a marketer that’s trying to buy inventory, in either one of these scenarios, data is informing some of the buying and selling decisions

“We are the data layer that helps the marketers reach their target, and it helps the publishers that use our product, surface the right inventory for buyers to choose. We are all connected. There are even some DSPs that have DMP-like capabilities,” said O’Connor.

“A DMP at its core is unifying first-party data, allowing customers to access third-party data sets, mix and match the two things to execute a data strategy within the eco-system. They’re made to maximize the prices impressions sell at.”

CDPs or customer data platforms are the newest type of tool and have gained a lot of buzz. These were born out of mobile-only and email marketing platforms and focus on first-party data. You don’t have to be in IT to use CDPs, however, because it’s such a new concept it means different things to different people.

There is no consensus on what a CDP is.

“If you ask five different people in the industry, you’ll like get five different answers on what a CDP is, whereas a DMP is more mature in the market place and there is more consistency in understanding what a DMP is and what it does in the ecosystem as compared to a CDP,” added O’Connor.

Despite the vagueness, O’Connor believes CDPs are powerful at engaging with the marketers’ existing customer set to execute actions like pushing the product or interacting with customers through text messaging. Some CDPs even have the functionality to integrate with call centers or even email marketing platforms.

Even though CDPs have gained popularity, some experts find challenges in the tool with privacy, regulation and customer data management. But others think the idea of having all of your first-party customer data in one place can eventually simplify a marketer’s work, allowing marketers to ultimately focus on the customer.

“I would say the overarching north star for CDPs is truly understanding your PII within first-party data and having it used for marketing purposes.” Pereira says,” Advertising is important, but when you want to understand patterns in your customer and audiences to get down to all the different dimensions of their behavior so that you can tap into creative—[finding out] what is going to be interesting to these different cohorts of customers and why they buy—that’s more marketing work.”

“How does that tie into your data assets, marketing systems? I think that’s where the CDP lives.”

Report: Appearing Next To Competitors Deemed Most Threatening To Brand Safety

In 2017, brand safety was a big issue among marketers. Brands like Verizon appeared next YouTube videos by groups like ISIS. At that time, around 90 percent of those surveyed by GumGum—an AI company with a focus in computer vision—felt the problem was severe. Now, in GumGum’s “Brand Safety Crisis: One Year Later” report, only 60 percent of marketers felt brand safety was a big problem when it came to their marketing efforts in 2018.

GumGum—along with Digiday—surveyed 274 industry professionals in brands, agencies, online publishing and technology providers between October and November of last year.

Many respondents were satisfied with the way platforms handled the issue. Some brands even took matters into their own hands and created their safety measures and hired people specifically for the task. However, the enemy has changed. In 2017, bad news was the most common type of threatening content respondents said they were exposed to. A year later, a competitors’ branding was the most brand-unsafe content.

Some brands got proactive and felt they needed to tackle the issue themselves. The report highlighted Bank of America and GroupM, a media investment group, as examples of such brands. “A lot of media clients we work with have someone who in their job description is to be the de facto brand safety officer,” explained Joe Barone, managing partner of brand safety for GroupM in the report. Barone added these specialists tend to “emerge from companies’ existing marketing teams.” Despite the effort, only 5 percent of the industry professionals surveyed feel these specialists have helped a lot. Around 63 percent believed they’d helped a little and 31 percent these specialists have been of moderate help.

In 2017, around 28 percent of respondents believed a competitor’s branding was the biggest issue. A year later, it became the most substantial dilemma—around 63 percent of marketers think its the most common brand-unsafe exposure. This concern isn’t new to the digital space though, competitor’s branding has always been a problem.

“It’s the same thing that exists in traditional television,” said Blake Sabatinelli, CEO of publisher Newsy in the report. “In other words, the fear of being grouped with a competitor is not exactly a new one for brands — in fact, it’s one of the oldest. But it’s never been a more pressing concern than it is now.”

Bad news lost its top spot and turned into the least worry. These findings show social platforms are doing a decent job in vetting bad news and marketers seem to agree. In the past 12 months, Facebook and Twitter were ranked as the highest in improving on brand safety. Approximately, 45 percent of respondents believe the latter is the most brand safe. Publisher platforms are worrisome to many marketers, about 45 percent of them feel these platforms are the most unsafe for brands. Further, 65 percent think the display ads on publisher sites are the most unsafe types. In response to these attitudes, around 55 percent of marketers have turned to direct relationships with publishers they trust to prevent these problems.

There are also new problems marketers will start to face, such as “deepfake” a form of visual content that uses AI to create genuine-looking fake videos. Some organizations, such as DARPA—the technological research division of the U.S. military—spent $68 million on “deepfake” detection tools. Also, platforms like Facebook and Google have been efficient in detecting and eliminating this type of content.

The solution to these brand threats? The report concludes it takes the correct technology. Image recognition tools and natural language context detection will be essential to alleviating these problems. However, the majority of marketers aren’t using these tools, but ones who are have seen “impressive results.”

“It’s absolutely true that we need to move beyond a semantic analysis of brand-safe content or even what’s starting to be called sentiment analysis,” added Barone.

Domino’s Uses AI To Reward Points For Photographing Any Pizza

Domino’s is now giving pizza fans points for any pizza they purchase—even if it’s from a competitor. The company is launching the new rewards program right before one of biggest pizza consuming days of the year, the Super Bowl. Additionally, it’s the first time Domino’s will use AI  to recognize pizza, its part of the brand’s constant investment in consumer technology.

On February 2, Domino’s will start awarding rewards points for all pizzas a customer eats through its Points for Pies program. Consumers need to download the latest Domino’s App, then sign up for the Piece of the Pie Rewards loyalty program, and will need to use the pizza identification feature to scan their pies. Once they earn 60 points consumers can redeem a free medium two-topping pizza from Domino’s.

Domino’s CEO Rich Allison will also appear in his first TV commercial for the brand on February 2.

“Instead of advertising during Sunday’s game, we decided to invest in a breakthrough program that rewards everyone who loves pizza as much as we do,” said Art D’Elia, Domino’s senior vice president and chief brand officer in a statement. “We know everyone is asking themselves, ‘Did Domino’s just say they will award points for eating ANY pizza? Even from a competitor?’ You read that right; oh yes we did!”

The company’s internal team created the software that scans the pizza and the AI will identify the image as pizza so that points can be awarded correctly. They’ve also accounted for people trying to cheat.

“It will be running the pizza identification process and is already smart enough to identify all pizza, even if it is a homemade English muffin pizza, a pizza with a hotdog stuffed crust, or a high-end artisan pizza. It can even identify if it’s a dog’s squeaky pizza toy,” stated Dennis Maloney, Domino’s chief digital officer.

Last November, Domino’s launched a New Pizza Chef to their mobile app using AR. The feature allows customers to pick their crust, cheese, swirls and toppings. The virtual creation could be made into a real pizza and delivered to the user.

Domino’s also tested various new ways to order a pizza, including a voice-recognition ordering platform, and in 2014, they launched a virtual ordering assistant, DOM, that acted as the voice of the Domino’s Tracker.

Ad Block Survey Shows Marketers, Consumers Frustrations

A new study by Visual Objects finds that a growing number of consumers are downloading ad blockers much the chagrin of marketers. Research shows the majority of respondents who use ad blockers (51 percent) find video ads the most annoying when browsing online.

The company surveyed 500 consumers who use ad blocker plugins on desktop or mobile. The study included research from Statista finding nearly one in three computers use at least “one form of ad blocker, a number that has doubled since 2014.”

According to the survey, “Over half of respondents (51 percent ) say they are most frustrated by some type of video ad. This statistic includes both videos that appear before content loads (21 percent) and ones that interrupt streaming (30 percent)”

Visual Objects revealed the number one reason people download ad blockers was to “limit interruptions online.” Around 22 percent did so to “increase control over browsing experience,” and 18 percent use it to “eliminate unuseful or irrelevant ads.”

“The sheer volume of ads will actually impact the website experience, particularly the loading time or even functionality,” said Kyle Deming, founder of the web services firm Wojo Design, to Visual Objects.

Around 64 percent of respondents only block ads on their desktop, making mobile a more susceptible platform. The study found its just easier to install on laptops or desktops. Ad blockers began to appear in 2003 and around 65 percent of those surveyed have used an ad blocked for at least a year. There were fewer long-term ad blocker users, about 27 percent have used one for a least five years.

My impression was that [ad blockers] have become popular only recently because users are becoming more tech-fluent,” Deming added. “Installing an ad blocker used to be a really tech-savvy move.”

The study highlighted Google as an example. The company’s Chrome Web Store offers ad blocker apps that are user-friendly. They noted mobile ad blockers are far more scarce.

However, in terms of mobile advertising, experts believe brands should focus their ad spend on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

“By going directly to the platform, you can avoid being stifled by ad blockers,” said Spencer X. Smith, founder of AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies, in the Visual Objects report.

According to a study in 2017, around 615 million devices use some form of ad blocking.

Gartner’s ‘Predicts 2019’; Anticipates Major Changes By 2022

In a world that’s changing quickly due to shifts in technology and consumer behavior, it can be overwhelming for marketers to keep up. Gartner’s new report titled, ‘Predicts 2019: Marketing Seeks a New Equilibrium’ tries to understand and anticipate future trends affecting chief marketing officers and marketing teams.

The firm’s analysts predict six major changes in the next three to four years. By 2022, CMOs will reduce their investment in CX by at least 25 percent and re-route that money towards profitability.

Content creators, like influencers, will gain even more power. It is believed they’ll produce over 30 percent of their digital content with the help of AI content-generation tools.

In 2022, Gartner says, brands that incorporate user-level control of marketing data will reduce customer turnover by 40 percent. The emergence of CDPs is an example of that; the system enables better use of first-party data to drive content and individual-level ad targeting. Additionally, this will increase the brand’s lifetime value by 25 percent in 2023.

“These are exciting, but uncertain times for CMOs and marketing leaders. From the promise of data and analytics to the lure of CX and everything in between, marketers have vast opportunities to set themselves apart from the competition, but equal challenges to overcome in order to do so,” said Charles Golvin, senior director and analyst at Gartner in a press release. “Finding the right balance to successfully leverage marketing technology and emerging trends will be critical to marketing’s success over the course of the next couple of years.”

By 2023, the prediction isn’t promising for anyone in a marketing analytics team. The analysts believe around 60 percent of CMOs will cut the size of the department in half because of “failure to realize promised improvements.” That year there will be a 25 percent increase in response rates because of autonomous marketing systems. It’s predicted those systems will deliver 55 percent of multichannel marketing messages “based on marketer criteria and real-time consumer behavior.” Consumers already have short attention spans and in four years it’s expected they will watch 20 percent fewer minutes of video ads per day. To curb the loss, brands will have to create short-form video ads.

Gartner’s prophecies come from four key “forces”:

  • Behavioral Change Gartner found 44 percent of consumers would be more inclined to use a virtual personal assistant app if they knew their private information remained in the device.
  • Regulatory Pressures Regulations like GDPR are changing how companies can use customer data.
  • Organizational Shifts Internally, marketing leaders are hiring more data experts and investing more in CX, making expectations higher in these areas.
  • Disruptive Automation Brands want to be efficient and as marketers implement automation in new areas, the innovation will have a “disruptive impact” in the industry.

SuperData Releases Year In Review; Predictions For 2019

SuperData published its 2018 year in review report on digital games and interactive media. This year in review is the first from the gaming market research company since being acquired by Nielsen last year,

According to SuperData’s report, digital gaming grew 13 percent globally and earned approximately $119 billion. Mobile saw the most significant increase making around $61 billion last year. Also, free-to-play games gained popularity, VR/AR bloomed in enterprise and gaming video content (GVC) continued rising in influence.

Fortnite was the top free-to-play game (F2P) last year, earning around $2.4 billion and gaining a huge audience. Twitch streamer Ninja became gaming’s biggest influencer, while also partnering with Red Bull and appearing in a Samsung commercial. Users viewed Ninja’s channel for 218 million hours. According to the report, it was “watched more than the second- and third-most popular channels combined.”

In 2018, the report found the GVC market reached $5.2 billion in total revenue. Its audience increased to reach 850 million views. Twitch beat YouTube as the highest-earning platform, earning 1.6 billion. SuperData also revealed GVC is crucial to a game’s success, stating online videos impact “what 46 percent of U.S. PC and console gamers under the age of 25 play.”

SuperData’s report says the VR market made $6.6 billion in revenue compared to $4.5 billion in 2017. Last May, Oculus Go sold one million devices and proved standalone VR headsets were more profitable than other VR tools. Social media, like TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, assisted in driving consumers towards AR and increasing user numbers up to 1.1 billion.

These growing numbers also helped encourage enterprise investment in VR. Finding that training is the biggest driver for using VR in business, like surgery and operating vehicles. The report also highlighted that Walmart bought around 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to train employees last year. SuperData predicts enterprise to be a significant consumer for AR/MR headsets and it’s forecasted to account for 85 percent sold this year.

The report ends with predictions for 2019. SuperData expects more multiplatform games this year as well as digital games revenue in the neighborhood of 128.8 billion. Cloud gaming should also take-off, and it could massively effect gaming hardware, pushing this generation’s console’s to become outdated sooner than later.

App Annie’s ‘State Of Mobile’ Covers Mobile Marketing; Predictions For 2019

App Annie—app analytics and market data platform—released the state of mobile 2019 report. It analyzes how markets evolve through mobile such as statistics on how many downloads happened worldwide, consumer spend and how much time an average user spent on mobile. It’s vital information on mobile due to the increasing investment in it—around 65 percent of digital ad spend was put into it last year.

When it comes to mobile marketing the report found paid ads do lead to an increase downloads, more advertisers are using ad platforms to acquire users and App Store Optimization practices such as description changes evolved in 2018.

The report found App Store Optimization (ASO) made a few changes last year. In 2017, 49 percent of description updates was the most common form of ASO—it was still the most standard method in 2018— but there was a small decline to 46 percent. Icon change was 30 percent of ASO updates and the least common way was a name change at 24 percent. In the U.S. this data is relevant to both games and non-gaming apps.

In addition to these updates, the report found publishers can gain more power through these updates using videos, screenshots, keyword bank and promotional text (both on iOS). Publishers can capitalize on traffic using major events such as Black Friday or even an app launch. In 2018, there was significant growth in the number of ad platforms used in both iOS and Google Play. The report believes it’s “an indication of maturation in the industry.” Games saw a bigger increase than non-gaming apps. In iOS, it grew 25 percent and Google Play saw a 45 percent growth. Apps also saw an increase, iOS used 25 percent more ad platforms and Google Play utilized 20 percent more. According to App Annie, advertisers can boost coverage by using more ad platforms to find the best advertising ROI.

It seems there is a payoff to investing in paid ads to get users to download your app. Last year, around four of every 10 downloads from among the top 100 apps and games were driven by paid ads.  In the U.S., total download from paid ads grew 10 percent YoY across both app stores. They also found around 20 percent of top iOS game downloads came from paid user acquisition compared to Google Play.

The state of mobile report predicts 60 percent more apps will monetize through in-app ads, competing for a chunk of the $250 billion digital advertising market. They also forecast consumer spend in mobile gaming will grow to 60 percent market share across all platforms. Furthermore, they believe consumers app store spend will grow about 5 times as fast worldwide in 2019.

Marketing Automation Survey Reveals Need For Experts

Many marketers need to find ways to close the loop and plenty still need skilled talent to successfully use marketing automation at their organization. These were key issues found in a marketing automation survey report—the first of its kind.

The recent study by CleverTouch, a British marketing automation consultancy, surveyed 200 marketing directors, heads and CMOs from a variety of regions in the U.K., U.S. and Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA). The biggest takeaway: these companies need more experts. The survey found 40 percent of respondents believe the lack of skills and competence is stopping them from fully succeeding in its marketing automation strategy.

The press release stated the worldwide survey “reveals a gap in the perceived benefits of marketing automation in contrast to the reality of adaptation.” Marketing automation is supposed to maximize efficiency and increase revenue, but the survey found 48 percent of respondents use marketing automation recruiting specialist talent. To get employees to understand and master the company’s marketing automation tools, 49 percent of respondents rely on vendors and 48 percent recruit specialist skills.

Furthermore, the survey found 33 percent of organizations use external consultants to cultivate marketing automation skills and only 13 percent keep its delivery strictly in-house. Despite these findings, 70 percent of companies without marketing automation technology intend to train and educate their staff on it.

Many organizations realize sales and marketing delineation is becoming an antiquated process and nurture the growth of their alignment. Marketing Automation is a big asset to help combine these forces and the survey found 44 percent of respondents use it for lead generation, 41 percent use it for lead nurturing campaigns and 40 percent use it for account-based marketing. Nonetheless, there are still certain attitudes and judgment towards each department. Around 31 percent of respondents see their marketing department as equals to the sales department. On the flip side, 28 percent of those surveyed see marketing as a “change agent and driver of new thinking.”

When it comes to competing technologies, the survey revealed 31 percent of respondents say customer relationship management (CRM) is more valuable to their organization than marketing automation. Around 51 percent believe they’re both equally important.

In a response to the survey, CleverTouch launched a “War for Talent” campaign to get more people interested in marketing automation. The campaign’s site states the 120 percent growth in the technology calls for more experts. They also highlighted the U.K.’s high unemployment rate as a pool to tap into in order to train more people on marketing automation. Essentially their goal is to kill to birds with one stone: open a new career option and relieve the issues many companies are facing.