The Martech Roundup for 2021 is here, and we have the top-notch martech experts on board with us to answer all your queries surrounding the most persistent martech bottlenecks that you have encountered. Are you ready?

Starting the discussion with Henson Gawliu, Chief Digital & Demand Generation Officer at Medallia on measuring the dwindling weights of Employee Experience & Customer Experience for poignance.

Q. In the post-pandemic world of today and the future that lies ahead of us, it won’t just be the customer experience that dictates the success or failure of a company—but the increasing importance of the employee experience, one where employee expectations are being dramatically reshaped by multiple forces. With “EX” or “Employee Experience” becoming as important as “CX” how do you think the relationship between employer and employee will be redefined?

Without a doubt, we are seeing a sea of change in the relationship between employee and employer. Employees have made it clear that if their needs are not met, they will leave your organization. A recent Yahoo News survey indicated that almost 40% are thinking about quitting or are already preparing to do so. The ‘Great Resignation’ is impacting businesses and organizations of every size, and across every sector.

Companies often miss how employees are actually feeling because they lack the ability to tap both direct, and indirect, signals to continuously capture and understand employee’s feelings, which are the greatest predictors of engagement, longevity, and productivity.

The modern workforce is constantly signalling to their employers how they feel on the job, what their challenges are, and how they can be better supported, though often without answering any survey questions.

The answers are all there for companies that have the capabilities in place to really listen. For organizations that truly want to build an employee experience strategy around continuous listening, there are five key steps:


  1. Capture signals – This includes soliciting feedback through engagement with survey mechanisms, but critically combining that data with indirect feedback from chatbot transcripts, helpdesk tickets, PTO patterns, and performance reviews.
  2. Use AI – AI and machine learning are critical to surface patterns and trends from data sets for any manual review. With AI, you can discover patterns and trends to pinpoint issues or recurring themes as they’re happening in real-time.
  3. Set up alerts, and make sure they are widely available – No single department impacts the end-to-end employee experience. As a result, it’s critical to have workflows in place to ensure actionable information reaches the right stakeholders who can take initiative, resolve issues, and close the loop with impacted employees as needed.
  4. Take Action – You have the right data gathered, you have the AI-powered analysis, and you’ve looped in the appropriate stakeholders. Now it’s time to build data-driven strategies to respond, increase employee satisfaction, improve retention, and bolster your company culture.
  5. Communicate – Whatever actions you take, it’s time to communicate what’s happening back to your employees via all-hands meetings, the company newsletter, or employee portals. Use all of the communication streams that are already in place or create a new channel fully dedicated to providing updates about how feedback has been acted upon.

Employers who prioritize employee experience in the post-pandemic world will enjoy the benefits of reduced turnover, higher engagement, greater productivity, and happier customers.

Taking the discussion forward from Customer Experience to Customer Engagement and dissecting into the vivid range of optimization that occurs between personalization & hyper-personalization with Dave Dabbah, CMO, CleverTap

Q. With Personalization, Optimization & Testing being the brick & mortar of Customer Engagement Strategy globally, do you think we should turn the tables a little and churn Testing first and then optimize for prospect reaction and gather personalization then?

Don’t mess with the process. Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget. If you test without the data that allows for personalization, you go back to the dark ages of shotgun messaging. It’s a waste of energy and resources scattering a generic message to the ether, hoping it sticks, and only then trying to personalize using the responses you get.

A much better ROI can be achieved if you use the immense amount of user data already at your fingertips as a marketer and personalize the experience from the very start.

Only then do you test and optimize to refine the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Q2. What role do you think a customer engagement platform will play in this turntable as the dynamicity of a prospect widens with each passing second?

A customer engagement platform is absolutely crucial to reaching customers when they’re ready to make a purchase. Because a great platform not only allows for engagement, it also supplies your organization with the actionable data that analytics can supply. You have to know WHEN they’re ready to buy, which is only possible if you’re monitoring what actions or inactions a customer has taken within your app or website.

The discussion now takes a dynamic shift towards innovation and how Machine Learning has sort of revolutionized the Marketing game. Randi Stipes, CMO, Watson Advertising and Weather; Developer Marketing at IBM Watson takes through this journey and also throws light on the sophistication that AI brings wrt Predictive Analysis.

Q. Machine Learning has brought in the phase of this so-called marketing prophecy is something that many marketers have been working towards for years before machine learning came to the fore. How do you think Machine Learning especially wrt Marketing will be a game-changer, not only in terms of innovation & personalization but also for generating multiple revenue streams for a marketer?

Now is the time for all marketers to deeply embed AI in their strategies because without accelerated adoption in our industry, at scale across the open web, we risk having our entire revenue models upended by walled gardens. And this is not just what I believe, it’s what the industry needs. Let’s be clear, we’re not referring to using AI as a tool to automate the media buying and selling process.

AI, a predictive technology, can be used in much more sophisticated ways. From optimizing creative asset development to personalizing campaign messaging, to uncovering audiences with the greatest likelihood to engage, AI enhances every step of the customer journey.

AI solutions can deliver strong ROI without the need for traditional identifiers and drive revenue growth among all industry stakeholders

— not just marketers — who use open-source technology to fuel their business needs.

Marketing Automation is the buzzword in the Marketer’s Landscape, but the selection of the best Marketing Automation solution is a hurdle & who better than Maria Pergolino, CMO at Marketing Automation Leader Active Campaign to address it for us.

Q. The constant problem that marketers generally feel with a marketing automation suite is the quality of automation, however, this sometimes also happens due to the lack of research from the user’s end Before throwing themselves at the deeper end, As a leading Marketing Automation Vendor where do you think companies lack foresight in the need to identifying a marketing automation program that suits their business the best?

We know that consumers crave 1:1 experiences with brands. That’s why bespoke solutions are so popular. Creating these types of experiences is easy when you have a few customers, but too many companies struggle to scale that level of personalization as they grow.

That’s where customer experience automation (CXA) comes in.

CXA helps businesses grow by automating those 1:1 experiences across channels like email, SMS, chat and social.

Where scaling companies can gather the most value from CXA is with automation recipes like a webinar reminder series for a B2B company or a cart abandonment reminder for an e-commerce company. These recipes enable businesses to automate much of their 1:1 experiences and then identify the best moments where the human touch can create “wow” moments and keep customers coming back.

Lastly, no marketing discussion is complete without discussing SEO and SEO-Optimized Marketing Personalization. Christina Mautz, SVP Revenue at Moz Group embraces this discussion and addresses SEO playing the catalyst in the broader demand and supply Marketing KPIs gap.

Q. With the demand for both SEO products and services growing at a fast rate, clients of most digital agencies are expecting a positive ROI. But now that more companies focus primarily on turning a profit, they want to know if SEO can drive more clients than paid campaigns for the same price. Do you think smart SEO Tools and Software can play the balance between this demand & supply gap? If so, then how?

SEO is a long-term strategy that can drive substantially more traffic — and therefore more clients — than paid campaigns. There are far more clicks on non-paid links in search results than on PPC advertising links. However, the reality is that a strategy that combines paid and SEO is typically much more effective.

PPC advertising campaigns are a tactic that has immediate and easy measurement: you know how much you pay, how many clicks you receive and — if you have tracking in place — how many conversions you get. The challenge is that many of us are in industries with expensive keywords and find ourselves bidding against the giants who have much bigger advertising budgets. In many ways, a PPC-only strategy is like a hamster on a wheel — you keep going around and around (which is effective in keeping that hamster busy — or getting a small percentage of traffic to your site), but you don’t get to where you need to go. That’s why it’s best to employ a PPC strategy while you’re working on your SEO strategy.

SEO is like a flywheel — it takes time and nurturing to get it going, but once you do, it’s a stronger, long-term strategy for driving organic traffic.

Using an SEO platform like Moz Pro that provides insights on what’s working and what isn’t and as a “to-do list” to increase SEO efficacy ensures that the time you spend has the impact you need.

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