For marketers, the online world has changed everything. Unlike traditional media such as newspapers and television, which deliver the same message at the same time to everyone, digital media and engagement marketing technologies make it possible to deliver a truly unique message (or stream of messages) to each person, one at a time.
But despite the opportunity, most marketers still treat online marketing like a mass medium—mostly because it is simply too much work to manually create a unique dialogue with each person.
Marketing automation can address this need. By letting marketers set up sophisticated campaigns that automatically respond to customer/prospect past behaviors, profile information and other criteria, these automated campaigns take the load off marketers while still allowing each customer to experience a unique series of customized communications.
Although marketing automation may be available through their vendors, many email and lead management marketers don’t use it because the features are technical and can invite human error. Visual-design tools have always been a "holy grail" in developing campaign automation systems; but the technology is complex, especially when delivered over the Web, and few vendors have figured out how to do it well, if at all.
A few years ago, my colleagues and I decided that Silverpop would be among the first companies to do this right. It became a "Manhattan Project" of sorts. We looked at a range of approaches, consulted with experts and tested various concepts with customers and friends. In the end, I believe we have created a breakthrough approach that will open up true campaign automation to every marketer in the world.
In short, we took the best of the "Visio-like" flow diagrams and married it to the single-most-common graphical paradigm for editing complex flows: consumer video-editing software. The combination is visually intuitive—both during campaign creation, and for review and maintenance of existing campaigns. And, just to be clear, one of the coolest aspects of this capability is that it’s drag-and-drop for creating as well as reviewing.
In other words, marketers can now create incredibly complex automated campaigns by dragging and dropping boxes and decision points into a timeline-based, visual layout tool. Most people probably don't get as excited as I do about technology, but this stuff is incredibly cool and worth taking a look:
Our new "Got GUI?" video on YouTube shares our thoughts on traditional flow diagrams vs. Silverpop's hybrid timeline approach, and actually shows off the new capability to some very cool music written by one of the execs who oversaw this project.
This technology is now on our Engage B2B platform. We initially released it to our Client Summit attendees in May and are releasing it to all our B2B customers as I write this.
This project has been underway for a long time, and I am incredibly excited to see it come to fruition. Kudos to all my colleagues who have worked on this during the last year.