by Phill Huzzard | Sep 03, 2019
Fatal marketing automation traps exposed
Here’s a painful scenario we hear all too often.
You (or more likely your predecessor) went in search of a best practice marketing technology suite. After an exhaustive evaluation, the winner was the industry leading CRM system bolted on to an incredibly capable, but complex, marketing automation package, all linked to an industrial-strength web interface. What could possibly go wrong?
Except that, two years down the track, you’ve invested multiples of your original budget and you’re operating a wafer-thin layer of each system’s much vaunted capability. You’re almost afraid to broach the subject of adding capability because of the red ink. Every time you seek to on-board another module or function, the estimate could sink a ship – and you know it’ll be three times the cost by the time your system is market-ready.
There’s a better way.
Marketing technology 2.0
In the same way that IT functionality we used to invest millions in can now be bought off-the-shelf, so has marketing technology advanced in leaps and bounds.
And what used to be called marketing automation now has a competitor – Inbound Marketing.
Best of all, you can now take on single packages the deliver your CRM, CMS, top-of-funnel campaigning, marketing automation and performance measurement in one incredibly cost-effective package.
Awesome! I hear you say. And there is indeed cause for celebration.
But there’s a caveat (as always).
While the tech is the enabler, it’s how it’s used that gives you the competitive edge.
Inbound marketing – a confluence of art and science
Seen in its most simple form, marketing has always had storytelling at its core. You could invest millions (billions?) in researching and creating products that meet the precise needs of your customer. But unless you can position your product effectively and competitively, you’ll never achieve the success you deserve.
And that’s about story-telling.
Story-telling is easy face to face. But now, your tech-enabled messages are reaching many more customers more often. If your message is poor, it has the capacity to de-brand you so much more quickly than ever before.
With your new fund power to blaze away at unsuspecting audiences, it’s easy to fall for the trap of losing sight of your ultimate objective – to build an enduring relationship between your brand and its audience. Fragmented, opportunistic, tactical campaigns may keep your sales team happy in the short term, but it’s an exhausting and corrosive way to win customers.
BTN (Brand True North) – driven communications
What will really excite them is when your communications are part of a suite of stories that ladder up to your brand true north – each building on the value proposition of the previous message and adding proof to the strength of your brand position.
In a world where everyone is failing fast, this may seem anachronistic. It’s not. AB Testing is just as possible with carefully crafted communications that exist in a brand and creative aperture that you know is resonant.
It’s like a game of football. It wouldn’t be a game without the rules, right?
So too with communications. By pushing your creative, marketing and sales teams to work their magic within that carefully developed and tested brand zone, you can be sure your messages will have the same integrity that is made more possible by today’s Inbound Marketing technologies.
Great art plus great science = great results
We’ve all hear the term about what you put in being what you get out. That adage has never been truer than it is today.
So, if you’re labouring under the deadweight of legacy marketing technology systems that need constant servicing and expensive consultants to operate, or if the messages you’re delivering through your incredibly functional Inbound Marketing systems are not delivering, take comfort.
The answer is closer, sooner and more affordable than you think.