Everyone always asks me how this “Funnelholic thing” got started. Basically, my boss Scott Albro, CEO of Tippit, said to me one day: “You gotta go start a blog and get all this stuff in your head out onto the internet.” I started by wanting the name “Funnelnomics” but Reachforce had it. Dejected, I went to Scott and told him that I didn’t get the name I wanted and was stuck. He said: “Craig you need a name that reflects your personality, something more fun and edgy. How about “funnelholic”?” Boom…two days later my first post went up and I was off to the races.
My following grew because the blog was born around the time marketing automation was on the rise. I loved marketing automation so I wanted to know all the players and work with them. I did webinars with them, spoke at events, guest blogged etc. Lets face it — marketing automation marketers know the value of content and I was in the right place at the right time. I helped them, they helped me. We all helped each other. I will always owe the marketing automation folks a debt of gratitude.
The best part of marketing automation was that it was a bare-knuckled fight and it was fun to watch. I would get direct messages, emails, phone calls every week with some drama going on or some gossip. I have to admit, it was fun. One of my all-time posts was “Who’s going to run this town” comparing the marketing automation tiff to the east coast-west coast rap battle – that got me some serious props from the younger folks. I had inside sales reps running up with “hey you’re the funnelholic!”. Times have changed…I still talk to the vendors, but not as much. Shawn Naggiar from Act-on called me to catch up at 9pm the night before Thanksgiving. I wasn’t pissed, I was actually excited because I missed the chance to talk about the game.
Times are changing for everyone in marketing automation and in honor of that change, I thought I would jot down some of my thoughts.
– You know times have changed when…..
- Joe Chernov is sending public tweets and facebook messages to a Marketo employee (Jason Miller) with lots of compliments
- Joe Chernov is the one to break the Maria Pergolino leaving Marketo news.
- Jon Miller‘s facebook is filled with pictures of him on vacation. That’s right, Jon Miller is enjoying Hawaii right now – relaxed, snorkling, etc.
- I gotta tell you the marketing automation industry did an amazing job convincing the marketing world that they had to have their product. I am a consultant right now, and I can’t find a marketing department that doesn’t have it or want to get it.
- Marketing automation vendors also got to the sales leaders too. I am working with a VP of Sales who uses terms like: “lead scoring”, “digital body language”, “lead nurturing”, the “buyer has changed”. As a matter of fact, he pushed hard for marketing automation and has spent a lot of time with me on the demand generation plan. Today, VP’s of Sales are asking companies what their demand generation strategy and marketing automation platform are while interviewing..thats a change.
- The Revenue Performance Management (RPM) thing didn’t work. Oh well. I was supportive, so I am not saying “I told you so”. But lets be clear, the headlines were not: “Oracle buys RPM leader Eloqua”.
- I wonder what the ESP (Email Service Provider) guys are thinking right now. There are all these consumer email applications that were built long before marketing automation, but the marketing automation guys became the belle at the ball. I know someone will say “Craig, marketing automation is much more than email.” but please don’t — the predominant feature is email so stop it. BTW, Silverpop adding marketing automation may prove to be a great move in the long run (errrrrr, I mean short run)
- I am not going to write “I predict more consolidation in the marketing automation market”. I think it would be awesome if the guys that are left build big stand-alone marketing software companies that care about marketers and marketing, but I know the acquisition offers will be tough to pass up. 2013 could be crazy.
- The stand-alones in the space are just sales machines right now: Act-on, Hubspot, and Marketo seem to be tearing it up quarter-after-quarter. (Editor’s note: I will receive an email from another person in the space saying: “You should really consider so-and-so”).
- “The buyer has changed, so buy my product” has really worked as well. Everyone uses that now. Consultants love that stuff….the buyer has changed, give me some hours! Sure, the buyer has changed but the whole thing is so cliche and over-played. You can’t tell me lead scoring and lead nurturing weren’t a good idea 20 years ago because they were. That’s right, I truly believe I would have bought marketing automation 20 years ago if given the opportunity. If you really look closely, the seller has changed more than the buyer or at least has the opportunity to change more than the buyer.
- After all that, the term “marketing automation” may be on its last legs anyway. Marketo’s front page touts “marketing software”, Hubspot has always resisted “marketing automation”, and I saw a press release for the Oracle acquisition calling Eloqua a “modern marketing platform”. Interesting…should my blog title have been: “The death of marketing automation”?
Ridiculous ramblings on the marketing automation market. Faithfully submitted.
I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all.