Thom Robbins, Chief Evangelist for Kentico, a mid market customer experience management provider, dishes on marketing automation and the struggle for customer experience management.

Kentico's Approach to Marketing Automation

Version 7 of Kentico released in September 2012. Prior to this version, Kentico did have digital marketing capabilities, but version 7 introduced marketing automation capabilities directly into the platform. Robbins told me that Kentico found that its customers wanted to do two things: do more with less (shrinking budgets) and they wanted to nurture leads, supporting sales at the right time and also providing self-service capabilities to users.

With several customers using it, version 7 now, it is also seeing interest around personalization, not just on the website itself but also through the automation process, providing the "right content for the right people."

Why did Kentico build the functionality in-house? Robbins said that it has a very heavy tech partner program and while it did look around at what was available on the market, it was decided it made more sense to build it then partner, choosing to rely on partners to fill in the gaps.

Kentico Marketing Capabilities

The platform offers email marketing, on-line forms, web analytics, newsletters and lead scoring. With Kentico's marketing automation component you get drag & drop web automation, with a set of decision matrices you drop on a grid. While Kentico covered what it believes are the most important elements, it has a full API for partners to extend as necessary.

Kentico's Marketing Automation capabilities

With over 1200 partners worldwide, Kentico tends to drive functionality through partner feedback and it has repeatedly heard that marketing automation is required for larger projects, especially with to help manage processes.

Defining the Customer Experience Isn't Easy

In the future, Robbins says they are seeing a move towards mobile. Version 7 provides additional mobile features with a hook into marketing automation -- as an example, responsive design emails.

Personalization in another thing many of Kentico's partners are getting into, as well as A/B Testing. It isn't seeing as much demand for multivariate testing, except where organizations are looking at "the big data person". This is a new marketing persona that is interested in the multvariate testing approach and building the data warehouse. Kentico does have data stored in SQL, and although it doesn't offer a data warehouse at this time, it does have clients building big data content repositories.

Personalization is the component that customers are asking for now. Marketing automation is another one, but it's for simple things like email and not so much complex lead management processes.