James Skellington | Force24 | Swiss Innovation Day 2019

James Skellington from Force24 you’ve
just spoken here at the Swiss Innovation Day. Thanks for joining us. Absolute pleasure. Your topic was about the future of
automation marketing, correct? Yes. So based on what you were talking
about tell us some of the challenges and the complexities that
are faced by businesses today especially in relation
to a personalized customer experience. I suppose really that nowadays
communications go out free and easy and often it’s on mass you know and what
we call a batch & blast methodology specifically with an email and you
create something you send it to everybody. Yet inevitably it’s it’s not
always right for everybody, so what we’re trying to provide people with is the the
tools and the learning, the education to empower them to speak to one-on-one
communication or send one-on-one communications on mass. Inevitably what
we tend to hear is that marketeers are spread thin. They wear multiple hats in the
business and often encumbered by a manual process so this is really about
try to take the laborious elements out of data segmentation and kind of trying
to create a more agile and creative school and environment where they can
communicate with audiences. Yeah great. I watched your presentation briefly
for a few minutes and I noticed there was a slide where you spoke about the I guess
the most prevalent times when you should be approaching your
customers whether they’ve made the booking or not. In one
of the examples you used was that this person made a booking for their
family for a holiday and there was a lull period where they were still
working, they were still essentially paying the holiday off and they didn’t
really want to be contacted by the the resort or wherever it was I was staying
selling them other activities or promotions. In theory that sounds great
and very easy but how would a hotel best be able to identify those periods with
every booker so that they knew when to target them at the right time? That’s a really good question I suppose there’s no one-size-fits-all for this.
It’s very much a collaborative experience to identify what does your
customer journey look like. From a generic point, what I would say is
that once I’ve booked a holiday for me to then start receiving offers or emails
or you know for example I’ve just spent five thousand pounds to go somewhere
across the world for once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Obviously the offers that come
out are falling on deaf ears it makes me feel like I’m not understood as a
customer. So what we can do there is to exclude from things like PPC and from
generic email comms it starts to then make sure that they’re not seeing things
that are irrelevant for them and also means that as a business we’re not paying five
pounds for a click when somebody was trying to find the customer service number.
They’d find that information anywhere so a bit of less budget utilisation there.
Then what we start to see is, once we’re closer to the event, once the holiday is
paid off and so forth we just start to ramp up excitement and start to share
not only insight pieces around the location you know just not everything
has to be a sell. We’re looking to add value at every every possible turn. But
also if we were looking at families we might start talking about in finding
plans we might start talking about family excursions that are out there and
give people that opportunity but once you’ve made a big outlay you know you
have to go back to the real world and then and then start to pay off but as we
get close to the the date of departure that’s when we can really start talking
to people about our and value and the next time. I noticed in your bio as well
that you have this belief that people make technology valuable.
Could you explain that to me why you feel that way? Yeah, so I suppose from our
own experience, Force24 was actually set up off the back of I suppose 10 in 2007
primarily American platforms were in British shores.
You know fantastic pieces a kit and then they still are today
but the fact is it was taking 18 months to install and once yet was up, you needed
two or three people working full-time to get the most out of it and then the
services, all the providers were in America so you either had to go to
forums or you have to start tickets and wait two weeks for a response and
that’s not really the way this should be. Marketing automation is about agility
about speed and taking out the manual processes so when we talk about Force24
we we often refer to is it’s a hammer. You know this is this is a tool and in
the right hands you can create beautiful things and they can still be damaging in the
wrong hands. So we believe in providing a handheld service where we provide free
training and support with every account and to empower you as a marketeer to
get the most out of this tool because otherwise it’s just another thing that
you have to use and hopefully what we see all the time is you know very
intensive training periods in the earlier set days, but then as you
become more more self capable you can transition that in-house but again you
know it’s about making sure that you can use this tool to its full extend. Excellent. James, thanks very much.
Great to meet you. Thank you very much,
really appreciate your time.

Author: Stephen Pender

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