Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Kristin Connell, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing and Content Strategy at Deltek, provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. Kristin’s focused on driving an evolved digital marketing culture, resulting in innovative ways for Deltek to connect with customers and prospects. She’s a strategic leader with expertise in marketing automation, architecting marketing technology ecosystems and amplifying content marketing. Kristin is also a proud marketing nerd. Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinConnell.
“It’s only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve. This is our moment.” -Professor Barnhardt, The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Marketers today – while not facing a civilization-wide threat of destruction from an alien species (at least, I’m 98% sure that we’re all good) – are, as Professor Barnhardt so eloquently states, “on the brink.” How so? First, the world evolved from analog to digital. Then, buyers shifted from being controlled to being in control. Finally, the marketing technology landscape exploded. There are hundreds – if not thousands – of marketing platforms, tools and apps to help marketers keep pace with the digital evolution and shifting buyer behaviors. Given all of this, marketing could already very easily be spinning out of control, if not for a relatively small set of marketers that have evolved with the times – Modern Marketers. These individuals are helping their organizations to not just survive, but thrive, in the midst of the potential for mayhem.
In the evolution of my own experience, I have found these three truths to help balance being on the brink in the midst of marketing technology mayhem:
1. There is no strategy in a box. It’s important to remember to align your marketing technology ecosystem to your business objectives rather than vice versa. A strategic plan is the key to driving valuable results (see Truth #3). And just to be clear “emails blasts,” “spray and pray” and “let’s just see what sticks” are not strategies.
2. Automating chaos gives you automated chaos. It’s not all about what you do with the marketing technology - you still have to consider what’s being done around it. What processes do you have – do you need – to more effectively manage and measure your marketing driven by technology? This is an entire post by itself. Seriously.
3. Show me the money is king. If you launch a new marketing technology and no results are measured, does it exist? In the infamous words of Jerry McGuire, it’s all about “showing the money,” i.e., results. Even poor results can be leveraged as learnings for corrective actions. Results are the new black.
As a leader in Eloqua’s Modern Marketing community Topliners, I recently polled my fellow marketers as to “what’s on your mind” in regards to marketing technology. Two of five options rose to the top with 31% of the votes - I’d like to comment on the two here:
Content discovery and distribution - Modern Marketers are rethinking content marketing strategies to connect the dots of campaign ("experience") initiatives with emerging channels.
Comment: I like to take a “put yourself in the buyer’s shoes” approach here to optimize the buyer experience across channels. Consider the appropriate tone for each. Build a transparent interlock between your marketing technologies – from Outbrain, Vidyard, Bizo or Eloqua – for example, as I walk the path, I ask myself “now what?” and “so what?” frequently (and mostly aloud).
Crossover with sales-oriented areas - Modern Marketers are carrying more sales-oriented responsibilities, so increased involvement in key tasks such as lead qualification, inside sales team management and sales operations will be critical.
Comment: Get started by answering “What’s in it for me?” for your sales teams. Keep it simple. Drive timely, relevant data into CRM to increase adoption and value. Eloqua’s Profiler is a key player for us.
Modern Marketers all over the world have been on the brink – most likely, over the edge and back again too many times to count. What makes them “modern” is that they’ve found the will to change – to drive themselves out of their comfort zones to evolve and adapt – to survive and thrive – successfully mitigating the mayhem inherent within today’s marketing technology landscape. Modern Marketers – this is our moment!