Part 3: Marketing analytics is broken. Here's how to fix it.


I’ve written before about how most marketing leaders are underwhelmed by the results they’re getting from marketing analytics, and how intelligent hyperautomation offers the potential to transform performance  by shifting from traditional manual campaign generation and execution to an event-driven approach to marketing.

The next question is how to put intelligent hyperautomation into practice. Today, we’ll look at four key opportunities to introduce automation into the customer experience that will drive better marketing outcomes.

Intelligent hyperautomation will help you scale up your marketing analytics and unlock return on investment. But what are the best ways to put intelligent hyperautomation into practice?

By Oliver Sheerin, Senior Customer Intelligence Advisor, SAS

1. Journey automation

Managing customer journeys effectively is critical to helping marketing teams ensure a consistent and positive brand experience. You should carefully plan every step the customer needs to take to minimise friction and create a positive impression of the brand.

However, in practice, these opportunities for brand-building are often missed. This is because organisations still manage many of these journeys manually and in silos, with different teams communicating different messages.

One of the best initial use cases for intelligent hyperautomation is to help you centralise and automate the most common customer journeys. This includes things like signing up to a new account, receiving an offer, making a complaint or cancelling a subscription.

The first step is to create a standard library of communication templates, together with business rules that send the right information to each customer at the appropriate point in their journey. Then you can simply hand the process off to your intelligent hyperautomation platform for execution, and it will run itself without human intervention.

This frees your team from worrying about the routine work of customer journey management. Instead, it can focus on monitoring customer engagement throughout each journey, identifying points of friction, and making tweaks and optimisations to improve performance.

2. Workflow automation

Today, most teams’ marketing plans live in spreadsheets, emails and documents. This makes it difficult to monitor the status of campaigns, ensure that tasks are being completed in a timely manner and track performance. Moreover, when looking back on past campaigns, it’s almost impossible to analyse how and why decisions were made. This makes it hard for marketing teams to repeat their successes and learn from their mistakes.

Intelligent hyperautomation can transform these back-end marketing operations processes by enabling the creation of standardised, automated workflows for commissioning, building and approving content, creating and updating templates, analysing and targeting customer segments, and so on. By defining workflows that push the process forward step by step, intelligent hyperautomation helps to build and maintain momentum, providing visibility to ensure that tasks are completed on time and eliminating a significant proportion of manual errors.

3. Always-on marketing

Once you’ve built a foundation for intelligent hyperautomation in both the front and back ends of your marketing operations, you can start shifting towards an always-on, event-driven marketing model.

The essence of always-on marketing is that instead of designing and executing large, expensive campaigns that target broad segments of your customer base, you focus on individual customer touch points and interactions. This is particularly valuable when customers have needs that aren’t covered by your standard customer journeys because it empowers you to understand their situation and respond to them much more quickly.

Always-on marketing requires a significant change in mindset for marketing teams, as well as a completely different communication strategy. But it pays off by reducing marketing workload and costs while boosting customer engagement by only delivering relevant, well-targeted content. Typically, the results include measurable increases in the percentage of emails that customers open and read, as well as significant reductions in unsubscribe rates.

Intelligent hyperautomation is a prerequisite for always-on marketing because the key is to respond to customer needs in real time. You need a system that can capture and log events such as customer interactions, assess the customer’s situation and needs in real time, and provide insight to help you provide the support they need.

The role of your marketing team then shifts away from planning and executing monolithic campaigns and towards designing, monitoring and optimizing smaller-scale interactions based on objective insight into customers’ needs and desires.

4. Decision automation

The ultimate promise of marketing analytics is that it will enable instant – or even fully automated – decision making on the key questions that marketing teams need to answer every day. For example:

  • Which offers should we send to this particular customer?
  • Is this customer likely to respond better to an email or an SMS?
  • When should we send offers to each customer to maximise uptake?
  • What’s the best pricing strategy to optimise volumes and margins?

Intelligent hyperautomation finally enables marketing analytics to deliver on the promise of automated decision making. By bringing together all the data that companies hold about their customers and automating the means by which they communicate, an intelligent hyperautomation platform lays the foundations for truly intelligent decisioning.

For example, for higher-level, more strategic decisions, intelligent hyperautomation will provide the relevant, accurate, actionable insight that marketing leaders crave. Augmenting human skill, knowledge and intuition with data-driven insight will help with longer-range planning – for example, designing next year’s marketing calendar, fine-tuning offers and pricing, and making smarter decisions about which new products or services to offer customers.

And for lower-level decisioning tasks, such as instant product recommendations or channel selection, fully automated decisioning will become the norm. These processes will become self-driving as the intelligent hyperautomation platform learns how to mine insight from historical customer and marketing operations data to optimise customer interactions.

Benefits of intelligent hyperautomation

  • Save money by freeing up time for teams to work on higher-value tasks and projects.
  • Spend less time building campaigns and more time monitoring and optimizing performance.
  • Unlock higher conversion rates by reading contextual clues to deliver personalized messaging.
  • Redesign marketing processes to align with the reality of an always-on world.
  • Make better use of your team’s creativity by freeing it from routine workflow.
  • Increase transparency and explainability with improved reporting and governance.
  • Deliver consistent customer experiences across all channels, based on a single source of truth.
  • Future-proof your marketing operations by making it easy to adopt new technologies and tools.

If you’d like to learn more about how SAS can help marketing teams like yours take the next step with intelligent hyperautomation, reach out to me at, or visit our website.


About Author

Oliver Sheerin

Oliver is a Customer Intelligence Solutions Advisor at SAS. After spending nearly five years at, he has expertise across a number of categories in digital marketing, customer insight and customer engagement roles. His focus now is on helping organizations improve their customer experience with hyper-personalization, optimization and automation.

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