Welcome back, Mélange fans. In this issue, we’ll talk about why constantly chasing new customers may not be your best strategy, will find out the ways that marketing automation will NOT help your business, will share an informative podcast from Perkuto’s own Michelle Miles and will tell you what one study says CMOs think about their team’s average level of martech prowess. (Hint: It isn’t too flattering, but there is hope!) All that in more is just a few words away in this week’s news.

Still chasing new customers?

When you think about all of the time, effort and money you spend generating leads and acquiring customers, it would make sense that you’d want to keep them once you acquired them, right? But if your company is like most, the majority of your marketing efforts go into the “chase” and far fewer are dedicated to maintaining your actual client relationship. And that’s understandable; it seems like so much heavy lifting goes into the customer acquisition process that many marketers are worn out by the time the conversion event occurs.

But as Christine Warner writes in the Content Standard, if you do make the effort to ensure your customers feel special and appreciated after you close the deal, your brand and your bottom line will literally reap the rewards. Warner cites the mind-blowing Bain & Company research—indicating that for every five percent gain a company achieves in customer retention rates, there’s a corresponding 25 to 95 percent increase in profits—and then outlines the challenges your company must overcome to take advantage of retention-focused strategies. Check out all of Warner’s insights here.  

The limitations of automation

Marketing automation can make your once tedious and time-consuming manual processes like sending email campaigns, assigning leads and publishing social media posts a thing of the past, giving you the freedom to focus on more important things—like developing strategies for future campaigns. But just like with any other technology, there are some things that marketing automation simply cannot do. Like single-handedly make your company GDPR compliant, says Adam Oldfield in MarketingTechNews. While Oldfield admits that a GDPR compliant martech platform is a good place to start your quest toward regulatory adherence, he goes on to suggest that the GDPR is much more complicated and has implications across different areas of the business.

Nor will marketing automation ever be able to replace a human marketer, asking the insightful questions and injecting the creativity and spark that help create a brand’s personality. Read about all of the areas where Oldfield says marketing automation falls short here.

Speaking of the GDPR

“Think about a pizza. You order a pizza online, just putting in the information you need to get your pepperoni pizza to your doorstep, and then you check out as a guest. Does the pizza company have a legitimate interest in processing your data? Yes. Absolutely. You want your pizza! Can they continue to send your marketing promotions? No. They don’t have your consent.”

If the aforementioned statement about the GDPR has you feeling intrigued, a bit confused or even craving pepperoni pizza, you’re not alone—and Michelle Miles, Perkuto’s VP of Consulting Services can help. She recently sat down and recorded “How GDPR Impacts Marketers,” an episode of The Intelligent Marketer podcast with the folks at Caliber Mind. Get a clearer picture of how GDPR may impact your business and how you can better prepare to meet compliance regulations by listening to Michelle’s podcast here. And remember, it’s Saturday—the perfect night for pizza! :-)

Are you overestimating your martech skillset?

Can you say “disconnect?” As reported by PRNewswire in MarTechSeries, Wipro Digital’s newly-released study indicates that while you may think that you’re proficient when it comes to martech, your boss or CMO may not share that same level of confidence in your skills. In fact, while 75 percent of marketing execs surveyed had confidence in their own level of martech proficiency, a mere 6 percent believe that their marketing team members are martech proficient. This same survey of 500 senior execs at firms with 1,000+ employees in the US and UK found that a third of execs believe that less than half their team have the knowledge needed to deploy martech tools effectively, with more than half indicating this lack of martech as a barrier to success.

What’s the message here for in-the-trenches martech practitioners? If you have a keen understanding of martech, make sure your marketing leadership is aware of it! Take advantage of (or create) opportunities to expand your role as a martech mentor for others whose skills may be lagging behind. And if you find yourself on the “less proficient” side of the martech spectrum? The industry is clearly moving in the direction of more data and more technology, not less. Move quickly to update your skillset or risk becoming irrelevant.