It would be a shame to spend a small fortune on an expensive car, only for it to sit in your garage, rarely used. That will be the case if you have no fuel for the car, if you have no one to drive it, no passengers that need it, or nowhere to take it in general.
This depressing story is something that happens to many modern organizations—except it’s not an expensive vehicle that they leave rusting in a garage, it’s their enterprise marketing automation platform (MAP).
Think of Marketing Automation Platforms as Expensive Cars Sitting in Your Garage
It would be inconceivable for an average household to have a car and not use it.
It may be tough for some to wrap their head around what a MAP really is. But if you think of your MarTech as a vehicle, it can help put things into context (and help see why it’s such a waste to leave it abandoned).
|Function||Cool Car||Enterprise MAP|
|Primary function||Move passengers from point A to B||Move prospects in a lead management process|
|Experiential function||Impress passengers with quality of ride, technology, look and feel||The customer experience you create|
|Propulsion system||Gasoline or electric engine||The marketing automation platform and other integrated MarTech|
|Fuel||Combustible gas or electricity||Campaigns and content|
|Operator||Driver||Marketing Operations Team|
|Higher purpose function||Convenient, reliable, transportation||Your demand generation strategy|
The Primary Function of Marketing Automation Platforms
If you buy a car, improving your ability to move from one place to another is a clear goal.
If you buy a MAP, you’ve most likely been sold on its ability to move people from the top of a sales funnel to becoming happy customers. Or in other words, you’ve bought it to execute revenue marketing.
At the end of the day, that’s what a MAP does. But like a fancy car, there’s so much more to understand, master, and love.
The Experiential Function of a Marketing Automation Platform
You don’t go and get a Ferrari if all you need is something to get you from here to there. You want to feel its power, you want your passengers to remember the ride, you want others to take notice.
When you invest in a MAP, it’s a similar story. You want your marketing to be modern and top notch. You want it to stand out from all the other marketing that your direct and indirect competitors churn out. Your prospects in your MAP move down the funnel and should be given an incredible experience. You want to advance in your digital maturity.
Of course, it’s not enough to spend a ton of budget on shiny machines. For the true differentiating experience, both MAPs and sleek cars need their engine to be in tip-top shape, be properly fuelled, and have an experienced operator at the helm.
What Moves the Marketing Automation Platform?
In a car, it’s the engine.
For a MAP, it’s the technology. Like a high performance engine, software is complex, needs maintenance, and certainly not all software is created equal. There are many limitations in terms of how you schedule nurture streams, what workflows you can run, integrations with your CRM, and lots of attempts to disguise subpar software with superficial features.
If you’re going to own a top tier vehicle or a top tier MAP, you need to make sure the engine is well maintained, can be upgraded or modified properly if needed, etc. The specialized mechanics of the MAP world are seasoned marketing operations experts and digital marketing technologists—so be sure that you have a budget for accessing these resources when the time comes for a tune-up.
Content: Fuel for Your Marketing
Software is the engine of the MAP, but engines don’t go very far without fuel.
Your MAP can only take you as far as you have content to feed it. And like all high performance machines, the quality of the fuel is a critical consideration.
In the world of cars, reliable and regulated fuel is readily available at the pumps or the charging station. Unfortunately there’s no such thing for MAPs—while you can certainly find many vendors willing to sell you content, there’s no universal standard. Your content has to be tailored to your brand, strategy and goals. Speak to us about modern content marketing techniques like nurture strategies for different journeys and resource centers.
This is where a strong creative team or third party agency delivers value. They are your fuel refineries, using tools like storytelling, psychology and design to find the perfect blends for your MAP engine.
However, it is important to understand the creative content alchemists are not always the same people who actually drive the car.
The Marketing Operations Team in the Driver Seat
The person behind the wheel is as important as the right fuel and a powerful engine. A bad driver can make a terrible experience out of even the fanciest of cars.
Similarly, if you don’t have a team member without the correct skills to actually operate the MAP, the whole dynamic falls apart. These people may be the same people as your marketing specialists or CRM admins, but do not make the critical error of assuming that this is true. Just as fuel chemists and mechanics have different skill sets from professional drivers, your marketing ops team may consist of individuals distinct from these other roles.
The Destination: Your Demand Generation Strategy
Usually you’re not going from point A to B for no reason at all. The car that moves you there, fancy or not, is fulfilling a greater purpose. Maybe it’s only groceries, maybe it’s the road trip of a lifetime. Either way, the vehicle provides its owner with a personal, convenient and reliable transport option.
The MAP’s higher purpose is to fulfill your demand generation strategy. It creates more marketing qualified leads (MQLs), but the how, who, why, when, where and what of those prospects is in some ways more important than simply getting more of them. Perhaps you’re executing an Account Based Marketing strategy or deepening your relationship with Sales.
No matter your mission, if your MAP is sitting in the garage it’s not part of the solution! Make sure the engine works, fuel it up, hire a qualified driver and start delivering incredible customer experiences.
Should You Be Investing in a Map at All?
Not everyone needs a Ferrari, it’s true.
But in today’s day and age, those that choose not to take part in the technological race risk falling behind, and falling behind quickly. The risk is particularly high for larger organizations that are traditionally slower to react to changes in their digital transformation process.
Luckily, the MAP is key in your digital marketing maturity so should be your investment. Reach out to the Macro team to find the right platform for you.
“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti, F1 Racer
Mario Andretti, may have a point: complacency with your current digital marketing plan is a dangerous option in 2020. A high performance MAP may indeed be what your business needs to catch up. So long as you have the team ready to run it!
How We Can Help
Over the years, companies have trusted Macro to provide award-winning magical customer experiences powered by sales and marketing technologies. Our teams of specialists are racecar drivers, mechanics, and fuel synthesizers—at least when it comes to MAPs. We are happy to help your organization determine if a MAP is right for you, and if so, how to run it to realize maximum return on your investment.