Hi Diederik Martens! Very exciting that you’re coming to speak at Marketing Automation Day on 26th of November in Stockholm. At the conference you're going to speak about your journey to successful Marketing Automation. You have been working with Marketing Automation for a long time, what is your background and how did you end up working with Marketing Automation?
I started programming websites during my study in business economics. I also started making sure they were found on Google back. After my study I dropped finance and started working for a full service internet agency, where online marketing caught my interest even more. So I started working for a FT100 MBA business school, where I realised a €40.000 MBA is not something you put in your online shopping basket. I learned more and more on buying journeys and complex sales, after which I joined a B2B Marketing agency. There I put my knowledge and expertise to use with marketing automation at enterprises. I worked with a variaty of marketing automation platforms in those days. After that I went to work on client side again at Quintiq, an international software company. From that moment on I worked with Marketo and Salesforce every day for three years, after which I founded Chapman Bright 4 years ago, to help other companies to get more business value from their marketing automation platforms.

Marketing Automation as a concept has been around for a long time but at the same time it’s new, which are the latest trend witihn Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation maturity differs greatly per region in the world and per industry by the way. In front-running industries/regions I’ve seen topics like Account Based Marketing (ABM) come up in the past few years. Everybody wants to master this, but many still struggle to obtain the metrics to proof the business value of marketing automation, thus making it harder to invest in ABM. But for those that are well capable of running their marketing automation I see Artifical Intelligence (AI) gaining a lot of traction. E.g. self-learning lead scoring, automated content suggestions, etc. Other topics include advances in video marketing, survey marketing, and conversational marketing (e.g. Chat) beging used throughout the funnel (integrated with marketing automation).

And what does it mean for todays marketeers?
Ever more affordable and smarter technologies enables marketers to really understand their audience, and thus they are able to become relevant in their communication and sales.

It’s important to know your customers before considering Marketing Automation, what would you say is the 3 most important things to have in place before implementing Marketing Automation?
1. Make sure you also invest in quality of your data (processes)
2. Marketing automation is not a magic red button that out-of-the-box starts making money for you (e.g. just dripping some emails to a prospect doesn’t magically make them buy your services or products). Spend time to really dive into your buyer personas, buyer journeys, your added value, your propositions, etc.
3. Invest in your staff!!! Educate them, train them, help them transform your business. Adjust recruiting requirements to hire more tech-savy and/or analytical staff.

Marketing Automation consists of many pillars, for example Inbound Marketing & Content Marketing, but what is really the difference between them?
Content is used throughout the entire buyer journey or customer life cycle. Either to create awareness, to generate new names, or to get leads through their buying process. Content can be anything from a whitepaper, an event, or a sales meeting. Content should basically answer the key questions a buyer/customer needs to have answered to proceed with their buying process.

What do you think will be the next big thing within Marketing Automation?
Artifical Intelligence. But be aware this also isn’t a big magic red button! Data quality will become even more important for AI to work for you.

See you on the 26th of November in Stockholm!
I can’t wait! See you in Stockholm!