Marketing has ZERO inherent value
I'm sure that assertion immediately raised some hackles, but seriously....marketing for the sake of marketing is meaningless. There may be some art/entertainment value occasionally (e.g. Budweiser Clydesdales) but generally the value of marketing is in its ability to drive revenue. Period.
And by extension, any expense that can't be correlated to its revenue impact is simply an expense - not the fancy "investment" that's pitched. Of course not every expense is bad or inappropriate, but we've got to have an honest conversation for it to be a productive one.
Technology is no exception. And technology which enables the marketing function should be subject to the same scrutiny.
Regrettably, though, some powerful technology is wasted. Marketing Automation is a suite of tools which has enormous potential to drive revenue well beyond the marketing silo. Yet, because of constraints implicit in its "marketing" moniker the value is almost invariably squandered!
What a pity - the name itself is so pregnant with implications that the power as a sales & top line growth tool is often overlooked because of the artificial construct of separate marketing & sales functions.
How poor is B2B sales & marketing alignment?
Only 9 percent of content created in enterprise marketing departments is viewed more than five times by the sales department, according to Docurated's latest State of Sales Enablement report....But there is a huge divide between the marketing and sales departments — and the sales team is basically ignoring content marketing produces on its behalf...neither sales nor marketing appear to understand what the other is doing...marketing is creating content...sales often has little understanding of the content that exists or where to find it - from David Rowe's (@Druadh20) article Sales to Marketing: Keep Your Crappy Content
Simple solution - forget the name and use it differently
- stage of buying journey
- main problems/challenges
- how active they are in their research
- how soon they're likely to buy
From that marketing can also predict:
- next steps
- other buying team influences
- perceived barriers
- decision criteria
And from that knows which content would be appropriate for that prospect at that time.
So why do they leave sales to flounder and guess? (Not to mention then complain that the content they create isn't used....) Marketing could automatically:
- generate a notification for the sales rep that outlines what they've inferred about the prospect
- predict what they think next steps are
- suggest specific content (include links so there's no question) they think will help advance the project AND build credibility for the sales rep
- project the questions and hesitations the prospect may have and include questions that can help the rep to elicit those issues and preempt them
- even link them to a prepopulated email template that the rep can easily edit and send which provides the key content to the prospect - even in a format which let's the rep see which pages the prospect viewed for how long each!
And all of this can be achieved with the tools many companies already have in place....that are kept close to the vest for marketing.
What's up with that!!??