TechBytes with Alice Blair, Head of Marketing, Engage Hub

TechBytes with Alice Blair, Head of Marketing at Engage Hub
TechBytes with Alice Blair, Head of Marketing at Engage Hub

Tell us about your role at Engage Hub and the team/technology that you handle.

Engage Hub provides solutions that bring together disparate data to automate AI-driven customer experiences across multiple channels — from SMS to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. We work with clients across the globe, across multiple sectors (such as retail, financial services and telecoms), so that they can deliver relevant experiences to customers via their preferred channel.

In my role as Head of Marketing, I’m responsible for our go-to-market strategy across all of our target verticals and territories. I also look after the marketing team at Engage Hub — a group of talented individuals that specialize in digital and Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Finally, it’s down to me to ensure that our message resonates and is being clearly communicated to our customers.

What is the overall state of data-driven consumer engagement in the Marketing Technology Industry?

Data is a real force in the CX space and we’re seeing businesses wake up to the benefits that data-driven consumer engagement can bring.

Some sectors are better at it than others. Retail, for example, is making great strides. Based on the data collected about its customers’ previous purchases and returns, ASOS for instance, using its Artificial Intelligence (AI) sizing tool, can provide a personalized sizing suggestion.

The traditional high-street chains are facing ongoing challenges, though. They struggle to be agile in the way that the online retailers are — because their technology stacks tend to be built on legacy infrastructure. This is preventing them from delivering experiences that are personalized and engaging.

Engage Hub helps organizations by connecting to those legacy systems. Our data orchestration platform enables organizations to get the best value from the data they hold today without having to replace their legacy systems and hard code — dramatically reducing risk and cost.

The big hot topic at the moment surrounding data-driven consumer engagement is privacy. On top of providing seamless customer experiences, it’s crucial that organizations deal with data in an entirely ethical way. And of course, are GDPR-compliant

Tell us more about Engage Hub’s solutions and your target audience.

The company launched more than 30 years ago and has evolved in response to the market. Our technology enables brands across the financial services, retail, telecoms and utilities sectors deliver best-in-class digital customer experiences. We take the data held by organizations on their customer interactions and feed that into our AI-driven platform. We then automate messages across various points of their customers’ lifecycle. For example, some customers might prefer to respond to an email rather than an SMS, while others might prefer communicating via Facebook. It’s Engage Hub’s job to make sure that communication is taking place in the most personalized way possible.

Being a very large data-driven enterprise, how does Engage Hub handle so much data?

Our platform has been built to cope with large volumes of data for enterprise organizations so it is scalable and can grow along with our customer base. For example, last month alone, we’ve sent three million messages for one of our customers and we have hundreds!

With a large range of products. which geographical areas are you targeting for growth?

We’re constantly looking for new opportunities as part of a wider business focus to expand globally. For example, we recently appointed Gabriel Lobitsky as our new Latin America, Sales Vice President. Gabriel has over 20 years’ experience in the IT space and is working on developing Engage Hub’s presence in Brazil, with a view to expanding into other markets including Columbia, Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

We also appointed Felix Wong last year as VP Sales for APAC. Felix has over 20 years’ experience in the APAC telecommunications industry and is operating across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and his native Singapore, with a major focus on strengthening existing strategic partnerships as well as cultivating new business opportunities.

How important is the role of Artificial Intelligence in the data-based marketing domain?

AI has come a long way in recent years and is playing an increasingly important part of data-based marketing. Orchestrating data for customer communications and automating cross channel interactions are just two examples of how we use AI at Engage Hub.

However, although AI is the technology of the moment and an exciting prospect for marketeers, I would urge some caution about over-reliance on the technology.

Some customers prefer interactions with a human agent over a chatbot, and it’s important that we respect this. Also, it’s important that marketing activity making use of AI is molded to appear as human-like and approachable as possible. There’s a risk with AI that marketing becomes robotic, which could alienate customers and leave them disengaged. So, while AI plays a really important role in data-based marketing, it’s crucial that the adoption of it is measured and carefully thought through.

What Sales and Marketing Technology tools does Engage Hub currently use?

We use lots! When it comes to automated emails for newsletters, product updates, etc., we’ll use our own platform. The team also likes to experiment with different tools to test, learn and optimize everything we do. I’ve recently started looking at website heat mapping tools such as HotJar and EyeQuant, and also project management tools such as Monday.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

There are so many! At the top of my list is Trello, to help keep me organized and the Ted Talk app for when I’m looking for inspiration and motivation.

What is the best piece of professional advice that you have received?

That nobody is any better or worse than you are. This is something my dad said to me at a young age and I’ve since heard it from the best managers.

If not in Marketing, what would have been your alternate career choice?

When I was growing up, my number one career choice was to work with animals. However, considering how much I love marketing — the enjoyment and rewards I get from it — it feels like this career and I were meant to be. I adore it!

As Head of Marketing for Engage Hub, Alice is responsible for orchestrating PR, social media and event activities in order to maximise the brand’s reach. Holding a BA in English and a passion for communication excellence, Alice also drives the content and communication strategy for Engage Hub.

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At Engage Hub, it’s our mission to make sure your business treats your customers as individuals to engage each and every one, so you win them over faster and keep them for longer.

With over 30 years in the business, our services have evolved alongside the needs of our clients, including some of the world’s most successful brands across the financial services, utilities, telecoms, retail and logistics sectors. We understand the challenges you face — from data silos to legacy systems — and have built intelligent, intuitive and effective solutions that work for you.

Our commitment to excellence has helped us build a reputation as the leading global provider of data-driven consumer engagement and customer retention solutions. At a time when brand loyalty is at an all-time low, our data orchestration technology delivers the kind of experiences your customers have now come to expect. So, you can always keep them engaged and happy.

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