The Changing Landscape of Digital Marketing Production

We’re now in the 3rd decade of the 21st century. For those of you who have been in the industry for a decade or two, let that sink in for a moment as you reflect on how far we’ve come. And for those of you entering the digital marketing space more recently, there’s a lot you can be thankful for missing out on.

So much has changed since the early 2000s. Back then, the job title “digital marketer” was rarely used. Sophisticated programs gave you the ability to include a person’s first name in an email, and dynamic content meant manually running two separate campaigns for women and men. Emails were all manually coded, and the largest brands were sending out just 2-3 campaigns a week, at most – nowadays many brands are sending out 2-3 campaigns a day. At the time, being able to send an abandoned cart email reminder within 24 hours was considered cutting edge!

Today, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to technology. We have multi-channel marketing automation platforms that give us the power to send the right message, to the right person (with advanced dynamic content and personalization, thank you very much), at the right time, using the right channel. We can create sophisticated audiences, sliced and diced however we want, in our Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). And we have wonderful tools for production that allow us to create campaigns without needing to know how to code.

While we now have much better tools at our disposal, many marketing teams still have major challenges with access to technical resources to get all of this amazing technology hooked up and working together. Let alone what to do when you want to make incremental changes to data feeds or timing of triggered programs.

Marketers still experience long waits getting resources assigned to their integration projects, and oftentimes small incremental program changes can be delayed for months. When a feed mysteriously goes down, it can mean losing thousands of dollars a day (sometimes tens of thousands!) in missed revenue, despite which, it may take several additional days before a technical resource can address and resolve the issue.

Due to this, we are seeing a gradual shift in the marketing technology landscape where digital marketers are finding new and better ways of reducing the effort to bring dynamic and personalized content into their campaigns, both on the data integration and campaign production side.

Modern real-time content platforms such as Zembula don’t rely on outdated batch data feeds. Instead, they use simple, modern APIs and webhooks to leverage your existing customer data and product catalogs in place. So not only do you dramatically reduce the amount of data you have to move around between systems, you can ensure that your subscribers are seeing the most up-to-date data in real-time.

By removing the reliance on outdated batch data feeds, real-time content platforms give marketers the ability to truly put the right message in front of a customer at the right time. This moves beyond personalization to true individualization marketing.

An added benefit of leveraging advanced real-time content platforms is lower cost and faster turnaround times on the production side. Leveraging Zembula’s Smart Banner ™ and Smart Blocks ™ allows your production team to place one or two HTML blocks in an email campaign that can handle all the of the individualization messaging without having to code multiple segmented campaign versions, work with complex dynamic content rules or move lots of data around between systems.

We all know that highly personalized campaigns using behavior-based products and offers significantly outperform generic audience-based messages. Until very recently, the implementation, maintenance and production costs made it prohibitive to execute consistently at scale. Advanced real-time content platforms give you the ability to deliver individualization marketing, without requiring major ongoing investments in time and resources.

Customer Experience Considerations

With this level of individualization comes the problem of what to do when a subscriber reaches out to the contact center with questions about an offer or product in an email. When each email sent to your 5 million subscribers is truly unique and highly personalized at both the product and offer level, how can your care team know which version a given customer received?

In prior times, contact center teams might try to ignore or minimize the problem as not being serious enough to warrant a proper solution. Today, brands realize that great customer service goes hand-in-hand with great customer experience. When you allow issues to repeatedly occur without a satisfactory resolution, you erode long-term customer lifetime value, and ultimately, revenue growth.

Solutions such as Sageflo’s Archiver give marketing and contact center teams the ability to quickly and easily lookup and resend personalized emails sent to any given subscriber. It allows teams across the entire organization—marketing, customer service, compliance, and leadership—to holistically view any and all messages that were sent to an individual subscriber and understand that customer’s journey instantly.

This level of insight allows contact center team members to dramatically reduce resolution time on marketing message inquiries, from days to just minutes, significantly improving both CSAT scores and long-term customer lifetime value. In addition, it frees up marketers to focus on execution instead of chasing down contact center inquiries on behalf of customers. Now that’s a true win-win for everybody.

To learn more about Zembula’s Smart Banners™ and Smart Blocks ™ visit 

To learn more about Sageflo Archiver visit 

Posted by Aaron Smith

CEO at Sageflo