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Snow angels in money: CMOs discuss the future of marketing automation

3 min

At one point Friday morning, one of our CMO Coffee Talk regulars started a Beautiful Mind-esque soliloquy on what the “perfect” marketing automation platform would include – features, integrations, etc. Her mic drop moment at the end, was simply “and that would be snow angels in money.”

It was an entertaining exclamation mark on two hours of discussion amongst B2B chief marketing officers sharing their frustrations and hopes for marketing technology capabilities moving forward.

Below is a summary of highlights from the chat at both the East and West Coast sessions. If you are a B2B CMO or head of marketing we’d love to have you join this amazing group as well.

Marketing automation is the orchestration of marketing, not just email.

Control Tower is how I look at it.

Lead scoring: where everything is made up and the points don’t matter!

Sending from a MAP to enterprise leads may actually get blocked by firewalls. Thus the reason they don’t engage. Putting them through on individual email or sales engagement platform alleviates this in our experiences.

If you’re a startup and have a small marketing team, Marketo can be total overkill. IMO the user interface is HORRIBLE and you need a true Marketo expert to set it up and run it, whereas HubSpot is much more intuitive and you can figure it out without specialized training. For most startups, HubSpot is a great place to start.

Lead scoring in MAP is so arbitrary and typically never changes. Never understood why somebody didn’t make it dynamic.

Our Marketo has become a giant pile of API’s connecting to Pendo in product, other trial data, analytics platforms we’re spinning up, and ABM predictive tool. It’s valuable because it’s a spider-web of integrations that lead to meaningful contextual communications and predictive scoring that has tremendousy increased conversion.

Also fun to connect Drift/ClearBit + ABM with Marketo to do sophisticated stuff too.

Its certainly a lot easier to not do a MAP if you are starting from scratch, vs removing it from an existing stack. At my previous company it would have been a massive project to remove Marketo.

We ruthlessly purge our database every year and keep it lean. Anyone not active in 1+ year.

Natural state of marketers is to be a “hoarder” of names, but it does feel good to “Marie Kondo” when we do it.

Pardot looks “cost-effective” on the surface but it’s super expensive on the admin ppl side, none of the Pardot build processes scale like they do in MKTO. Pardot does wonky things pricing wise so initial entry looks cheap but it adds up quickly on features (the Salesforce way of doing business).

Its counter-intuitive, but it’s best to only email people who engage with your emails. You’d be amazed how your email performance will skyrocket

Unsubscribe link should be obvious and easy to find. Make it EASY for prospects to opt themselves out, vs. not opening your emails, or worse, flagging you as a spammer.

I think for B2B the difference between contacts and leads is irrelevant.

Death to the lead object!

Orchestration is appealing, but identity resolution and linking data is going to be the key to marketing success IMHO.

In the end that’s what’ll kill MAP probably. People tired of deep cleaning.

I was on Marketo’s Exec Advisory board. The contact / pricing model was our biggest beef. They didn’t want to hear it.

Part of the pain comes from needing multiple tools/integrations to get what you actually want vs the budget for tools that you actually have.

My new gig they have an 8 year old Marketo instance, I haven’t started but I logged in the other day and lost consciousness for several hours.

The ideal system should remove friction from the buying process and increase customer satisfaction with the purchase.

A Goal for our “Marketing Automation” — to know where best to spend $$$ for best return. So CMOs can go to CFNos and justify the return on a marketing investment.

Bring context, guidance, and expertise anytime you engage the customer. You need to be able to append and access the data on the record in real-time.

I often tell my team…”think about how many emails and calls you get”.. “what engages you and why?” “What would be the ideal experience, pre and post purchase.”

If your ex-girlfriend got your lead follow-up sequence, would she call you back or call the police?

Our latest “break through the noise” for SDR engagement has been using SalesReach. It’s a new platform that combines PointDrive with Loom.

Personalization is tricky and needs to walk a fine subtle “helpful” & “value add” tone. Being in security space, personalization & being in their face that we are tracking them aka you said this on LinkedIn turns them off…(it turns me off too when I get an SDR that takes one of my LinkedIn copy/paste without context).

Matt Heinz

Matt Heinz

Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15+ years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.

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