Last week I had the privilege of chairing the B2B Marketing InTech conference at the Brewery in London. The agenda featured some great brands (Cisco, Oracle, Aruba amongst others) with some great content. My overwhelming sense was that B2B Marketers are becoming a little more cynical about chasing the latest shiny software application and instead are starting to think about how it might impact their customer and prospect relationships, or improve the engagement of sales teams. There was a lot of discussion about the challenges of moving the needle on the company culture, and how we embed some of these best practices around social selling etc.
Seven years is a long time in marketing. Let me take you back to September 2008. The iPhone was barely a year old, Lehman Brothers had gone to the wall the previous week, and in a small venue in London I was sharing a platform with Steve Woods (then CTO at Eloqua) and Will Schnabel of SilverPop . My presentation was entitled “An Organic Gardener’s Guide to Lead Nurturing“.
There is a a common and powerful chart that is used in change management circles that describes the various factors that need to be aligned in order to manage complex change. You can find an example here.
I thought it might be useful to attempt to borrow this approach and apply it to the question of why so many marketing campaigns fail. Of course the model is simplistic, but I have found that it helps many of my clients recognise that just addressing one isolated factor, is not going to automatically generate a step-change in marketing campaign performance. A successful campaign comprises (at least) 7 factors that must all be aligned if we are to maximise the revenue and enhance the internal reputation of marketing.
For most of my clients who are looking to integrate marketing automation into their overall marketing landscape, at some point the question surfaces about what should be the best deployment strategy. Typical areas for discussion are
- How do I make a noticeable difference to our performance without reaching full deployment?
- Should I deploy using in-house resources or using partners?
- How should I phase the deployment of functionality?
- How should I phase the geographic deployment?
- They want a career that allows them to do interesting work
- Money is important, but so too is flexibility and bonus potential
- When looking at a potential employer the opportunity to develop is the most crucial factor
- They value a coaching style of leadership
- They expect email to be the dominant style of communications for the foreseeable future
I love it when you stumble across something you created a few years ago and, upon re-reading, decide that it still holds up.
… But would you really want to?
This was the question I tried to address in a 45 minute webinar for BrightTalk yesterday as part of their Campaign Automation online summit. The proposition was pretty straightforward: before you start to Automate your marketing, you better be pretty clear about what the purpose of your marketing actually is. There’s no escape from this – no tool is going to do the thinking for you (at least, not until IBM’s Watson computer joins the marketing team), or make your content interesting and engaging.