When Marketing Automation is Overwhelming

Creative Commons by foxtongue


As B2B companies start adopting Marketing Automation at a faster rate, there has already been backlash regarding the use of such a necessary platform.  

We’ve seen one company use three platforms in as many years.  We’ve seen one rush into Marketing Automation without processes in place, and without coordination with the Sales team which was running the CRM platform.  We’ve seen the trained end user leave a company and the efforts fall by the wayside.  We’ve seen companies spending more money on Marketing Automation than they did on their former Email Service Provider, only to use the platform without scoring, without nurturing, without progressive profiling, without A/B testing – in other words, as merely a glorified email app.

Most troubling, however, is we’ve just spoken with a company going “cold turkey” and dumping its Marketing Automation altogether.  How can they do that, you say?  Most Marketers we have spoken with over the years who have been fortunate enough to implement Marketing Automation don’t want to have it taken away.  So what is going on?

Simply put, they are a small startup that produces high end videos.  Most of the employees are production-oriented and the one dedicated salesperson (the CEO sells too, of course) was given the job of managing the Marketing Automation platform.  He actually did a great job investigating platforms and settled on the HubSpot solution.  We blogged about HubSpot last year, saying it had come a long way since its purely “inbound marketing” positioning and had a great UI for less sophisticated users.  We subscribed to the company’s newsletters and thought they did a good job reaching out.

But that wasn’t enough – and it was explained that the company’s decision was not based on any shortcoming of the HubSpot platform, but rather the bandwidth of the individual responsible for managing it.  Holding a quota and running a Marketing Automation platform is more than just a “hot seat,” it’s downright self-sabotaging.  They know the benefits of Marketing Automation but can’t get out of the hole of work it creates, thus negatively impacting revenue.  That’s Marketing Automation’s dirty little secret if you’re a small company.  While it automates and does things at a scale never before dreamed of by an enterprise, it also demands almost constant monitoring and creation of content.

So what is a company like this going to do – put the blindfold back on?  We hope not.  Allinio offers agency-like demand generation services to augment a resource strapped company at affordable prices.  You will be seeing more agencies pop up doing this because lean and mean companies, a concept from way back in the eighties, have to adapt but also have to allocate resources wisely.  Not using Marketing Automation is not a wise direction to take, but not burning out is also a prudent path.

The bottom line is that what matters to Sales is qualified leads, not specifically who produced them or on what platform they were nurtured.  Ultimately that should be seamless so therefore is now becoming pure service.  What do you think?



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