Seth Godin has highlighted a very important issue I try to explain when I consult with Healthcare IT marketing folks about Marketing Automation. See his blog - click here.
At a recent Healthcare IT Marketing and PR conference in Las Vegas, I spoke about Marketing Automation. Before I got on stage, many people asked me about the conflict between automation and personalized marketing.
The common mis-conception surrounding Marketing automation (with B2B sales) has been that this technology removes the human element and lumps all potential clients as 'all the same'.
Marketing Automation is not Mass Marketing
First, marketing automation is a label given to a 'tool', not a process. The tool helps define a process you establish. If I use the tool to club everyone as 'all the same', then it becomes a mass marketing system. On the other hand if I use this tool to really understand and segment every potential client by trying to understand their specific needs, behavior, and other characteristics, that is totally different.
I fully appreciate that you cannot rely on a tool to do everything so that you can go and play golf and expect the system to bring in sales. Marketing automation ideally works with you as an 'assistant' that does mundane tasks for you, reminds you at the appropriate time and alerts you where necessary.
More importantly, it helps you think about your successful processes and refine them. It helps you evaluate what works and what does not. It helps align sales and marketing departments with their mutual goals.