Automation That Doesn’t Play by the Book

Today, it’s not just about understanding what the customer needs in the moment. Brands and businesses have to anticipate what the customer is going to do and take steps to foster proactive engagement at the right time and with the right message.

Marketing automation may not be the 100% solution—technology isn’t the only ingredient in the marketing mix—but when it’s done right, it’s key to keeping customers continually engaged over the long term. Scout Playbook, a new platform from digital revenue intelligence solution provider Scout Analytics, aims to integrate workflows and automation to systematically engage consumers.

The key to customer engagement lies with smart back-end integration, says Matt Shanahan, SVP of strategy at Scout Analytics.

“The term we use for that is ‘orchestration,’” Shanahan says. “The driver for engagement has to consistently create more value for customers, whether it’s in the consumer setting around entertainment and social connections or in the business setting where it’s about driving revenue and cutting costs.”

The key feature at the heart of Scout Playbook is an editor function that allows users to create rules around specific customer situations, in essence giving them the ability to “define what [their] automations will be, whether it’s around email campaigns, having sales representatives call customers after an action, or sending targeted offers triggered off the rules,” Shanahan says.

Playbook also enables tracking and the power to adjust and optimize processes based on what’s happening in real time, and gives access to a so-called “automation library” with out-of-the-box automations designed to integrate with big player third-party systems, including Marketo,, and SAP.

Marketers will need to get on the predictive analytics and automation train if they want to reduce customer and revenue churn, Shanahan says. In fact, according to Scout, companies that tap into the power of predictive analytics have reported revenue increases of between 10 and 15%.

“It used to be that customers were buying products to own them, but now with subscriptions people are buying products to use them and are only willing to pay for what they actually use,” Shanahan says. “So, being able to predict when a customer is at risk and then retain that customer is critical.”

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