The advent of “marketing automation” seems to have really revved up the marketing communications/sales enablement teams in many companies. Unfortunately, as often happens with shiny new tools, people get carried away. This can be further compounded by the marketer’s (or at least marketing communications) dilemma of trying to appear relevant.
In the “what have you done for me lately,” marketing accountability, marketing ROI driven world today, marketers are often desperate to “prove their worth.” Sales enablement activities are often the shortest link to that prize. And with new automation tools, it is even easier to think less and do more. And as long as you have a lead scoring system, what could possibly go wrong?
We see many examples, but our office manager noted this one. Our office is located near the San Francisco 49ers stadium. As such, the landlord appears not 100% sure what may happen to the space. Will it be re-zoned and then we have to move, or…? This leads to lack of upgraded infrastructure, notably communications. The only provider to our office park is AT&T and I am pretty sure the line in was an original limited speed data line as the service is mediocre in terms of data speed. And AT&T appears to have no plans to upgrade, but more on that a bit later in this post.
Meanwhile Comcast Business Services mumbled they were coming to our office park. However, further discussions with them determined they were coming, if they were, at some unknown time in the far future, once rezoning is accomplished … if it is.
Meanwhile at least 2-3 times per week we get an offer from Comcast Business for 25Mbps and voice for an amazing price. Heck at this point 25Mbps at a fair price would be good. Unfortunately, when we contact Comcast to buy, they tell us it’s not available at our complex. Ok, so why are we getting 2-3 mailings a week? Perhaps the metrics are mailings and calls, because no sale is going to happen. And I may be generous suggesting there are any metrics.
Then of course, not to be totally outdone, but either without a full-blown sales enablement function or a budget, AT&T periodically mails us offers to upgrade our service to higher speed data. Silly us, we call them. Well we call the actual sales person who sends us the letter. He usually doesn’t call back. Perhaps because that is standard AT&T service, or because he knows enough to know the answer is “no” about if they can help us. They just like to tease us apparently.
Anyway, as has been said about automated systems for decades: garbage in just gets you lots more garbage out. And in this case it just reminds your customers and potential customers how non-customer focused your company really is.
Lesson for today: First be effective, then work to be efficient.