Marketing automation and my car. Soulmates?

 In Marketing Automation, Marketo

So, I have always been conflicted about the kind of car I drive. I like a nice car, but have subscribed to the theory that it’s a really bad investment. Much like my investments, I’m a buy and hold guy when it comes to cars.

That said, a couple of years ago, when it came time to replace the one I had been driving for a decade, I found myself at a German car dealership.

Marketing automation and my car. Soulmates?Long story short, there were bells, and there were whistles. Next thing I knew I was driving home in a shiny new saloon.

Two years later, I really do love the car. Satellite radio, lightning fast seat warmer, and enough acceleration to temporarily make me forget I am a middle-aged guy living in the suburbs.

The problem is that I don’t drive it very much. When I am not travelling for business, I am usually working from my home office.

So, it’s a REALLY nice car to go to the grocery store, the bank, and to take my daughter to swimming lessons and play dates.

Which brings me to your marketing automation platform.

Your marketing automation platform only sends emails

Much like my car, we see many B2B marketing organizations underutilizing their marketing automation platforms (MAP).

More than just bells and whistles, MAPs have robust capabilities to truly transform how organizations engage with prospects and customers throughout the customer lifecycle.

So why do so many use their MAP primarily to send batch and blast emails? Expertise, capacity, content, and alignment are the gating factors we see most often.

For those making progress, we see some common characteristics:

  • Executive commitment to marketing, giving them a key role to play in communicating throughout the customer lifecycle.
  • Marketing and Sales alignment around lead taxonomy and lead management processes, governed by a service-level agreement (SLA).
  • A content framework enabling targeted, relevant nurturing at all stages of the customer lifecycle.
  • An investment in the Marketing Operations and agency resources needed to utilize marketing automation’s full capabilities.
  • A technology strategy that includes leveraging critical cloud-based MarTech, AdTech, and SalesTech (CRM) apps in an integrated manner.

Crawl, Walk, Run.

So, if your MAP isn’t fully optimized for items such as lead scoring, lead nurturing, analytics, and multi-channel engagement, how do you start to optimize it?

Pragmatic roadmap recommendations are a great starting point. Agencies like ours (and MAP vendors themselves) provide these types of useful reviews that can help put you on a path to progress.

A good audit should start by uncovering your business requirements, so that the recommendations are tightly tuned to your unique requirements. They should be comprehensive in scope, assessing all aspects of your platform and your MAP processes. And they should identify the business impact of recommended changes.

From Business to Human: Hear from your peers

For those of you in the Boston and Toronto areas, there is a great upcoming opportunity for you to hear from marketing executives at BNY Mellon, Forrester, Uberflip, Vidyard, and Influitive on how they have built and implemented a progressive marketing automation strategy.

Business to Human: An Engagement Marketing Panel Discussion

Business to Human: An Engagement Marketing Panel Discussion is the latest event in our ongoing Marketing Therapy series.

Co-hosted by Demand Spring, Marketo, and Uberflip, these events will focus on how to get more out of marketing automation to drive engagement throughout the customer lifecycle.

It’s a great opportunity for you to hear first-hand how to truly get full value out of marketing automation.

At the very least, it’s a chance to drive your car downtown, going right past the grocery store.

Mark Emond
Mark is the President and Founder of Demand Spring. He has more than 17 years of client-side experience in marketing leadership roles with organizations such as IBM and Cognos.
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  • Abigail

    Great post. I guess that using marketing automation is for many people just a first step. Most of them probably get stuck there and wonder what else they could do. We’ve started using getresponse lately, but we plan to build our automation into something more than an email blasting platform. Is there a video or summary of those events you mentioned at the end?

    • Thanks Abigail!

      A video summary of the Business to Human events is in the works, and in the meantime you can download the slides used at the event at

      Let us know how your marketing automation platform evolution progresses, and if you need any assistance or advice along the way!