The pace of change in marketing technology continues to accelerate and it is more of a challenge today to keep up than ever before. Some marketers may remember the days of printed documentation for the latest software they purchased. It came on CDs, or if you’re really experienced (read old), on floppy disks.
Learning that new software was a way to do our jobs better, but those incremental improvements pale in comparison to what’s available today. Making a pretty printed newsletter in a word processing program feels like a cave painting when compared to what you can do with marketing automation.
According to a study by Ascend2 about marketing technology strategy, 59% of companies do not fully use the technology they have available.
There are many reasons that explain that stat, but one of them surely has to do with knowing and understanding what is possible and what is proven to be successful. This goes way beyond the lack of a printed manual. Online documentation also only takes you so far in solving this problem.
You can read an untold number of blog posts and ebooks about best practices, technology hacks and successful marketers, and as a creator of some of those materials, this pains me to say, but it really is different to talk about this stuff in person.
Listening to a presentation is a great way to learn what other modern marketers have done with their marketing automation systems. A product roadmap and hands-on demos can also help you dream about the future, but talking and asking questions is a huge benefit of this in-person interaction.
It’s hard to have a conversation with an ebook. Even an interactive one.
Smart presentations are always followed by questions, so you can dig into some detail with someone who has done it, but don’t discount the person sitting next to you. This is your chance to really get into the nitty gritty.
Here are a few conversation starters when you find yourself talking to other marketers about their marketing automation tools.
- What strategic goals are you supporting with marketing automation?
- What do you think about the quality versus quantity debate when it comes to leads?
- What elements are included in your lead scoring model and how do you weight them?
- How many email touches do your nurture campaigns include?
- How far do you go in personalizing your campaigns based on external activities and data?
- Do you have standard nurture campaigns based on persona or are customers more in control of their path based on their actions?
This post originally appeared on the Modern Marketing Blog.