S&M Forum: making Marketing Automation pay its way
The TMP S&M Forum
21 March, 2014
The promise of Marketing
Automation best practice
lures us to the chamber
of SM, where we learn
of Social Listening, Social
Publishing and the 4Ps of
have a tale to tell that none but the brave
should hear. A tale of revelation, learning
and enlightenment, tempered with dire warning.
For I have emerged unscathed and, I trust, wiser,
from a sojourn in the chamber of SM.
I ventured in with curiosity pounding in my
chest. I had heard, but I had not seen.
Women of ineffable beauty, adorned for power, swayed
with serene elegance before the doors to the soaring,
vaulted interior. Men, shirts agape at their necks,
murmured in earnest anticipation. These were Marketers,
intent on discovering the secrets of the chamber.
Aproned neophytes passed out rainbow potions (or was it us that passed out?), all provided
without apparent charge to the eager congregation. Yet it is an ineluctable Truth that,
just as the Universe cannot contain a lunch for which none are called to account, there’s
also no such thing as a free drink. Or canapés, come to that. The SM Forum would wring
every last drop of intelligent engagement from us before the night was gone.
At last, we were ushered into the SM
chamber itself. Here we would be bound
to our chairs, manacled by our desire for
knowledge. Within these sanctified walls,
three Pauls would hold us in their thrall.
Their text for the evening:
speaks of the cloud, of Marketing Automation at unrivalled scale, of 1:1 experiences and
multiple platforms for customer engagement; he intones the mantra ‘data’; we are seduced
by Marketing Automation case studies and harsh lessons learned from real MA deployments;
invokes the wisdom of Gates; he speaks of the many purposes of Marketing Automation;
we wonder at his temerity and are chastened by dire warnings.
we are amazed by Lions.
Paul The First
Paul The Second
Paul The First had come from the lofty portals of the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, disciples of
the mighty Salesforce.com. He told of a prophecy from the venerable soothsayer Gartner,
who proclaimed that, by 2017, more money will be spent on IT by CMOs than by CIOs.
He spoke of the ever-elusive Holy Grail of marketing:
the personalised, 1:1 customer experience at scale.
Here it was that we first encountered that most hallowed
word of the time-honoured marketing lexicon: data. Paul
Smith bade us wonder at the power of great data when it
is consumed by a rapacious Marketing Automation system.
He recalled the Legend of Unilever, whose ‘Sketches’
campaign for Dove soap scooped 11 Lions D’or at Cannes.
And then we gasped in wonder. Before us on the
billowing fabric, awash with content hewn from the
living PowerPoint, we beheld a dizzying array of
monitors, from which the fruits of an unstoppable
torrent of social media postings flooded into the
consciousness of the Unilever acolytes gathered before
the screens. Here, inscribed on tablets (and smartphones
and PCs), were the words of the very gods of Marketing,
those whom we worship, fear and glorify: Consumers.
Their spirits had been moved by the Sketches campaign and they had given of their bounteous wisdom.
The acolytes, declared Paul Smith, had paid heed and they had learned. By these automated marketing
means did the mighty Unilever gain rich and enlightening insight and brand equity.
nd then was Paul The Second amongst us once
more. He bade us heed the words of the Mighty
Gates, revered Oracle (dare we call him that? Perhaps not,
actually…) revered Fortune Maker of the IT elite:
Thus did Paul The Second command rapt attention, as he took on
the eminence of a recording angel, marking the journey of Marketing
Automation and its many uses.
“Some,” he declared (was there a hint of disdain?), “use it to
automate traditional lead generation campaigns and events. Others
may use it to capture inbound leads from search or social media.”
He spoke of nurturing prospects through to sales pipeline,
of growing and retaining customers, of enabling the sales team.
But then he was transfigured by a great light that seemed to burn
within his soul as he entreated us to do more. To be bold, to
conduct experiments, to find new paths to marketing excellence.
And then, as if possessed by the spirit of one greater than he,
who was yet to come, he uttered a warning that chilled us to
the depths of our bones.
“The first rule of any technology used in
a business is that automation applied to
an efficient operation will magnify the
efficiency. The second is that automation
applied to an inefficient operation will
magnify the inefficiency.”
“Woe,” cried he, “to those who embrace
Marketing Automation without first having
built great marketing teams. Woe to those
who adopt complex solutions without
adequate testing. And woe, woe and
thrice woe to those whose databases are
withered and neglected.”
These were the words of Paul The Second. And then
he was quiet and made way for the one whose
eminence he had foretold.
spreads alarm and despondency with tales of despair and strife; he tempers them
with shining hope and the gospels of Data and Content; we are alarmed by those
who rush to deploy marketing automation at scale all too soon.
Paul The Third
And there came among us a pugnacious Celt
from the clan Stevenson: Paul of that ilk. Paul
The Third was a warrior from the Old Times,
when Marketing Automation was the prerogative
of none but a privileged few.
He shared with us learnings gathered by
tenacious, visionary men and women from the
rarefied climes of O2. He spoke of the suffering,
pain and cold fear that tests the will of all
pioneers – and of the courage that vanquishes
these enemies of innovation and progress.
Read now the words of Paul The Third, a fabled elder of the bold tribe of Marketing
Automaters whose unflinching determination has made straight the paths of all who follow.
Here we set out his Gospel of the Four Ps of Marketing Automation:
Get the right people, with the right skills in the
right positions – your success will depend on it!
Create time, to think through in detail how your department will
function – there is no avoiding it. Document it and agree it!
It all starts with a clear data strategy, then careful consideration of the Marketing
Automation platform. That decision may live with you for a very long time.
This is a marathon and not a sprint. A phased launch approach
allows you to review, adapt and enhance with each new process you
automate. It also allows time to stakeholder manage your sales teams
and senior management, while proving ROI.
Thus spake Paul The Third and we were humbled.
We are beset by servants bearing canapés; we rise from our seats and gather agog
to share what we have seen; we set about the three Pauls, begging for more of their
great wisdom; we sally forth with new hope and resolution in our hearts.
e found at last that the spell of
oration that had gripped us to
our seats was broken, and we were
liberated. In the first flush of glorious
freedom, we networked furiously with
our peers. Many of us gathered at the
feet of the three Pauls to glean further
pearls of hard-won knowledge.
But then, all at once, the doors to
the chamber swung open. Aloof,
unreachable servants brought us
comestibles of indescribable delicacy.
Thieves of the wind from distant
Gaul, viands of uncertain provenance,
enriched with exotic spices,
and – enticing and inviting us –
And then it came to pass that we
stepped out of the Chamber of SM,
and we flagged for taxis, and we
were gone. All agreed that the SM
Forum was a thing of rich purple, and
we vowed to apply the principles we
had learned forthwith, from that day
forward, and for all eternity.