Marketing automation works: 80 percent see leads increase and 77 percent see conversions increase. Join our free VB Live event to hear how you could be slam-dunking your marketing when you do automation right.

Register here for free.

Timothy Parcell, VP of experience planning at Allen & Gerritsen — an ad agency that represents companies as diverse as Campbell’s, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sunoco, and the Boston Celtics — believes that too many marketers take the silver bullet approach to marketing automation. It’s the belief that once you install an automation platform, it’s going to transform your marketing strategy out of the box, and immediately produce out-of-this world gains in ROI.

But it’s not that easy, he warns. The initial development of a really strong automation piece really comes down to making sure you’re considering not only where you want to be once you flip the switch, but where you want to be one, two, three years out.

It is, inescapably, as iterative a process as the A/B testing you’ll do. When you onboard a marketing automation platform, you have to have a roadmap, and be prepared to testing and optimize your data and the responses to learnings.

But it’s worth it, Parcell emphasizes, because marketing automation changes the dynamic that has taken over the consumer/company relationship in the social media boom.

“Our clients are so busy being reactive and trying to respond to this world where consumers have such an increased voice,” says Parcell. While the essential power of word of mouth has been acknowledged by savvy marketers, social media provides a bullhorn for consumers, and companies feel as though they have little control of the volume.

However, marketing automation allows companies to be proactive — efficient in maintaining human touchpoints at scale and maintaining personalized communication — whether it’s for product releases for B2B companies, as a resource for retail customers who are comparison shopping, and throughout the customer journey.

Marketing automation helps companies take control of the conversation and the experience in a personalized way that is also responsive to the customer’s needs, their desires, and their current and future experience — helping to maintain the lifetime value that is so much more essential, in the end, than the mere cost of acquisition.

Take emails, for example, which flood our inboxes. A lot of them are from brands trying to get you to take an action, he notes. And the ones that probably jump out to you are the ones where you already have a brand affinity, where there’s a deal that incentivizes you, or maybe the creative is jumping out at you because it resonates.

“We’re all looking for that resonance,” Parcell says, “And what marketing automation allows us to do,” he adds, “is find our way toward resonance in a safe way.”

Join Parcell and other pros on the front lines who will cover off what’s working and what’s not in the marketing automation landscape.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this VB Live event, you’ll learn

  • Learn exactly what marketing automation can and can’t do
  • Frame the marketing automation question for the C-suite
  • Maximize ROI with the automation tactics that work best


  • Jason John, CMO, Publisher’s Clearing House
  • Steve Neely, CMO, Casino del Sol
  • Tim Parcell, VP Experience Planning, Allen & Gerritsen


  • Evan Schuman, Moderator, VentureBeat

This webinar is sponsored by IBM.