2023 has been a big year in the world of marketing automation with technologies such as AI starting to revolutionise how marketers work.

Mike Maynard and Hannah Wehrly take a look back at 2023, discuss the highlights of the year and share their thoughts on what marketers can do next year to leverage new technologies and level up their marketing automation activities.

Listen to the podcast now via the links below:

About Napier

Napier is a PR-lead, full service marketing agency that specialises in the B2B technology sector. We work closely with our clients to build campaigns, focusing on achieving results that have a significant positive impact on their businesses and which, above all, ensure maximum return on their investment.

About Mike Maynard

Mike is the Managing Director/CEO of Napier, a PR and marketing agency for B2B technology companies. A self-confessed geek who loves talking about technology, he believes that combining the measurement, accountability and innovation that he learnt as an engineer with a passion for communicating ensures Napier delivers great campaigns and tangible return on investment.

About Hannah Wehrly

Hannah is the Head of Business Development and Marketing at Napier and leads on pitching, proposal writing, lead nurturing, email marketing, social media and content creation. Hannah joined the Napier team back in 2017 as a Marketing Specialist after completing her degree in Marketing and Communications, and her role focuses on developing new relationships with potential clients.

 Time Stamps

[00:40.04] – Mike and Hannah share their marketing automation highlights of the year.

[01:56.08] – Mike discusses how he thinks AI will impact marketing tools going forward.

[05:45.08] – Mike and Hannah talk about customer journeys and personalisation.

[10:01.08] – How are customer journey going to change in 2024?

[14:31.01] – Mike and Hannah share their tips for 2024.


“I think a lot of AI is going to go and they’re trying to bury the AI in the product. So, the product will just be smarter, and you won’t think about AI and not AI, it will just all be one thing.” Mike Maynard, Managing Director at Napier.

“Do these campaigns, but look at the data, see how people are interacting and how you can take the personalization to the next level based on this interest that the prospect has got behind them.” Hannah Wehrly, Head of Business Development and Marketing at Napier

Follow Mike and Hannah:

Mike Maynard on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemaynard/

Hannah Wehrly on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-wehrly-b0706a107/

Napier website: https://www.napierb2b.com/

Napier LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/napier-partnership-limited/

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to our podcast for more discussions about the latest in Marketing Automation and connect with us on social media to stay updated on upcoming episodes. We’d also appreciate it if you could leave us a review on your favourite podcast platform.

Want more? Check out Napier’s other podcast – Marketing B2B Technology: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/marketing-b2b-technology/id1485417724

Transcript: Marketing Automation Moment Episode 12 – Has Marketing Automation Changed in 2023?

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Hannah Kelly

Hannah: Welcome to the Market Automation Moment Podcast. I’m Hannah Kelly.

Mike: And I’m Mike Maynard. This is Napier’s podcast to tell you about the latest news from the world of marketing automation.

Hannah: Welcome to the Market Automation Moment Podcast. I’m Hannah Whaley.

Mike: And I’m Mike Maynard.

Hannah: And today we discuss what happened to Michael automation in 2023. Our predictions for 2024. And we count to a seasonal agreement over Tip of the Week.

Hi, Mike, welcome back to the last Podcast, episode 2023. How’re you doing?

Mike: I’m doing well, Hannah, it’s good to talk about marketing automation. Again,

Hannah: it definitely is. And we’ve got quite an exciting session ahead of us, Mike, because I really want to take a look back at 2023 and have a conversation around what we think has been the coolest thing that we’ve seen. And what we’re looking forward to seeing in 2024. So I’m going to kick us off Mike, because this is going to be of no surprise to you. And I promise it’s not just because of the cartoon character. But I think one of the coolest things I’ve seen this year is the introduction of Einstein copilot. So we talked about this a few podcast episodes ago, but this is really the AI system, which is going to be built into the user experience within Salesforce. So from drafting customer code, providing sales recommendations, content recommendations, it’s gonna be really interesting to kind of see it, unveil and be used in action. Because we’ve had the hype, we’ve had that, oh, my god, we’re gonna do these cool things, but we’ve not actually seen it in reality. So I’m actually really intrigued to see what it’s gonna look like in 2024. And, you know, by middle of next year, are we also going to be like, This is so cool. Or we come back to earth a little bit?

Mike: I think that’s a great question. I mean, firstly, I know it is because the cartoon is to highlight. But equally, I think it’s really interesting, what Salesforce is trying to do is, you know, where personally I think a lot of AI is gonna go. And they’re trying to basically bury the AI in the product. So the product will just be smarter, and he won’t think about AI and not AI will just all be one thing. And if Salesforce can do it, I think that could be super helpful. I mean, the reality is today, I think they’re a little way away from it. So it’ll be interesting to see how it develops. And, you know, really how much impact it has. And I think also the other thing, and maybe this is the scary side of, of Einstein, is it becomes so easy to generate emails that people are generating, you know, 10 times the amount of emails that they were when they had to manually write them. What’s that going to do to our inbox? I mean, that is a little bit scary, isn’t it?

Hannah: That is such a valid fortnight I hadn’t thought of it that way. I mean, you know, our inboxes are so saturated day to day. And I suppose as a marketer, it’s about finding the balance again, because if it’s going to be so much easier to create that content, you don’t want to get to a level where you’re just receiving high levels of unsubscribe, or perhaps you’re just going into the junk inbox. So for me personally, one of the things that I’m going to be looking at is, yes, let’s use these tools, let’s use it to our advantage, but we still got actually look at the results. And we’ve got a look at the level. So I mean, I always get a little bit nervous. If we send in four emails in one day, we’ve just launched our advent calendar, you know, I think we just need to be careful that we’re not actually going to turn prospects off, and we’ve been engaging, and we’re sending relevant content, but it’s not gonna actually have a negative impact on us at the same time.

Mike: For sure, and I think one of the risks of AI is it’s fairly easy to generate those emails. But if you actually don’t think of what the substance of the email is, then you’re going to be in trouble. You’re going to be sending boring emails, and maybe nicely written by AI. But the actual contents, not renewing engage people. So we can’t turn our brains off no matter what happens, because AI isn’t going to completely replace that creativity. At least not in 2024. Yeah,

Hannah: absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. But I’m interested, Mike, what is the one thing your highlight of 2023? Well, then

Mike: if it’s a highlight, it’s more, it’s more disappointment. You know, I still see a lot of very simplistic campaigns, people taking very short campaigns, maybe someone gets an email, they register to download some content. And then you send another email saying buy this. And to me, I think what I’ve really liked to believe is that in 2020, for marketers are going to take a breath and they’re going to think about what they’re trying to achieve. And they’re going to think about what that means to their audience. So what they have to do to walk them from wherever they are today, to where that market wants them to get tomorrow. I’d love to imagine there’d be more thought applied to campaigns and therefore better campaigns developed.

Hannah: Absolutely. I think that’s really interesting because we know it’s all about touchpoints. And I mean, this is the great thing about integrated marketing. And I mean, we obviously focus on market automation a lot here, because that’s the focus of the podcast. But I think is interesting to have a look at what as well as the tactics you can use in conjunction with Mark automation platform. So how are you using touch points on your website? How are using form fields? Are you tracking where people are going? Are you perhaps using pop ups to direct them to certain pages. So that’s a really good point, because there needs to be more of a thought process. But I think also just outside of the emails, there’s a lot of things marketers could be doing to extend that customer journey and really implement that thought process. That’s

Mike: such a good point, Hannah. And, you know, I think it’s not just the email sequences that I highlighted, where people are not really thinking through the customer journey, basically. But it’s also all the other things and doing things like making content more engaging when people get to the website, personalising pages, where you build landing pages, all of that, I think, is a huge opportunity. So it’ll be interesting to see, I think the challenge is, is we know that some of the reason marketers don’t think is they don’t have time, and people are pushed for time. So maybe Einstein is gonna give us a little bit more time back. And we can be a bit more mindful about how we create and launch campaigns.

Hannah: Definitely. So I think there’s a good opportunity to see the positives as well as the negatives of AI next year.

Mike: Definitely. Let’s hope so.

Hannah: Do you want to have a bit of a discussion around the trends to watch out for in 2024? So we’ve already said our personal opinion, but I’ve had a bit of a research online. And I mean, again, predictive ai, ai generated images, this is a course is going to be a huge thing. Personalization. Obviously, that’s not going anywhere. And I think every year I read a blog post where it’s like, personalization is important. What ways could marketers use market automation to really take personalization to the next level next year?

Mike: Well, again, it goes back to what I said earlier, I think a lot of marketers aren’t really doing much personalization. But for sure if if marketers think about it, I think they can build personalization into the whole journey. So you know, first thing to say is don’t just personalise the email, but personalise the landing page as well. Another thing to talk about is, you know, personalising some of the advertising outreach you do, which I get is not really marketing automation, necessarily, quite often, that’s to drive leads to landing pages that then feed people into marketing automation systems, but we’ve seen some incredible results where we’ve built personalised campaigns targeting, you know, single companies with separate graphics and texts designed specifically for those companies. So I think ABM is going to be the underpinning of personalization. Because you can’t personalise everything, you know, to any great extent. So you’re going to have to focus. But yeah, I totally agree. I think personalization is important. Do you see an area where we’re gonna see more personalization from marketing automation?

Hannah: Well, I think for me, Mike is about taking personalization beyond just that name, and just that company name. I think it’s the easy way out for marketers, sometimes you can easily put in those merge fields. It’s like, Hi, Mike, you know, you work at Napier. But I think it’s taking it to the next level. And I guess it goes back to, you know, which has already been a theme throughout our discussion is getting marketers to think a little bit more. So perhaps there’s some content ideas that they could share, perhaps as a case study that the company shared recently, perhaps as a product launch, you know, actually taking it to that next level and taking a step back and thinking, okay, how can I make this really relevant to the person I’m talking to? I mean, the other day, you showed an email from row works, and they were sharing a content piece, but just the way they’d written the email that obviously done the research on who they were targeting, why it would be relevant. And I think just having that thought process and that strategy behind, we’re targeting these people, it’s not just the company name, this is why we’re a good fit for you is going to make all the difference.

Mike: I love that. I mean, you’re really talking about getting away from the simplistic stuff of name and company name and going to really understand what your audience cares about and delivering them the content they want. And I think you’re right, that is where you need to get to and personalization. And that can be a challenge. Absolutely.

Hannah: And I think it relates quite nicely to the next point, I want to talk about Mike and that’s really the kind of change in customer journeys. So customer journeys in the past would have followed a really straight linear process, you know, marketers could see but the landscapes changed this year and you actually wrote a great blog post on it a while ago. Do you just want to talk a little bit more about how you see customer journeys changing in 20 24

Mike: Yeah, and to be honest, I mean, it’s not really a new idea, Forrester published their famous crazy funnel image. I mean, quite a few years ago now, saying that people were moving away from these linear journeys to something more complex. So, I’m not sure it’s necessarily, you know, a change has happened in 2023. But I think in 2023, more and more, we’re seeing it impact campaigns. And people are having to change because different prospects are moving at different speeds and in different directions. So without doubt, what we’re seeing is companies trying to build micro journeys. So there’s this little stage here, where we get the prospect from here to here, and there’s a little stage here where we move them from point A to point B, but they don’t necessarily move in this big, long planned out sequence. So I think that is actually a challenge. It does make it harder to create, you know, more thoughtful campaigns. But I think, you know, the one thing that Marquis automation needs to do is not only to feed data out and be a push, but also to get data back in so to understand what your audience wants, based upon their activities and their actions. And I think if if marketers can do more of that, then that’s going to generate more and more effective campaigns. Oh,

Hannah: that’s a fantastic point, Mike, because what you’re really saying there is look at the data. So you do these campaigns, but look at the data, see how people are interacting, and how you can then again, take the personalization to the next level based on this interest that you already know, the prospect has got behind them.

Mike: For sure. And I think one of the things that, you know, really, fairly recently, last couple of years, is LinkedIn has got every marketer talking about, you know, the percentage of prospects that are in market that are ready to buy. And one of the challenges the market automation is, it seems to always be built around trying to drive that sale immediately. So you know, you’ve got to get to that bottom of the funnel. Well, the reality is, you know, if you listen to LinkedIn, only 5% of your audience are in market ready to buy 95% aren’t going to buy no matter what you do. So that I think is what I mean by being more thoughtful about the journey is, you know, doing something for those people who aren’t necessarily going to progress, as you say in that sequence through to a purchase, but are actually going to stop, they may get further down their customer journey, they may get closer to becoming a customer, but nothing you can do is going to make them ready to buy. What do you think about that?

Hannah: I think that’s really interesting, because what I would add to that is, there’s a simple way to do that. So have that thought process behind you. But the key part of Mark automation is the automations. So you know, we use a lot of campaigns where we run the ABM, we run the Google retargeting, but have a sequence that goes out, if they’re still not ready to buy, if it’s still not the right time, put them into a list, and then in a month’s time to another sequence. And I think a big part of it is consistency. And it’s being consistent and making sure you’re top of mind and not annoying, but a good level of engaging and sharing relevant content. And I think it’s understated sometimes how Mark automation can make your life easier in that part. Because I’ve been for Napier, I run a lot of automations. And I don’t have to think twice about them anymore. I know that if that contact isn’t interested, they’re not engaging, they will go sit in a list, and then in a month’s time, they will be entered into another sequence. So it doesn’t have to be difficult. But the key message, I would say it’s the consistency part. That is what’s going to make the difference. Yeah,

Mike: and I think that’s actually something you’ve really levelled up with our marketing automation and Napier is you’ve really looked at how you can pull out that 5% that are in market that are ready to buy and accept the 95% in any mailing are not going to be you know, immediate customers. And what you need to do is keep them warm, keep them nurtured, and just look at the behavioural cues that say, Yes, you know, someone’s putting their hand up, they’re interested, there’s someone we need to approach, I think you’ve done an amazing job there. And it’s something a lot of market automation users could learn from you. Don’t

Hannah: give me too many compliments, Michael won’t be able to fit my head through the door when I leave that great. I mean, I’m conscious of time. So I do want to move on to our insightful Tip of the Week. And I want to do a slightly different approach this week, where I want us to each share a tip for marketers to think about when entering 2024 So I’ll start us off Mike and I think for me, you know, part of my role, as I’m sure listeners have gathered by now is that I am part sales and I am part marketing. So I have to have a sales hat and a marketing hat on at all times. And I think the one thing that can help companies be more successful, and it’s that very, very long old cliche of consulting your sales team. So help them understand how much automation can be used. Encourage them to use it to their fullest. and show them the pipeline’s show them the content that you were sharing, show them how they can see the prospects and what they’re interested in. And I think if marketers go in with that mindset, they can really focus on building campaigns that will lead to closing the sales.

Mike: I think that’s, that’s a great point. And you know, what is happening, we know that actually, the amount of time, prospects spend engaging with marketing is increasing. And the amount of time they spend engaging with sales is decreasing. And I don’t think that necessarily mean sales is becoming unimportant, what it means is those interactions in sales individually, are actually much more important. And the salespeople need to get all the information and be as fully armed as they can be. So I think that’s a brilliant tip. I think people also need to, you know, talk to the sales team, to understand what the market wants, what your audience wants, because they are also very close. So they can also help us generate better campaigns.

Hannah: That’s a brilliant point, Mike. Yeah, at the end of the day of sales has got the understanding of the landscape, their their day to day, and so that also be able to inform marketing. So it’s definitely a joint effort. Absolutely. So Mike, your turn, what would you share as your tip to think about when entering 2024?

Mike: Well, I mean, the truth is, Yossi shared your tip sometime before the recording, so I got to see it. And I have to say, My tip is listen to Hannah, she’s really smart. You know, I was going to talk about something to do with sales and marketing, but I think you just express it brilliantly. So, you know, as marketers, I think we need to go and make friends with our sales team. We need to train them, we need to educate them. And we also need to learn for them as well. So it’s a great tip, you had Hannah and I completely agree with it. It’s probably the best advice anyone could get. If they’re looking to run marketing automation campaigns in 2024. Whoa,

Hannah: what a brilliant note to end on my thank you. I mean, I’ve loved our discussion today. And I’m really looking forward to seeing how the landscape continues to evolve. And also what marketers and the sales team go up to in 2024.

Mike: Absolutely. And I think you know, the last thing probably we want to do is just wish all our listeners a great break over the festive season. Whether you celebrate Christmas or anything else. Hope you have a wonderful time and very prosperous 2024

Hannah: absolutely have a great holiday. Thanks for listening to the Marketing Automation Moment podcast.

Mike: Don’t forget to subscribe in your favourite podcast application, and we’ll see you next time.