Don’t you hate seeing a nice luxury car sitting in a garage, collecting dust instead of on the road, where it should be? Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches – sure, these cars look amazing, but they are truly at their best when they are being driven.
Similarly, your enterprise marketing automation platform (MAP) is at its best when it’s being used regularly. Don’t leave it dusted and rusting…fuel it up and take it for a spin! So, let’s take a look under the hood for what makes a MAP successful the more you use it.
Think of Marketing Automation Platforms as Expensive Cars Sitting in Your Garage
Leaving them alone and unused means that, eventually, batteries will lose their charge, tires will lose pressure, all the fuel degrades, and engine fluids go flat.
It’s just the same for your MAP. Obviously, if you’re not using your MAP at all, then it will be a challenge to get it going; you’re not too familiar with it yet, and likely your Marketing Operations Team will need a bit of time to understand the ins-and-outs. But once your MAP is up and running, you’ll quickly find it can get you where you need to go.
It may be tough for some to wrap their head around what a MAP really is. But if you think of this MarTech tool as a vehicle, it can help put things into context (and help you see why it’s such a waste to leave it abandoned). With this chart below, we can see how cool cars and enterprise MAPs actually function pretty similarly!
The Primary Function of Marketing Automation Platforms
When you buy a car, you’re improving your ability to move from one place to another at your own leisure. That’s a clear benefit that will help you reach a 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. 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 before you can make the best out of your purchase.
The Experiential Function of a Marketing Automation Platform
That said, 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:
- Do you want your marketing to be modern and top-notch, or just enough for your needs?.
- 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.
- And you want to advance in your digital maturity.
Of course, it’s not enough to spend a ton of budget on shiny machines. To truly differentiate an experience, both MAPs and sleek cars need their engine to be in tip-top shape and properly fuelled.Not to mention, it’s pretty important to have an experienced operator in the driver’s seat!
What Moves Your Marketing Automation Platform?
In a car, it’s the engine, whether it’s fueled by electricity or gasoline.
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, which workflows you can run, and integrations with your CRM. And there are plenty of software that attempt to disguise subpar performance 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, when the time comes for a tune-up, be sure that you have a budget for accessing these resources.
Content: Fuel for Your Marketing
Software is the engine of the MAP, but engines don’t go very far without fuel. And that fuel is content.
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.
That’s why 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’s 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’s Seat
The person behind the wheel is just as important as having the right fuel and a powerful engine. A bad driver can make a terrible experience out of even the most well-made, 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 skillsets 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. However , those who 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.
Mario Andretti, may have a point: Complacency with your current digital marketing plan is a dangerous option in 2024. 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!