The excitement around marketing automation systems and the extended lead nurturing activities they enable shows no sign of abating within the B2B community. And that’s a great thing. These multi-faceted tools are enabling Marketers to delivering more relevant, timely and – ultimately – more impactful information to their prospect base, monitor prospect’s every electronic “footstep”, score and grade prospects every characteristic, etc..
And if you read the collateral from Automation vendors, it’s clear that today’s tools will do everything the B2B marketer needs – including delivering the late-night caffeine shot and monitoring the marketing team’s fashion sense.
What many seem to lose sight of during the euphoria of launching the first drip campaign is answering the question “Why did I start down this path in the first place?”
Was it to offset staff reductions in the Marketing department that make email campaign execution more difficult?
Was it to avoid the constant nagging from the Sales team that Marketing leads are worthless?
Was it to stop the “How much revenue have you generated for me lately?” hallway conversations with the CEO?
We like to think of automation as the next frontier that will revolutionize marketing from ground up. It no doubt will over time. But as a first step in this grand transformation, maybe it would make sense to step back and identify the top 3-5 immediate things you want your shiny new tool to do for you as you build the internal business case.
If you are part of the fortunate that have their execs convinced that a complete marketing retooling with the long-term ROI this type of change entails makes sense, great. For the rest of us, dealing with shorter-term requirements, setting the stage with more modest, immediate and measurable objectives – which, by the way, automation tools provide as well — just might offer a better path for success.