Marketing automation is nothing new to the modern marketer. But with so many options available these days, it can be overwhelming when deciding on a platform or vendor. Even after purchasing a platform, many marketers are often guilty of underutilizing the product. So how can marketers make the best decision when choosing a marketing automation package and ensure that they get the most out of it?
Tell us a little about your role at Vocus.
I am the chief marketing and product officer. I hold three primary roles which include crafting and then developing the product road map, driving interest in the company and our products (very revenue and lead gen focused), and building general awareness of our brand/building partnerships.
In your opinion, why is marketing automation so valuable to modern marketers?
I believe there are three major reasons why marketing automation is so vital to the success of modern marketers:
- It saves time and money. The technology allows you to coordinate and simplify all the little tasks marketers have to do. This frees up time to allow marketers to focus on strategy and creativity.
- It collects and tracks data. Marketing automation helps you understand what works and what doesn’t. Marketers have a lot of goals they’re accountable for and trying to reach; we need to understand what’s working and what isn’t. If we don’t have this information, we don’t know if or when we’re in trouble.
- It helps you get new business. In the end, a marketer should ultimately be thinking about how they contribute to sales within their organization. More and more, marketing is being tied into a company’s sales process and its success.
Most marketers are aware that marketing automation can benefit their teams, but are often overwhelmed when looking at choosing a platform. Any tips on what marketers should look for when considering a marketing automation partner?
There are three elements I recommend keeping in mind. First, make sure the platform you choose has the right level of technology for your needs. If you are part of a more sophisticated department with lots of people, lots of customers, and an abundance of resources, look for platforms with highly customizable and powerful software.
If, on the other hand, you’re part of a smaller team, all sharing resources and without much technical expertise, it would be better to find a platform that is more simple and easier to implement.
Next, consider which part of the marketing process is most important to you. Some of the more traditional platforms focus more on the lead management process. Other platforms help with awareness building. Ask yourself—and the vendor—what part of the sales funnel the platform is going to help your team focus on.
Lastly, decide if you are trying to buy just the software or the software and the services many vendors offer as well.
Is there any particular campaign or client work that you’re particularly proud of?
We’ve recently taken on a project that’s different from anything we’ve done before—we produced a Modern Marketing Manifesto. In releasing the Manifesto, we wanted to make a statement on what marketing automation is all about. We have a strong point of view and felt compelled to share it. Additionally, it allowed us to show a little of Vocus’ emotion and personality, which can be hard for a company to do. I believe that companies who are not afraid to show personality will evolve well over the next decade.
In the campaign launching the Manifesto, we connected with marketers over social media and asked them what they thought about the current state of marketing and the many changes that it has undergone recently. We received over 500 responses and incorporated them into the Manifesto.
What are you looking forward to most at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit?
Potomac Tech Wire and Capital Communicator are my daily reads, so I’m definitely expecting great content and to learn something new. I’m also excited to meet local marketing heroes. I relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area about two years ago, so I’m still getting to know my East Coast peers and am eager to get to personally meet and engage with them.
In addition to the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, I hear Vocus is hosting its own conference, Demand Success 2014 in June. Tell us a little bit about the event. What can attendees expect?
This is a fantastic event! Each year when we plan the conference, we ask ourselves three questions: “How do we inspire the attendees?,” “How do we help educate?,” and “How do we make it super fun?” We think hard about the cadence of the conference.
We have a great speaker lineup. Speakers range from customers to industry leaders. Keynote speakers include former Facebook marketing executive Randi Zuckerberg, actor and entrepreneur Adrian Grenier, Google’s Avinash Kaushik, and the inspiration for ABC’s hit show “Scandal” Judy Smith. Attendees will definitely walk away with best practices and tips pertaining to all parts of the marketing funnel. It’s a fast-paced, enjoyable event (just check the tweets from last year!).
This year the event is being held June 5-6, 2014, at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. For more information or to register, click here.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Marketing is a very exciting place to be right now. I’ve worked in the PR/Marketing industry since 1998 and our industry has always been the next software frontier. We are finally here! The digital revolution has overrun the marketing industry and modern marketers have a unique opportunity to revolutionize efficiency of our spend and have good visibility into their investments. The next 10 years is going to be exciting to watch!