It was only a few years ago that I considered myself a sophisticated agency marketer. I worked with this UK-based B2B marketing agency that used all the right words in their slogans. Words like ‘demand generation’, ‘measurement’, ‘results driven’. I remember because I spoke them out loud when pitching to new clients.
I talked to clients about well designed brochures, paced email blasts (ugghhh), ebooks and minisites. The tools of the trade, or rather the tools of the studio, were photoshop and some email marketing service whose name I can’t recall. The pinnacle of sophistication was this tool that converted PSDs or some other shit to fancy Flash ebooks, you know, the ones with the flipping page effect. Our customers were ordering these fuckers by the dozens.
‘Demand Generation’ was a fancy word to wrap around run-of-the-mill creative agency services. ‘Measurement’ was code name for flat traffic stats from minisite analytics and sent-open-click reports from that blasted email marketing service. ‘Results Driven’, well, meant nothing. Because results were never measured. Not one of my clients, all seasoned B2B marketers at multi-national organizations, really wanted to see results.
Sure, they talked about wanting to see campaign results, but never cared and almost always neglected to follow up when the time came. In fact, some of them were outright scared of results. Not surprising, considering that they were never measured on results. Why bring an elephant to a room that’s already too crowded to fart in, they likely thought to themselves.
Instead, let’s wallow in fluffy “brand awareness” and “PR pickup” and, OMG we’re so cool, the number of facebook likes our latest blog post received. It’s not like we even know what the unit’s sales quota is, or who bloody owns it
oh look, a butterfly!
My best campaign pitch ever was wasted on a project where the key indicator of success was the fact that the far-removed company CEO became aware enough of the campaign that he mentioned it in some internal meeting.
It was a beauty of a campaign. It had zero real results. You know, like, leads.
It was the last campaign I ever pitched. shortly after, I discovered a wonderful new world.
Fast forward 2.5 years.
I’ve now got over 15 marketing automation implementations under my belt. I started my own consulting firm that helps companies select marketing tech and implement it, in the interest of optimizing their top and mid marketing funnels. Not one of my clients or prospects would ever say ‘brand awareness’ in the context of our joint work. And when I say ‘measurements’ and ‘KPIs’, I bloody well mean it. And I have the tools to deliver them.
I never looked back.