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4 Top Marketing Automation Tools Your Team is Missing Out On – ReadWrite

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Deanna Ritchie


Redundancy. It’s the bane of every marketer’s existence. Though the average full-timer works around 8.5 hours daily, those hours can’t afford to be wasted. Marketing teams need to have time to analyze the 30,000-foot view rather than constantly get tangled in the weeds. Unfortunately, many employees must eschew creative brainstorming in lieu of finishing repetitive tasks.

The Answer to the Full-Time Team Members Marketing Dilemma Isn’t Original or Shocking.

Actually, this answer has been used for centuries: automation. Not convinced? Consider the printing press. In short order, it revolutionized the ability to mass-produce text, changing the way people could interact with information. And the printing press did its job — thanks to automation.

True, most modern tech-driven automation tools aren’t going to upend the world as the original printing machine did.

Nonetheless, the right automation can improve the productivity, speed, and profitability of any marketing department. And your goal as a leader is to figure out which innovations belong in your stack. If you don’t know which ones are the best — ask your team to bring you some suggestions.

To get started, consider the following marketing automation tool categories. Each of these miracle-of-automation helps listed below can help you get the upper hand in the competitive business environment of today.

1. PandaDoc

Most marketers spend a lot of time reviewing, sending, and receiving a variety of documents, from proposals to contracts. That’s normal, but it can be frustrating, too. Creating all those items from scratch takes time and effort, even with copy and paste keyboard functions. Plus, turning the documents into legally binding commitments may be difficult, especially when everyone is working remotely.

Products like PandaDoc, which is an all-in-one document automation tool, help streamline contracts, agreements, and proposals. Automating these types of functions isn’t limited to allowing you merely to sidestep the need for wet signatures on agreements. Pandadoc also promotes real-time editing by both parties and enables you to gather useful analytics. If you already rely on other programs, make sure any automated documentation platform you consider integrates seamlessly.

2. Ontraport

Sophisticated and targeted marketing campaigns are the lifeblood of any marketing team. Yet launching new ones can involve countless hours of re-programming and optimization. The faster you can bring up a tried and true campaign, make changes on the fly, and hit “initiate,” the better. That’s where a marketing campaign automation platform such as Ontraport reduces your redundancies.

The key is for you to be able to simplify your efforts. You want to be allowed to gather critical data as leads move through your customer lifecycle journey. Automated campaign tools will help you see what’s happening clearly at every stage. Otherwise, you can’t decide what to replicate and what to redo. Be sure that you’re not forced by software to hand-fiddle with too many other tools and integrations. The less you have to babysit a newly launched campaign, the better.

3. Sprout Social

Even with a robust content calendar and posting assignments, you’re bound to find it tough to post consistently. Uploading everything and remembering to hit “publish” at exactly the right moment can be arduous. Handling everything by hand also opens the door for too many instances of human error and missteps. And social listening? That’s even harder and requires tons of capacity your team probably can’t give.

So how do you stay ahead of the game and promote your brand online without stressing out your coworkers? Try a “set it and forget it” platform like the one offered by social media management standout Sprout Social. The company’s been around long enough to have a stable, reliable interface. Plus, you can control and evaluate social media ad campaigns from its highly intuitive dashboard. The only downside? If you’re trying to own a piece of TikTok, you may need to find a different partner. To date, Sprout Social doesn’t integrate with TikTok.

4. Consumer.io

All marketers use a variety of communications channels to connect with fans. Emails. Texts. Push notifications. Even DMs. If you’re still deploying emails on a case-by-case basis (even if “cases” are consumer buckets), you’re eating up valuable time. What you need instead is to construct customer communication that’s triggered automatically. That way, as customers take the next steps, they’ll be greeted by timely, personalized, relevant messaging.

Which customer communications automation tool makes sense? A highly respected contender is data-driven SaaS Consumer.io. The mature platform’s in-the-moment feedback ensures you’re not lagging behind when it comes to keeping up with outgoing content. Remember: Real-time pivoting and responsive messaging proved essential to keeping customers at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Now, those same customers expect you to communicate swiftly 24/7, which can only be done with automation.

Conclusion

Feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of adding another technology to your team’s playbook? No worries — this is the stuff business is made up of and always requires using the brain cells and making decisions.

Spend the next couple of weeks jotting down everything you repeatedly do. Then, use your findings to figure out which type of automated marketing tool makes sense and could benefit you most.

Investigate a few different “helps” and check out free trials. There are many good choices out there — make your choice. Improving your team’s efficiency will afford you serious paybacks, including the ability to focus on your company’s higher-level goals.

Image Credit: SevenStorm; pexels

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content development.

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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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