Marketing automation is focused on a premise of nurturing leads to build trust for a ready sales engagement. That’s the idea at least. It’s the doctrine, but like many good doctrines, there are pundits and posers. There are those that love to rally around the marketing of an idea more than practice it.
Beware Of Marketing Automation Talking Heads
Our team has had some interesting interactions lately with companies and people who are seeking to make a dollar from software and advice in the marketing automation space. We were approached by Marketo for example who continually called our 800 number because they are tracking some errant site clicks which their system purports is one of us. It’s an inside sales job and the persistence is typical of a sales-minded person. The dialogue is not around value. It is around selling us software, though we are not candidates. If their marketing automation software works, then shouldn’t I feel ready to buy rather than annoyed that they are calling?
Now, we are not knocking Marketo, specifically. We see the behavior across the board with vendors, other consultants and marketing opportunists. The competition is fierce for software providers. There has been a lot of venture money invested. Despite their gospel of what their software can do, they approach sales similarly to many other cold calling organizations. It’s aggressive and about them.
We pose these questions:
- What does an aggressive selling engagement say about the effectiveness of your marketing automation process?
- Just because I click, does it mean you can call me? Why would that be more welcome?
- Why can’t you wait for me to call in when I’m ready?
- What does your cold calling do to your brand and value perception?
I think the questions are valid. If the software is so great, then why act contrary to its design and promises?
If you buy marketing automation software, note how you are handled and approached in sales. Did the automation truly nurture you and build trust? That’s talking strategy. Maybe that’s the key. It’s a different focus than just software.
What would it look like if your products or services were bought rather than sold? Feel free to comment.