Automated Marketing. How’s A Client to Choose?


Automated Marketing, Lead Generation, CRM, Database Marketing is all the rage today.

Let the internet do it Mikey.

I learned a lot about automated marketing when I was conducting an agency review for j2 Global a few years ago. They offer products like eFax, eVoice and onenbox and are all about acquisition, retention and win back programs.

When I conducted my search I found it a complex landscape. There were your software providers like Eloqua, Magneto, and other software solutions. There were direct marketing firms that claimed to implement digital lead gen. There were digital agencies that also said they implemented customer acquisition programs. There were Direct Response agencies that said they implement lead gen. They all claimed to offer the best solution.

What it hype or reality? I felt as if I was in a blender of promises.

In the end the client chose a hybrid solution.

I network often and have attended a number of Conferences this year. Today many people hand me a card saying Marketing Automation, CRM, or lead gen. I never got those cards a few years ago.

During the course of my day I connect with a number of agencies. I check out their sites to learn what they do. Some position themselves as a full service digital marketing and advertising agency that specializes in customer acquisition and retention along with content strategy and performance marketing. They also implement optimization, analytics, PPC, SEO, Display and Social Media. All while having less than 10 employees.

Quite the skill set. Do I believe it? Not a chance. But clients don’t know.

I also meet online media buying companies which offer their version of lead gen. They promise media planning and buying, advertising, digital marketing, conversion rate optimization, and customer acquisition.

And then there are the companies that offer Programmatic Media Buying as the way to acquire new customers. They may throw in PPC and SEO as well.

Then I get connected to a new boutique Software company that offers a cloud based marketing automation platform for thousands of satisfied customers. Big accomplishment for a boutique shop. But is it credible? Over promise is the foundation of eventual disappointment.

Some people may say that this is the convergence of digital, online media buying, CRM and other solutions. I think it is confusion. Convergence happens when there is clarity. Like when the Great Recession, Social Media and Technology occurred at the same time.

The outcome of that is the New Normal.

The rest is a blender of offerings, keywords for client’s Google searches and confusion. Have fun figuring out this landscape.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Read: Are Marketers Still Stewarts of the Brand.

What’s Wrong with Client Agency Relationships?


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