Bringing “Marketing Automation” Mainstream

Jon Miller, a co-founder of Marketo (and someone who has commented on this blog) has taken another step toward bringing “marketing automation” mainstream with this article in Inc magazine, “3 Ways to Make Relationship Marketing Count”.

What if you have a big miss with a message sent to a CFO? Then it’s not so funny. On the Internet, your prospects and customers are telling you all about themselves, and they’re expecting you to pay attention and use that information to be more interesting, more engaging, more relevant…

The three things are:

1. Pay attention to C-Level traffic. If the executive is a customer, [he or she] may be looking to price alternatives. If not a customer, it could be a good idea to send the executive a whitepaper …

2. Have a conversation. And remember, “some of the best communication is educational or entertaining to the person on the other end of the conversation.”

3. Look for forms of communication other than email. “[S]ometimes the best way to connect to your customer is to give them a call….Listen to what’s being said on social networks and join the conversation… Make sure the resources on your website are informative and entertaining, not just promotional. And then coordinate it all together into a seamless conversation”.

As per my earlier blog post, it seems as if Marketo is continuing to focus on “thought leadership” rather than dive into the data.

But he’s working to bring “marketing automation” mainstream. That’s good news.

I’m @johnbugay

Steve Jobs is dead: now who are the real tough guys?

Bronx-Tale-Cover“ … it don’t take much strength to pull a trigger, but try and get up every morning day after day and work for a living. Let’s see him try that. Then we’ll see who’s the real tough guy. The working man is the tough guy …” – Robert De Niro as Lorenzo Anello, a bus driver in “A Bronx Tale”, screenplay by Chazz Palminteri.

You may have noticed that Apple’s stock has plummeted, especially after it announced an 18 percent drop in net income for the March quarter. It’s also expecting revenue could fall in the next quarter for the first time since 2003. That’s not to say that Tim Cook isn’t a good CEO, and that Apple still doesn’t have great products and a great all-around technology solution. But Steve Jobs is dead, and it’s not likely that someone with his combination of vision and authority will come along again anytime soon.

Bronx-Tale-Short-LivedYou may also have noticed that within the last couple of years, “social media” have also fallen somewhat flat as a business marketing tool – Facebook has failed to live up to its promise – it has lost roughly half of its value since its IPO. Twitter has the ability (when hacked) to affect the stock market, but its effects seem to be short-lived and not the kind of thing upon which to build a dynasty.

What’s the answer, not only for Apple, but for marketers everywhere? The answer can be found in the words of Robert De Niro, as spoken above: “Now we’ll see who the real tough guys are”. Those who “get up every morning day after day and work for a living”.

* * *

For marketers, that kind of “getting up each day” is much, much easier with an all-around Marketing Automation solution like Eloqua.

We know that Eloqua works. It delivers as advertised. Eloqua had a very successful IPO at $12.00 per share, to be followed up with an acquisition by Oracle at roughly double that amount. Recently, the #2 player in the “marketing automation” field, Marketo, has also filed for an IPO.

These kinds of successes are possible because “marketing automation” works. It yields a measurable benefit for marketing programs. It enables organizations to integrate their sales and marketing teams more tightly than ever before.

Bronx-Tale-StrengthBut while “marketing automation” can yield tremendous results, making it work is not an easy thing to do. It requires cooperation among a number of internal departments, including marketing, sales, and IT. Plus, a proper implementation often requires the help of outside “partner” firms or consultants who can accomplish specific tasks and provide proper training.

The alternative to all that work is being left behind. The good news is that virtually every company that uses a website to sell or market its products can benefit from a well-implemented marketing automation effort.