The Wednesday Stack: Forrester Dives Deep On AI

AI has been a hot topic this year. But according to a new study from Forrester, the emerging technology may be more theory than practice in most marketing organizations – for now, at least.

Forrester found that only 36 percent of global marketing decision makers surveyed (1,138 respondents) use AI in their marketing strategy. Furthermore, 41 percent said they didn’t fully understand how to use the technology, and 38 percent cited a lack of resources to adequately run a functional AI program.

The report argues that AI can serve as an ally for companies looking to expand their marketing process, streamlining complex processes to free up time to focus on more holistic and human-based efforts, like creative strategy, branding, and product innovation. Programmatic, price optimization, contextualization, and automation had the most to gain from the implementation of AI, as well as the delivery of more intricate customer insights at scale.

The challenge for CMOs, the report states, is a lack of budget, and cultivating a staff of dedicated data scientists – which could come at a cost when eyeing top talent. Forrester recommends marketers “rethink” the scope of an AI-powered marketing team, working with HR to cultivate the right type of environment and team structure to accommodate a shifting martech landscape.

Then, there’s finding the right martech partner to help execute strategy and build a working model. According to Forrester, agencies need to shift their strategies too, to accommodate AI-based client needs. Brands must think strategically about which martech vendors to partner with, to best deliver on goals. 

– Amy Onorato

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Some movers and shakers in the ABM space this week. Engagio has announced two new additions to their upper management team – both with some serious marketing automation and ABM backgrounds. Cheryl Chavez, the former group VP of product engagement and UX at Marketo, joins Engagio as chief product officer. Inger Rarick, previously of Demandbase, is on board as VP of customer success. 

– Amy Onorato

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LogMeIn, the SaaS and cloud-based remote connectivity service provider, announced this week some new webinar updates for its GoToWebinar platform. If you’re in the market for a new webinar software, you’ll want to take note. Some of the new features, which rolled out on Sept. 4, look pretty streamlined. The update boasts:

  • An all-in-one dashboard: Allows users to see upcoming and past events, attendance analytics, and publish recordings of previous sessions via GoToStage.
  • Mobile-first design: A mobile-optimized experience, giving users the ability to create events or check on attendees from any mobile device.
  • Advanced analytics: It provides valuable insights into attendee interest levels based on topic, timing, audience attendance metrics, etc.
  • Pre-recorded events: Automated setup, session reminders, and engagement features for sharing webinars across time zones.
  • Tips and tricks: Data from over 300K webinars has been analyzed and distilled into a guide for users throughout the webinar creation process.

– Nick Ciccone

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Call center solution provider Alliance announced this week a joint venture with international digital marketing agency SunHouse Marketing, in an effort to provide lead generation management services to clients globally.

“The joint venture between our two companies is a hand in glove fit,” said Don Williams, CEO, Alliance in a news release. “Joining forces with Israel-based SunHouse Marketing furthers our company’s global presence and enables Alliance to provide top-level support for SunHouse Marketing’s exceptional digital marketing and lead generation services.”

Alliance is a robust B2B call center that services a broad range of industries, including medical, pharmaceutical, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services and insurance. The joint venture with SunHouse — a digital marketing agency — could prove fruitful given their unique services and experiences.

“With Alliance’s incredible track record, experience and skill, we look forward to ensuring that all of the highly-targeted leads we generate for clients are nurtured in the most effective and successful way,” said Fran Jakubowicz, CEO, SunHouse Marketing in a news release.

“This joint venture will go a long way in helping clients that have established sales teams but are too overtaxed to properly follow up on leads, as well as clients that don’t have established sales teams to handle all of the leads that we generate for them,” Jakubowicz said. “It’s a win-win arrangement for SunHouse Marketing, Alliance and all of our clients.”

– Nick Ciccone

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