We talk a lot about the opportunities artificial intelligence (AI) could offer in automating parts of the customer experience – how do you feel that AI might impact the role of the marketer in future?
AI is capable of helping marketers to learn more about their customers and create a better, faster, smoother and more compelling experience for consumers; because we’ll know a lot more about them and what actions we need to take in order to be more relevant to their needs. AI will help us to answer the question: What’s the best next step to help the customer, based on what we know about them?
With AI offering the ability to automate parts of the marketing job function, could this change the role of the marketer even further?
I think it could help to streamline the marketing process, which will free up our time to focus more on being creative – which is arguably what we’re best at.
What was the most interesting finding from Acquia’s global customer experience trends research report for you?
There were a few surprising results for me, mainly that there’s a disconnect between how consumers feel about their interactions with brands versus how marketers feel they’re interacting with consumers, so that’s a gap that marketers need to bridge. It was no surprise at all to me that marketers felt they needed to work better with IT, based on my own experience as a marketer, that’s a known and ongoing challenge. Another validation, which wasn’t a surprise but positive to see, is how important marketers think AI will be in future – most marketers are looking forward to the opportunities it will bring.
Why do you feel it’s important for companies like Acquia to conduct market research like this?
Well, from Acquia’s position, as a martech provider, it’s important for us to gain an understanding of the state of marketing; otherwise we’re developing our product without taking into consideration what marketers and consumers need, and what needs improving.
From an outside perspective, it’s valuable to independently reveal how marketers are doing and what consumers feel about key issues such as data privacy and personalisation. The rate of change in customer experience, customer behaviour and marketing technology is such that research needs to be ongoing. It’s also nice to reassure marketers that they’re not alone – all marketers are facing the same challenges, and this research shines a light on that.
What do you hope delegates will take away from your Acquia Engage APAC keynote?
I’m hoping people will walk away more educated about what’s happening in the marketing landscape and what we need to be focusing on in the coming year, as marketers, in order to deliver a better customer experience.
You’ll be traveling all the way from Boston for the conference. Why do you feel it’s important to have a presence at Acquia Engage APAC?
There’s nothing more important than hearing from your customers. Being able to talk directly with both customers and partners is hugely valuable as it shapes what we do. I want to hear about the challenges and successes that marketers are having in the APAC region – and hopefully be able to help in some way.
Outside of Acquia, you’ve been actively involved in nonprofits for much of your career – can you tell us a bit about this work and why it’s so important to you?
I’m on the board for Boston Children’s Hospital and run a foundation to support families and children with cardiac care issues. It’s been an important role for my family and myself, in terms of helping other families and children, and being able to make a difference in the world.
I think that the whole idea of giving back is part of the Acquia DNA, because we’re an open source company and open source is all about giving back. It’s all about contributing and being a community and I like that a lot. Giving back is something that we encourage throughout the company and certainly something that influences my work with nonprofits outside of Acquia. As marketers, I believe we need to start thinking more philanthropically because creating a good customer experience requires a “how can I help?” mindset. If we help our customers, put them first, then good things will organically grow from that.
To find out more information about the Acquia Engage APAC conference, and to register, visit apacengage.acquia.com.
To hear more from Lynne about the recent Acquia Customer Experience Trends Report, check out her recent webinar Achieve Global Marketing Excellence with a Digital Factory.