A #C2C16 Event Primer: Don’t Forget Humans on Your Way to Automation

By @MarkAEvertz
You’ve all seen this #MarTech Nascar slide and probably said what I did when I first saw it.


Not only is it mind-numbingly dense and uninformative as a visual, it unleashes a sense of dread and self-loathing that makes us all want to rethink our chosen career paths.

“Oh my God!  I’m so behind or technically ignorant at my job. I should quit while I still have my sanity and reputation.”

My advice to all of you as you head to this year’s B2B Content2Conversion Conference on February 15-17, be ready and eager to make sure the technology works for you and not the other way around.

That Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) you feel is a key ingredient to what IDC suggested will be a $32 Billion industry by 2018. Without FUD, there is no urgency to purchase and without that urgency there is no purchase.

Before you subject yourself to anymore digital self-flagellation, recognize that you and I and the rest of our fellow humans are the only ones who can actually make this technical gumbo work – or call it out for the false promises that it delivers.

In my front row seat to this over the last decade, I’ve seen  and participated in our manic rush to automate, predict, model and measure marketing and sales operations cause a startling absence of two things that cause major heartburn for marketing and sales leaders.

What’s missing?

 A strategy and the human resources to execute on it in a way that justifies the technology purchase.

At Televerde, I routinely get pulled into discussions with some of the most intelligent B2B marketers in our business who made the purchase of one or more martech or salestech solutions that promise smooth sailing for demand generation, content creation, lead generation and sales optimization. More often than not, these bright minds don’t have a clear path to bring the technology together or the in-house talent to swiftly implement and use it.

My call to arms for all marketing and sales people in 2016 is to stop doing that to yourselves. It really is a self-inflicted wound that can cause sleepless nights, job loss, hair loss, nausea and vomiting.

I’ve written about this previously, but the same holds true today. Here’s a path I recommend to people just like you who get stuck in the “Tech Before Strategy” spiral.

Before you cut the check to automate with the latest cool gadget ask yourself this series of questions.

  1. What do I want to do with the technology I want to buy?
  2. Do I have someone on staff to get the existing technology to integrate and speak well with this purchase?
  3. Do I know who I want to reach out to and what they need to become a purchaser of my product or service?
  4. What did I commit myself to with this purchase?
  5. What tools or talent do I have to be able to prove I met my commitment?
  6. Do I have the appropriate amount of time to prove the effectiveness of this purchase? As an example, marketing automation technology takes roughly 12-18 months to get it all right and report positive numbers. Some peg that at 2 to 5 years! (infographic)?
  7. Who do I have on staff right now that knows how to use what I want to buy?
  8. What is their capacity to think strategically rather than only tactically?
  9. Is there in-house writing and design talent to help me speak differently to each buyer persona I want to reach using this tool?
  10. Can I measure this purchase’s contribution to revenue or a return on investment?

You’ll note above that many of these questions relate to a human being in this sea of apps. Actually, several humans.

  • You’ll need a human to research the market need and buyer preference.
  • A human will connect the plumbing and those to execute campaigns.
  • A human will create the content and campaigns that dazzle your prospects.
  • Another one will qualify those prospects to sales-ready leads.
  •  And still another will help you measure whether or not you met your goals and where you need to optimize.

It should come as no surprise to any of you that I’m going to be waxing on this very subject in a workshop titled: “From Contact To Close: Integrating Digital, Nurture and the Human Touch”

I look forward to connecting soon!

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