Marketing Automation — Only Half The Solution

Lead Nurturing ‌• March 14, 2011

There is a lot of talk in the market right now about how marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and toolsets can help marketers solve all their lead generation and nurturing problems.  But marketing automation alone is no silver bullet.  And lets face it, software that automates processes comes with an inherent but unstated assumption – all assume there is an existing process to automate.  This reality gap is the market space that OppSource was founded.

People ask us what does OppSource do?  We do 95% of the dirty work involved in lead generation and nurturing that most marketing and sales organizations know needs to get done, but don’t have a process, the people, or the extra time to do. Much of that dirty work involves two things; finding the right people, and making sure that everyone we’ve found gets properly followed up with and nurtured, often over long periods of time. We call the work we do “oppsourcing” and it is so powerful of a concept that we trademarked it — OppSourcing™.

Organizations that sell complex offerings in a business-to-business (B2B) mode, usually can’t make the sale to the one or two people that have come to a trade show, responded to an email, or even attended a webinar. These contacts are usually just a few of the people that are involved in buying a complex offering inside a large organization. Think of them as the scouts who are pioneering the way for their organization through a long and arduous buying journey.

Getting to their tribe of colleagues and the tribal leaders who commissioned their scouting party is a process we call Account Optimization. It involves all the classic research work that enterprising sales executives have done for decades but in today’s time-constrained world don’t have any extra time to do. It also involves engaging this tribe with the right kind of provocative content to create “bigger than life” buzz that otherwise would not happen if we only focused on the the contacts (scouts) who reveal themselves to us. This process requires expertise that is a mix of marketing and a mix of sales. In most organizations, this hybrid set of skills and expertise does not exists. Marketing buys off on the idea that marketing automation tools by themselves can somehow handle all that needs done when it comes to lead generation and lead nurturing.  This sets in motion a process that only communicates with a limited set of the people who are truly involved in a B2B buying process.

If you are considering buying a marketing automation tool or have recently implemented one, you may want to investigate how you are “optimizing” your account records with the other buying contacts that matter. If you would like to learn more about how you should be filling this gap in your organization, feel free to download our white paper “Six Pillars of Lead Management.”

Sam McCue
Inbound Marketing guru, avid fisherman, and all-around backcountry enthusiast.

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