Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The 2 Major Reasons for Marketing Automation Failure at your Manufacturing Company

You've heard all about it, Marketing Automation, that is.  The marketing teams at these software companies are some of the best of the best.  They know how to use content effectively to fill the top of the funnel, drive you (whip you) through the funnel and measure the crap out of everything.  Wow!  You may think to yourself, "If only I too could market like that, my manufacturing company might be able to regain those glory days of double digit growth."

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge believer in the power or marketing automation.  I've been able to use the technology to grow a business as much as 30% year on year with a 22% 5 year CAGR (even after the 'Great Recession' hit the economy)!  The combination of great content and a fully deployed marketing automation platform (MAP) is powerful, but it ain't easy.  I guess if it were easy, we'd all be growing at 30%.

So why is the business landscape littered with underutilized or abandoned MAPs?

There are 2 major reasons that cause failure of MAP implementation and use:

  1. The marketing executive, business culture and marketing resources do not support full implementation.  In order for the MAP to be fully deployed, fully utilized and benefits fully realized, it must be integrated into the business at the strategic level and thoroughly aligned between sales and marketing functions.  
  2. Unwillingness or inability of each and every marketer to understand and utilize all aspects of the MAP tool will doom it to becoming just an expensive email blaster.  A MAP requires a certain culture of technology to permeate throughout the marketing and sales teams.  Each and every marketer should be ready, willing and able to embrace, understand and utilize the MAP tool.  Many organizations will set up what they deem a 'center of excellence' or central team responsible for using the tool.  This is a mistake because this team (sometimes called a digital marketing team) becomes a service center where the members become experts at the tool, but never really understand how it supports the overall strategic marketing plan.  A modern marketing team should be built on modern technology.  Every marketer should understand how the tool supports revenue and/or other business goals.
Without solving both of these problems your MAP will likely end up being relegated to a very expensive email blaster.  Address these two items up front to ensure MAP success.