Is “Marketing Automation” an Oxymoron?
I like the term “Marketing Automation” – sounds great…. This is going to automate my world of Internet visibility, demand management, lead generation – fantastic. I will simply plug in a trusty CRM tool like Eloqua or Marketo, hook it into my salesforce.com application… and – like magic – next week, the leads will start to poor in. Right?
I don’t think so….
Marketing Automation is incredible technology. I love it! However, I see it as only a small part of the overall solution. There are two broad elements of the category according to Wikipedia – demand generation and marketing workflow automation. I think the workflow automation part is pretty nice to have… taking care of repetitive tasks with software tools… But it takes a lot more than technology to get it right. Demand generation also requires a lot more than automation. What are the underlying values of the brand experience? The offer? Actually, using the software is a very small part of what makes integrated marketing and sales successful. There are a lot of questions to consider.. here are just a few:
- What is the overall strategy- target markets? segments? influencers?
- What are the competitors doing?
- How are customers experiencing the brand?
- How are you positioned across the outposts of the social web?
- How are you organized to deliver?
- What is the lead scoring approach?
- What are the business rules for lead flow? – Inside sales? Outside Sales?
- Is pricing right?
- How are you distributing? partners? channels?
- How effective are your persuasive communications and sales techniques?
- Customer Service?
- Relationship management and learning dialogue?
- Measuring marketing? Sales? What are the incentives?
- What content assets will we use to drive a permission marketing program?
- What is the role of sales, marketing and communications?
- How do we get the web design aligned with the platform technology?
- How do you integrate with sales force automation (another promising term!)?
The list goes on….I think the place to start with a Revenue Architecture… but I am biased of course.