Evolution of Marketing Automation


Going back to 1998, I recollect working on the industry’s first database-enabled email list manager UnityMail 2.0. It worked on Windows NT and was developed by Revnet Systems. UnityMail 2.0 included many valuable new features that serve to make it the most powerful email list server available then.  In particular, with Version, 2.0 users had the flexibility to create email messages with content that varies depending on demographics.  As such, users can easily personalize content to send a different message to different people based on their interests, their behavior, or their personal characteristics.

UnityMail 2.0 also featured compatibility with the most popular email packages that accept HTML mail, a variety of mail that supports a full complement of color, pictures, diagrams, sound and other high-impact presentation graphics. Moreover, UnityMail 2.0 could use HTML mail to send banner ads with clickthroughs that are linked to Unity Mail’s trackable URL feature.  This enabled organizations to use HTML mail to drive trackable clicks for advertising and other promotional programs.

It was apparently in the same year (1998) when the data protection act was updated that required email marketing to include an opt-out option.

About 18 years later, we are witnessing technologies like Proximity, Biometrics, Mobile e-commerce, Social Networking platforms as shopping platforms and Digital in-store technologies like the Beacons.

Above all these enterprises are pushing analytic platform providers to empower them with Machine Learning, Predictive analytics, and cognitive learning. Today the marketing platforms need to work on custom business cases and need to be accommodative to fit into different industry scenarios. Companies will need to unify their online and offline data to ensure capturing of behavioural data onto a real Omni-channel platform.

A start-up ecosystem needs to look at the ongoing cost, features, usability, upfront cost and integrations and therefore systems like Act-On, HubSpot, and Marketo are well suited for small and mid-sized organizations.

While push notifications and proximity are gaining attention from the enterprises, it is for sure going to give a run for its money to the email service providers like NetCore or Elastic Email. This is especially because consumers are not looking at the email promotions any longer. However the world is moving towards personalisation and that requires a deep analytical capability within the marketing automation solution used.

With such technologies throwing questions on personal data security, I definitely see this as time to revisit the Data Protection act globally.

Ajeesh Venugopalan is a passionate Lover, Aggressive fighter against injustice, a loving husband, father for one. Love kids and an amazing storyteller for all age groups.

An MBA in Marketing, Ajeesh comes with more than 13 years of experience in Sales and Marketing. He is currently the Director of Marketing and strategy for Servosell Consulting. He is an avid reader and vibrant speaker in many forums across the country. He has also got a self-published collection of poetry to his credit under the name of “Obscurity of Life.” He loves mentoring fresher’s while at work and teaches students during his free time.


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