It amazes me that as marketers, we’re typically not only the best curators of filters, buzzwords and bloated vernacular (pun intended), but also the most likely to buy into the very buzz we create. For example…
Which of these are real and lasting? And which will put a big, fat filter on your budget? For now, we’ll focus on one: marketing automation. And, more specifically, “through partner” marketing automation (TPMA).
Data: The “Anti-Filter”
I’ll start by saying this: when done properly, marketing automation can be a powerful lead-generating, sales-boosting super tool. In fact, B2B marketers who implement marketing automation software increase their sales pipeline contribution by an average of 10% (Forrester Research, 2015). And nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads (DemandGen Report).
85% of B2B marketers using a marketing automation platform feel that they’re not using it to its full potential. (SiriusDecisions)
Nearly one in four respondents found marketing automation systems too complex to be used effectively. (B2B Online)
64% of B2B marketers have no formal process to manage their marketing automation. (Fathom)
And it’s that last two statistic that marketers, and channel marketers in particular, need to worry about the most. If direct marketers are still struggling to implement marketing automation for their own organizations using best-of-breed solutions, how on earth can you expect to implement a solution for dozens of partners or resellers using a ho-hum solution with a few employees in Chicago or Durham?
Content is More Important Than You Think
Ever tried marketing automation without great content? Here’s a hint: IT DOESN’T WORK. And that’s where the “automation” part of marketing automation gets really tricky — you need really smart people working really, really hard at creating great, relevant copy that resonates with readers. Not spammy, useless noise that will end up in the Trash folder. Then you need really smart people working really, really hard at mapping and creating the workflows and algorithms to automate your automation.
And for TPMA? Count on 10x the work and 10x the budget. How’s that for a filter?
That 4-Letter Word Again: Data
The most successful brands monitor their marketing using data and analytics. In fact, when asked to pick their top marketing technology trends for 2016, marketing strategists ranked customer intelligence and analytics as a top-five priority. Yet only 38% say they can easily access valuable insights into how customers interact with their content across.
Good analytics are essential for channel marketing. But it shouldn’t take a scientist or a huge budget to get them.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Marketing automation and TPMA software won't always do what you've been promised. You need to leverage your own solutions for a better return on your investment. Focus on customer success, and never automate old marketing processes if you want to generate valuable prospects. #NoFilter