Marketing Automation Services for
Technology and Service Companies

Marketing Automation Adoption Reality

Leadership and Coaching, Marketing and Sales Alignment, Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Adoption Reality

Great Intentions

Without the right actions those intentions are nothing but expense in most cases when it comes to b2b marketing automation adoption.

What Actions?

As a Portland, Oregon based b2b marketing automation consultant and b2b lead generation consultant who works nationwide I must get results. Results with a high ROI. I work with my clients to take the following action in the following areas that typically deliver results:

  1. Have a realistic plan with enough time given the resources and talents of the client organization.
  2. Get enough of the right content to support both the buying process and the client awareness stages.
  3. Have a good or great website.
  4. Have enough data and data maintenance to make the revenue plan a reality.
  5. Map the staff and contractor resources to the processes and objectives.
  6. Align sales and marketing (or plan on a short engagement).
  7. Integrate the CRM with the marketing automation platform and assure it is understood and used. Let reports drive compliance.
All this assumes company leadership being both willing and able to support and drive execution of the right actions. This is a big assumption.

A Pattern?

Almost everyday I hear a story about an expensive marketing automation platform that is in it’s second year that has either never been used or only been used to send email. In most cases much of the above is missing. The stories are so frequent that they seem to be a bit of a pattern.

The Big Issue

The CEO doesn’t understand the situation well enough to support or indirectly drive execution. They have little or no idea what marketing automation is in general or what it might mean to them in their industry or for their competition. It seems that nobody inside the company is comfortable helping the CEO get enough of the right information to facilitate actionable understanding. I recently heard about a CEO pounding on a table at a board meeting demanding that their marketing automation program would be a success if only they could just get somebody to load a decent list into the system.


In some companies marketing is seen as a strategic driver at the C-Level while at other places it is seen as a money pit for branding and brochure production. When marketing leadership both understands and has a voice the problems above can be managed in most cases. If marketing doesn’t understand or care to understand marketing automation be unlikely to achieve it’s potential and the sales relationship will not improve.


In some companies sales is seen as a strategic driver at the C-Level while at other places it is seen as a money pit for out of control expense accounts and little accountability. When sales leadership both understands and has a voice the problems above can be managed. If sales leadership doesn’t understand or care to understand marketing automation be unlikely to produce an ROI.

Two Things

If motivation and the willing attitude exists we can cope with understanding. If the ability to perform despite the status quo exists it is usually possible to have a voice if people are brave and relevant.

Marketing Automation Adoption Reality

Success with b2b marketing automation is not actually about the list above; it’s about leadership and execution. If the leadership is willing and able a b2b marketing automation consultant with both a sales and marketing background can facilitate understanding and results. If, by contrast, leadership is not willing and able or the consultant does not have the experience in both marketing and sales the an investment in marketing automation is likely a career damaging waste of money.

Hoping for the Best

“If we can get it in I’m sure we can show them results and make it pay”. Famous last words. I have yet to see this scenario work out well for anyone for long.

Narrow and Simple

I have one piece of advance; go narrow and simple. No matter what the willing and able of your leadership if you are tasked with driving adoption of b2b marketing automation just do one product, service or market segment. Keep it all as brutally simple as possible and tweak until you get sales buy-in and sales results. Expand, tweak and optimize until you get a better ROI than the conventional approach could likely achieve. Run until stable and then another product, service or segment. Keep the noise level as low as possible.

Make the Case

Once you feel you can repeat your success and consistently achieve an acceptable level of ROI it’s time to talk about it. Be modest. Be prepared with factual reports and defensible ROI. No wishful thinking. Let your leadership look good and win.Don’t let this be about you. Craft a vision of full deployment and propose real budgets, time lines and staffing requirements. Perform and keep good relations with all and you will win.

What A Pain

For most b2b marketing automation adoption reality is often not a pleasant experience. Go in with your eyes wide open. Work hard. Get help. Never give up. Marketing automation is not going away. Don’t complain about leadership and execution; be the leader and lead the execution.

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