Why AI is Vital for Marketing with Lindsay Tjepkema

Lindsay Tjepkema is the global head of content for Emarsys, an AI-enabled marketing platform that empowers marketers to deliver a more personalized brand experience to their customers.

Along with her team, she provides tools and resources that help marketers around the world to be happier and more effective in their roles.

On the podcast, Lindsay discusses why content is king and how marketers can conquer tech.

How Much Should Marketers Rely on Technology?

Whereas marketers once relied on their gut feelings more and found inspiration from other marketers’ campaigns, the marketing field today is heavily driven by raw data.

Technology allows the modern marketers to know almost everything there is to know about their targets. Because of this, many people believe marketers should become data scientists, but not Lindsay.

She believes it’s too overwhelming for a marketer to handle strategy and creative content, then to add the role of data scientist on top of that.

Instead, she proposes better technology, such as AI, which can be its own data scientist, thereby allowing the marketer to focus on the duties that require a human touch, such as creativity.

What’s the Biggest Trap that Marketers Fall Into with Technology?

Because there’s so much data, you can probably find a significant portion of the market you’re not reaching.

You might feel compelled to reach out to a marketing coach or use some kind of tools, but those things don’t have lasting effects.

You need to look at the bigger issue, which is inward.

Make sure you’re delivering personalized, meaningful experiences. It’s your content that matters, not overanalyzing the data, which is a misuse of a marketer’s abilities.

Trying to use technology to fix your problems can also be expensive, especially compounded by time.

You’ll keep paying because your problem won’t go away.

It’s a nasty cycle.

Lindsay believes an overreliance on technology can be an organizational risk, too. Technology can always be hacked and subject to data breaches.

How Can You Make Your Marketing as Lean as Possible?

Most marketers spend about two hours a day managing different data tools, which is ultimately a waste of their time, Lindsay believes.

To curb this inefficient use of time, Lindsay contends that new technology should be introduced, but not without consulting IT to make sure it’s safe.

Another way to streamline the process is to make sure everyone is using the same tech.

These days, there’s so many apps for calendars and note-taking, everyone could be using something different. But if you can get everybody on the same tech, your company can work together instead of in their own bubbles.

How Do You Know What Technology You Need?

Lindsay stresses the importance of thinking in the long-term. Don’t adopt technologies that merely serve to fix a single issue. Make sure they’re going to be useful for many years to come.

You’re also going to want to make sure to use the least amount of technology possible. This doesn’t mean technology is bad, but too much can overcomplicate things and become overly expensive.

Lindsay puts it most succinctly when she says, “people need to stop buying technology and invest in solutions.”

Solutions can also be technology, but it’s the right technology at the right time.

For instance, if you find a hole in your marketing, you should come up with a strategy and then pinpoint the tech that will help you fulfill it. You shouldn’t start with technology, then back into a strategy.

How Do You Balance Your Gut Instinct with Technology?

Even though Lindsay admits there’s no magical formula, merging the marketer with the machine is necessary in running effective campaigns.

You need the creative aspects of the marketer, who can personalize the content and make it feel personal.

This is the heart and soul of any campaign.

But you also need the aid of technology, which is the enabler – the conduit from which your creative powers can be amplified.

The exact combination of the two forces will be different for every company.

How Does Lindsay Apply Her Ideas at Her Own Company?

The company where Lindsay works, Emarsys, has been in the marketing game for eighteen years, which makes them fairly old. They help marketers connect with their customers in more meaningful and relevant ways.

They utilize email a lot and try to make it more interactive. Interactivity is a big emphasis for Lindsay and her team, not just with email, but with mobile, Facebook and Google, as well.

As far as the way her team incorporates technology, Lindsay contends that it’s a global company, so their methods aren’t going to be the methods for everyone. It depends on your size, needs and a number of other factors.

Where is AI Headed in the Near Future?

What consumers want from their media is constantly changing, and so marketers much change with them.

AI is only going to become more important in that effort to be on the frontlines of consumer trends.

As Lindsay says, it’s going to be particularly useful as a leveraging point for marketers’ creativity and personalization efforts.

As of right now, AI is just an ingredient in the larger cake of marketing.

But as time goes on, it will become more advanced and possibly have a larger role.

Where Can You Learn More about Lindsay’s Ideas?

Lindsay Tjepkema has her own podcast, Marketer and Machine, where she delves into many of the same subjects she touched on here.

For more information on technology in marketing, Emarsys’ website is the place to go. Elsewhere, Lindsay can be found on Twitter.

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About Lindsay Tjepkema

Lindsay Tjepkema is the Director of Marketing at Emarsys. She and her team deliver resources that empower marketers to seek out solutions and strategies that will allow them to thrive by focusing on what they love - strategy, content, and creative - not the technology, itself. Although her true love is tech marketing, she has worked in a range of industries, from life science to talent management, economic development to software development, eProcurement to social networks and more. She has crafted and executed B2B and B2C strategies for brands like Intel, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, OfficeDepot, SalonCentric, Ashley Furniture, and more. Her experience is built on time spent leading in-house teams, in agency settings, and independently running her own marketing consultancy.