Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Easiest Way to Get Started with Marketing Automation? Answers in the Pictures.

Here’s more proof that the apocalypse is near: I’ve discovered the “remove background” feature in Powerpoint. This makes it even easier for me to doctor photographs for my presentations. The fabric of reality cannot long survive so much stress.

The immediate subject of my attentions is next Tuesday’s Webinar “Marketing Automation: One Step at a Time”, sponsored by Act-On Software.

The dominant image of this Webinar, and the eponymous white paper (available on the RaabGuide web site), is a high stone wall representing the effort required to deploy a marketing automation system. More specifically, the wall represents the effort of a traditional best-practice approach, which requires reviewing all marketing processes, designing new programs, creating new content, and working out alignment with sales. It’s a high wall indeed, and many companies just can’t climb it.

As I wrote in a post last December, several strategies have emerged to deal with this challenge. Now I’m delighted to be able to illustrate them.

Training: The wall is high but marketers can learn to jump higher. What they need is training in the pole vault.

Ease of use: Let’s lower the wall so marketing automation is easier. Apply a jackhammer to knock it down a few feet.

Incremental deployment: Break the deployment process into small, manageable stages. Let’s add a staircase with someone taking baby steps.

Service: Marketers should let specialists do the heavy lifting. The experts can carry them over the wall with a crane.

You’ll be pleased to know that the focus of the Webinar isn’t my new-found graphic capabilities. It’s how to succeed at incremental deployment, the strategy recommended by Act-On. Without giving too much away, the key is starting with the right tasks so you get some immediate benefit and build a foundation for future growth but don’t take on too much at once. Yes, I have some specific suggestions…but you’ll have to tune in to hear them.

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