December 1, 2020

Profile photo of Todd M. Tolbert, MBA, CAE  

Survey Results,  Marketing Automation and AI

December 1, 2020

  1. What marketing automation software are you currently using?
    • Informz: 17.1%
    • Hubspot: 14.3%
    • Real Magnet: 11.4%
    • Salesforce Marketing: 8.6%
    • Combination 17.1%
    • Other: 22.9%
    • None: 8.6%
  2. What specialized features do you utilize with your marketing automation software, if any? (Examples might be member journey building, personalization, other AI-content based delivery.
    • We don’t. In fact the process currently involves list export from our AMS and import into Real Magnet. We are in an RFP process, transitioning to either a Marketo or Eloqua solution via API to (middleware to) Personify. Then we plan to build journeys, trigger campaigns, utilize improved metric reporting, build an improved opt-out selection, utilize landing pages, and future state (??) possibly use metrics toward member engagement scoring one day.
    • Journey Builder for Welcome Series.
    • Personalization Meeting Attendance vs non attendance Payments Membership activity Participation
    • Personalization
    • Journeys
    • Journey building
    • Personalization, Contextual Data, Tagging, Personalization, Sequence/Journey Building
    • Journey mapping, building preferences and interest area for each of our members, experimenting with smart alert using AI matching algorithm.
    • mostly lead generation but also personalized member renewals
    • The customer journey is so important. Though I have worked to help build an infrastructure for this, other than built in tools through M365 I’m not currently using any, but would be interested in using more.
    • Journey building
    • Personalization, lead generation and nurturing, content distribution
    • Not currently using
    • Listening campaigns Link Labels
    • Personalization
    • Still setting it up
    • Personalization
    • Personalized content produced based on marketing personas
    • Personalization, member journey and AI
    • At this time none
    • Welcome Series (personalized based on origin source and or topic), Donor Retention (auto renewal for for membership, recapture, lapsed donor 1x and monthly), personalized journeys though topic specific campaigns
    • Member journey building and personalization
    • N/A
    • Journey Building
    • N/A
    • Personalization

3 .What challenges have you had around marketing automation software in use today?

  • I am very new to the SOA, coming in mid-RFP process in October, so the decision to replace Real Magnet and integrate a more robust solution had already been made.
  • The symptom is that configuration and troubleshooting is difficult. It is programming by another name and marketing people lack those skills. But I believe that the underlying problem is that email automation software is written as a low level programming language and the higher level marketing semantics are difficult to represent in the fields available in the marketing email database. For example, send an email to all those members who haven’t opened renewal notices but have engaged otherwise. And so on.
  • It does not recognize when someone pays, joins, etc.
  • Time. It takes a long time to set something like this up correctly, and I can’t get enough time together to do it.
  • Personalization, customized content
  • None
  • The main challenge is staff bandwidth to set up the campaigns.
  • Not so confident in data reliability.
  • Lack of integration. Missing AI features.
  • Getting staff to use the software and understand its value
  • Interested in hearing about others’ challenges in this so we can learn as we implement
  • Trying to identify level of engagement of individuals in our audience.
  • Topping out in our skillsets
  • The data is solo’d
  • Nothing as of yet
  • It’s extremely limiting and doesn’t have much advanced functionality
  • New to Adestra, but we’re concerned about high unsubscribe rate with our former solution, Constant Contact
  • Some are too complex to use.
  • Complexity is a barrier; insufficient training
  • Lack of synchronization with other systems
  • Setting up the automation for most of our platforms required a high level of understanding. Which limits how frequently we employee it and adjust existing pieces. Additionally, the quality/accuracy of data impacts what personalization we use and our trust in how we employee it.
  • Email blocking failure of recipients to white-list
  • We need assistance in getting started
  • cost and getting data that is usable.
  • N/A
  • HubSpot is not integrated with our AMS (iMIS).


CPE Compliance Disclosure:


In this course, you will learn about Marketing Automation and AI for Associations.


  • Learn about different types of marketing automation software
  • Learn about features and challenges of marketing software and inegrations
  • Learn how your association peers are finding marketing automation helpful and what features they are using in their associations

INSTRUCTOR(S):Moderated Roundtable Discussion of Association Executives led by Todd Tolbert, MBA, CAE, Chief Digital Strategy Officer, ASIS International; and  Kerri L. McGovern, MPP, CAE, Senior Director, Membership at Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).

DELIVERY METHOD: Group live presented online due to COVID-19


LEVEL: Intermediate

NASBA CATEGORY: Communications and Marketing

CAE Field of study: Membership Development

PREREQUISITES:  C-Level Management Experience

In accordance with the standards of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, CPE credits have been granted based on a 50-minute hour.

U.S Transactions Corp. (CPE Sponsor ID: 138278) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: