Marketing United TechBytes with Colby Cavanaugh, SVP Marketing, Emma

Colby Cavanaugh

Colby Cavanaugh
SVP Marketing, Emma

Today, Marketing United by Emma will unfurl the irresistible power of storytelling and the changing dynamic of marketing technologies in 2018. As event partners, we decided to dive deep into Emma’s vision at Marketing United 2018, and how it could help MarTech companies and customers build a strong product roadmap based on AI, data, and analytics and spoke to Colby Cavanaugh, SVP Marketing at Emma.

“Tell Your Story” at Emma and the team/technology you handle?

I’m the SVP of Marketing at Emma, which means I run all of our marketing functions. Emma is a Nashville-based email marketing company. We work with marketers who are looking to elevate their game and do their very best work. We’re focused on great design, sophisticated tools to solve hard problems for marketers and a great user experience.

How is Marketing United 2018 different from all its previous editions?

This year, there’s a greater focus on storytelling. The theme, “Tell Your Story,” will equip marketers with best practices for getting the most out of social, video, content, brand, email and more. One session in particular, with Kindra Hall, will focus on the irresistible power of strategic storytelling. In that session, Kindra will share her blueprint for effective storytelling. Another session with Arun Chaudhary, digital storyteller and former official White House videographer, will explore the need for authenticity and authorship in messaging in the age of social media.

At Marketing United 2018, how do you intend to foster authentic engagement between your customers and the brand?

We cherish every opportunity we get to connect with our customers, and Marketing United offers one of the best chances to do so. During the conference, we’ll be engaging one-on-one with customers at the Emma booth, interviewing customers for our “Behind the Glasses” podcast, and even hosting a special Customer Advisory Board to collect product feedback, learn more about their goals, and find out ways we can help solve their biggest challenges as marketers. We also love making sure our customers are well-represented on stage: for instance, both our restaurant and university panels are largely made up of Emma customers ready to share their expertise with other marketers.

How do you see email marketing strategies evolving with the maturity of Data Science and Marketing Analytics?

The human element will always remain at the core of marketing, even as strategies evolve with the maturity of data, analytics and AI. At Emma, we feel like those tools are great and having the right data is critical, but what sets us apart is the human element we offer. Today, consumers are more connected than ever before, and that trend will continue with the proliferation of mobile. Still, there’s a fundamental disconnect between people and the companies that wish to reach them.  This is the responsibility of the marketer: to drive that human touchpoint at a brand level.

What are your predictions on the ‘State of Marketing Automation’ technologies for 2018-2022?

The only way to stand out in 2018 and the years to come is to connect and leave a lasting impression using content customers will find valuable. We’ll continue to see marketers adapting a personalized approach like this to their email marketing. Personalization is a trend that will continue to influence the state of marketing and automation. For marketers, the key is to get closer to customers, track their behavior, and trigger one-to-one communications based on their actions. That’s what will create the kind of personalized experiences that keep people engaged.

How do you leverage AI/Machine Learning technologies to build your customer segmentation? How does it help you build a strong product roadmap?

AI and automation should be leveraged to create the best possible customer experience, but to truly engage with customers and deliver lasting value, marketing and marketers need to remain at the heart of it all. When it comes to email marketing, to get it right, you have to take your subscriber data into account in ways that lead to one-to-one experiences in the inbox. Automated emails that miss the mark with personalization are ones with little to no human context or intuition. Tools like automation can help with scale and efficiency, but overall, it’s the marketer that ultimately has the ability to utilize those tools in the best way.

Who would you be keenly following at the event?

I’m looking forward to all of the keynote sessions, especially Mike McAvoy’s (The Onion) talk on satire in fake news.

Thanks for chatting with us, Colby.
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