What does being in the
marketing discipline and a salmon swimming upstream have in common? I give the
salmon a lot more chance of successfully making it than most marketeers. What
does this mean for today’s marketeer? What are the key components to focus on?
Is salmon as good for you as they say it is?
There are three distinct
avenues converging in the marketing world today, 1) the need to provide ROI on
all marketing initiatives and to prove out the value and worth of a campaign or
a purchase of marketing automation (more on this later), 2) tracking a client
(B2B) or customer (B2C) is increasingly more complex as more and more channels
become available for them to traverse, 3) the procurement of tools that can
measure “your” needs and deliver the information you need continues to become
So, you can see why I felt
that the salmon has a better chance of success.
In reality, though the
challenges and the value proposition have changed, the journey is not as
upstream as I may have lead on.
The good thing is that
companies are tying ROI to marketing initiatives, campaigns, and purchases;
this is what all other units in a company have been dealing with. This provides
validity on what is happening and it creates a direct connection from the
top-line to the bottom-line, and in the end, it is better to have a baseline to
reference versus subjective conversation.
With respect to tracking
customers, this may be more like traveling upstream, but get use to it, this is
the tsunami of the future. When you confront television service providers
touting access to over 500 stations or the ability to record 10 shows at once,
we know that channel marketing continues to be distilled to a point of creating
a lack of attention by the consumer. So, as a marketeer, do not get frustrated,
you need to get focused.
Concerning marketing automation,
this is almost an oxymoron. The term marketing automation implies that you are
automating what you have historically done in marketing. This could not be
further from reality. What we are doing is interjecting automation into
marketing as a new process to provide access to data to be converted into
information for our use in campaigns and initiatives; we are not automating
what we did, we are adding automation as a new tool.
So, ROI is not a bad thing,
it actually is, as I noted, a good thing to have in your back pocket if you
have done your homework and measured your programs. Concerning B2B and B2C, where
and how the customer finds information will continue to morph into new channels
and options, this is a reality we have to deal with, but with that said, you
know what it is, so do not fight it, go with the flow.
Now we have the automation
part to deal with, I purposely removed the word marketing. This does have its
own inherent challenges as more and more niche solution providers surface, and
just as fast they are acquired by a bigger entity who tries to create an
aggregated solution to offer. You are not automating marketing history, you are
automating your future, you are automating data so that you can distill and
parse it in to manageable information. In some cases you will need to make
business assumptions on your customers so that you can maintain a level of
control over the direction and the volume of data being distilled and parsed,
otherwise you could end up with too much to manage. As you get to know your
customer, you can refine the process and thus make better judgments as they
pertain to selecting and managing automation solutions. The most important
component is getting to know your customer so you can refine the distilling and
parsing in to manageable information.
Just like the salmon that makes
one movement upstream at a time to conserve energy, a Marketeer needs to
integrate automation into their plans one step at a time. There needs to be a
balance between data capturing and ROI measuring or you will end up with
“paralysis by analysis.”
Lastly, yes, salmon is good
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