Something is changing in the world of marketing automation. Something big. For years marketers have focused a lot of attention on the technology vendors who invented this thing called marketing automation. Eloqua, Pardot, Hubspot, Act-on, Neolane, Aprimo, Adobe, Marketo – these are some of the technology companies that spawned a new software category aimed at helping organizations take their marketing online where buyers and customers meet sellers and influencers.
These companies deserved our attention for the pace at which they grew this market through innovation. And they get a big hand from marketers like me who jumped in early buying their software to help companies reinvent marketing in the digital age. But now it’s time to draw the curtains on act one and give a big round of applause to the new stars of the marketing automation revolution: the tens of thousands of marketers around the world who make automation happen every day.
This shift in emphasis from attributing great marketing results to the raw power of the technology to the people who make it work is a good thing. It’s happening right now because the technology capabilities have advanced faster than businesses can find, hire, train and retain people with the skills necessary to make the systems work right for their business. Marketing automation isn’t about automating your marketing. It’s about rethinking your marketing and its place in your business to take advantage of what these tools offer.
So while the vendors continue to duke it out and consolidate, and while industry experts try to discern which platform is better than the other – watch and listen for where this revolution is playing out today. Pay attention to the everyday marketing heroes who figure out how to drive marketing forward in an era of constant change and no standards.