Since the day I began collaborating (mostly on content related to stats and best practices for our clients) with Alex Timlin, I’ve been struck by his depth of knowledge, ability to derive rich insights from data, and willingness to co-create awesome articles.

Alex is VP of Client Success at here Emarsys. In his role, Alex drives adoption and growth across 1,200+ clients in more than 100 countries to help them reach their customers across billions of engagements.

He is a long time member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Customer Engagement Council, Marketing Intelligence Hub, and is a regular industry speaker.

Today, he’s sharing his thoughts on the state of marketing, and where it’s going.

What is your location: London

Current Role: VP, Client Success, Global

One word that best describes how you view the state of marketing today: Fragmented

Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today. After 12 years in the digital marketing space, I joined Emarsys in 2009 — first working in International Business Development but was given the opportunity to drive our global expansion into Russia, Turkey, Dubai and the Middle East as “Director of New Markets.” As we’ve grown from 500 to 1,200+ clients, our business focused much more on driving adoption and value for our existing clients to help build the Emarsys brand. I was given the chance to lead the introduction of a Client Success function at Emarsys to help drive our clientele and our business forward.

What do you wish marketers knew (but you’re pretty sure they don’t)? There’s a big difference between a contact and a customer.

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by marketers today? The market is changing way more quickly than your organization. There’s a big challenge in knowing where to invest your resources. Do you get better at business as usual, or do you double-down on Snapchat and Alexa? There are so many channels and so many possibilities that it’s really difficult to know how to plan, where to invest, and how to grow when there are campaigns that need to be executed all day, every day.

How can they overcome this challenge? We need to embrace (not fear) automation. Business as usual takes a lot of manpower — segmentation, campaign management, production, and deployment all take extraordinary time and resources. Artificial intelligence marketing will be able to do these things faster, more effectively, and cheaper than a team. But that opens up new possibilities for brands and marketers to invest in making better customer experiences through a focus on creative, content, and strategy.

If you could tell all marketers just one thing, what would it be? Think about your marketing through the lens of your customers, not your company. Too often I see brands focused on a storyboard or a whiteboard and what they want to promote, rather than looking at what people want to engage with. We’re increasingly in a consumer-led economy which is why so many companies are investing in customer experience and solutions to improve it.

Technology has already transformed marketing in so many ways. How do you see tech continuing to revolutionize the marketer’s role? Giving back time to get back to creative. There are more marketers who are black belts at Excel than there are people aspiring to be the next Don Draper. We didn’t get into marketing because we love numbers, we go into marketing because it’s a creative discipline that fuels every element of a business. Technology is, ironically, helping us get away from the technological aspects and back to the marketing.

What are you currently reading, or what would you recommend for marketers? I just picked up “Marketing 4.0: Moving From Traditional to Digital,” by Philip Kotler.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ____ answer these same questions.

Scott Logie, ReaD Group (chairman of the Customer Engagement Council at the Direct Marketing Association in the U.K.)

Special thanks to Alex Timlin for his time, energy, and insight.

Connect with Alex: LinkedIn | Twitter

Know someone who would be a great fit for this series? Email

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