Nienke, you know, that Cappuccino-lover on the Be Bold team? She’s our super ambitious functional marketing automation specialist & and is well-known for her eagerness to find out everything. What does that mean and what are her day-to-day activities? Nienke gives you some insights on what it’s like to be a functional marketing automation specialist. 

The woman behind the name, who is Nienke Iliaens?

What are three words which describe you?

  • Creative mind
  • No procrastinator but a precrastinator 
  • Loose-lipped

What does your day usually look like?

I live with two of my best friends – who I’ve met at work btw – so waking up goes along with a lot of chit chatting. 

First things first, when I arrive at our lovely office a.k.a. House of Innovation, I need my daily cup of cappuccino before I start my day.  

I’m a very organized and structured person. Without my to do lists and schedule for the day, my head is all over the place. I prefer to work on one project at a time, so I won’t lose my focus. Other than that, I love a good brainstorm or meeting with the team to clear my mind and to have a nice chat about our day.

To end my workday, I love to go to dinner, to drink a glass of wine with my friends or to spend some quality time with my boyfriend or family. 

What does your job involve?

My job is actually very varied. On the one hand, I help clients with the implementation of their Marketing Automation tool in order to adapt it fully to their needs and their business. On the other hand, the client and I, put our heads together to come up with creative campaigns and a strategic marketing approach that we can set up in order to make optimal use of their tool. I’m also giving trainings to end-users in Marketing Automation and the use of our tools.

How did you grow into your functional & strategic position?

After graduating as a business engineer in 2018, I immediately started at Be Bold as a Digital Marketeer. I got familiar with the world of Google Analytics, SEO, SEA, Social Media Advertising, Marketing Automation and User Experience Design.

Later on, I got the opportunity to work in-house for our client CM (Christelijke Mutualiteit) on the one hand and to do a large implementation for Mazda on the other hand. This was the extra push I needed to fully concentrate on Marketing Automation and find one main focus. Of course I apply my full arsenal of marketing knowledge to optimally guide our customers. But there is always that little voice in the back of my mind saying “Oh, I want to learn that too!”, but sometimes you have to make choices to really become an expert in a certain area.

Sidenote: A quote I’m currently digging is: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn, sometimes you get mashed potatoes when you ask for croquettes”. This really hits the nail on the head and gives me that extra push under my a**. Even if you don’t succeed from the first time, you will always grow and keep on learning!

Which part of your job gives you the most energy?

I love being creative. I notice that during brainstorming sessions I become a ball of fire. This can be for Marketing Automation campaigns, as well as for Social Media marketing or User Experience Design.

In addition, I always like the start of an implementation: finding out how a new client does his business, how they do marketing, what their problems are and how you can translate that into your marketing tools.

What’s your biggest carrier performance so far?

Currently we are working on a complete transformation within the strategic marketing automation section for our client CM. I love to play an important role in this and to give some direction. Especially when you know that as a ‘youngster’, occasionally you can teach other experienced marketers something new😉.

Secondly, I’m also very proud to have been able to take on a lead position in our Mazda project in a short time. This has made me grow a lot as an employee!

What is the definition of Marketing Automation to you?

Relevance! We have to make sure that people only receive messages with an added value when they actually need it. What’s important here, is to look at the customer journey and the data (profile and behaviour) you have from your customers. Without data you won’t get anywhere, you’ll just be shooting at random. 

For a further explanation on how I see Marketing Automation, I would like to invite you to a little one-to-one (What Is Marketing Automation) 😉!

What does the future of Marketing Automation hold?

I strongly believe it will only keep on growing over the years. Today, I already can’t imagine a world where people don’t use marketing automation. We just have to make sure that we’re not exaggerating and that we don’t overload contacts with messages. So once again: relevance is key!

What are companies that are not yet engaged in Marketing Automation missing out on?


  • On the one hand, to reach out to your contacts at many different times and to real them back in, instead of a one-time-shot. This way, your ROI increases significantly!
  • On the other hand, to put your time into something else. At times, as a consultant, you’re amazed at how much still happens manually in companies. Good data combined with a good implementation gives you more time to focus on the creative part of your job and not just the executive. Unfortunately, companies do not always have a neat, structured data model and there are many fragmented databases. In that case, the automated aspect becomes a bit more difficult… because what exactly is the truth?

What is your functional & strategic Marketing Automation goal?

Keep on learning! Both in digital marketing – because that part keeps on triggering me – and in marketing automation tools. This way, in the future I will be able to offer the total package to customers, regardless of the tool they have, and demonstrate that my input has made them see an impactful improvement in their results.

Thinking about your next steps? Interested in becoming a Functional Marketing Automation Specialist?