In this instalment of our Q+A blog series, we caught up with Alison Singleton, Marketing Programmes Manager at InterSystems UK to discuss her role and the way the data and marketing landscape has changed in 2020.
What’s your job role at InterSystems and what does it involve?
I’m Marketing Programmes Manager at InterSystems UK, which is a position I’ve held for just over two years. I’m involved in overseeing quality and best practice data management in all of the UK sales and marketing functions in the business to ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness.
How long have you worked for InterSystems UK?
I’ve now been at the company for 18 years! Prior to my current role, I spent 16 years in the market development side of the business, working closely with the sales team to find and research new opportunities, and drive business generation through phone, email, and face-to-face conversations at industry conferences and exhibitions.
It was in my previous role that I was able to develop my knowledge of InterSystems’ products that help support the NHS, and during this time I also became highly adept at using CRM tools. I helped to enrich the quality of our data on prospects and customers and improve the company’s market segmentation capabilities.
What is a recent project that you’ve been proud to be involved in?
I’ve always enjoyed working with the international teams in the business, so I would say that the successful international rollout of the Pega customer engagement and digital automation software across the business was a recent highlight. I was originally attracted to the company by the fantastic and helpful people that work both here in the UK teams and across our global offices, and I enjoy the collaborative nature of larger projects.
My interest in international business stems back to the time I spent studying for my European Business Management and German degree before I began my marketing career, which I attained from the University of Wales. I spent an exchange year at the Nürtingen-Geislingen University in Germany which helped grow my understanding of business in different countries and cultures.
With the Covid-19 pandemic having a detrimental impact on events, how do you see them evolving in the future?
Without a doubt, I expect to see more virtual events taking place in the future, even after the pandemic is over. Now that organisers have become much more skilled at running virtual events due to the experience they have gained this year, I think that more people will have the confidence to run large events in a virtual setting, and do so successfully!
Do you think any of the enforced changes to working practices from the pandemic will remain?
I think that there’s been a great benefit to working from home for many people, whether it has been spending more time with family, cutting down on commuting time and its associated costs, or being able to pursue hobbies and pastimes. I think this period has proved that employees can remain as productive as when they spend time in the office, so there’s certainly a case for it to continue in a bigger capacity in the future. I certainly hope it does!
What advice would you give to those looking to forge a career in marketing?
When it comes to running successful marketing campaigns, the accuracy and quality of available data is key. Data is vital in my own role, and with the quantity of insightful data only increasing year-on-year, marketers need to harness the opportunities that this presents, particularly in terms of expanding and defining market segmentation strategies. Dividing segments by consumer behaviours and personas can enable marketers to devise bespoke strategies for particular groups, and we know a personalised approach always wins out over a blanket strategy.
Which technology do you think has been most transformational in marketing in the last 10 years?
I think marketing automation platforms have transformed the industry over the last few years. Platforms such as Hubspot and Pardot have provided powerful tools for running marketing campaigns, from email to social media management, covering every aspect of the marketing mix. It truly gives marketers a centralised platform to manage their day-to-day.
Not only this, but we’re at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what artificial intelligence (AI) can bring to marketing. AI is increasingly being used to optimise PPC advertising, help enhance visitor experiences on websites through personalisation, and even provide crucial customer insights! We’re only scratching the surface right now with its capabilities, and I look forward to future developments.