Don’t make marketing automation so murky

“Maybe you had too much too fast, or just overplayed your part.” – Robert Hunter

Despite the constant chatter in b2b sales and marketing departments about the importance of marketing automation to drive revenue, the adoption rate of such programs remains decidedly low, according to a report released late last year by SiriusDecisions. “Tech-savvy marketers thought, ‘It’s so easy,’ [to implement] marketing automation plans. But it’s not as easy as everybody thought,” said Chris Parisi, VP-Tech at Bulldog Solutions.

Parisi and Sam Weber, GM and COO of Genius.com, sought to alleviate some of the confusion in b2b precincts about marketing automation during a recent Webinar, titled, “State of Marketing Automation 2011: Tactics & Technologies You Can’t Live Without.” The webinar, which focused on how marketers are incorporating and managing marketing automation programs, was sponsored by Genius.com and Bulldog Solutions and moderated by Amanda Batista, managing editor of Demand GenReport.

A big part of the problem in implementing marketing automation programs is that b2b sales and marketing reps try to do too much too fast and end up complicating the process, according to Weber. “Don’t try to boil the ocean,” he said. Weber provided a few essentials that b2b sales and marketing reps should follow to incorporate (and sustain) marketing automation programs into the enterprise:

  • Familiarize the appropriate departments with the basics of marketing automation.
  • Execute results and make sure that throughout the process information flows to the sales team and that sales reps are aware of the kind of conversations that are in the pipeline.
  • Iterate the program over time to improve its overall effectiveness and enhance communications between sales and marketing execs. Don’t try and cement the program from its inception. Let it grow.