A challenge with Marketing Automation systems, so far, is that they are mostly tactical. But to fulfill the Marketing department’s desire to think and act strategically, marketing automation had to do more. Enter B2B marketing’s latest three-letter acronym, RPM, for Revenue Performance Management.
RPM adds heft to Marketing Automation by taking on the responsibility for aligning Sales and Marketing. It adds analytics and data integration that allows measurement of the entire revenue cycle–from brand awareness marketing campaigns, through the buying process, to the close–encompassing all of Marketing and Sales.
As a marketer, I think RPM is brilliant, for both the companies that adopt it and the companies who offer it. For the RPM vendors, it raises them above the fray in a market for Marketing Automation that has gotten crowded. For the adopters, it aggrandizes the marketing automation issue beyond the technology, and incorporates issue appeal above Sales and Marketing to the C-Suite.
On the other hand, as more of a traditional marketer, I am still enamored of the “big idea” and doing something different than the competition. With process and measurement driving everything, I fear that Marketing may be headed the way of Accounting: a well-accepted series of steps and processes (think debits, credits, and general ledger entries) that become rote processes instead of ways to communicate value and break through to the marketplace.
As marketers, we have to utilize tools and processes, but not let them obscure our prime objectives: engagement and communication.
Marketing departments must become well rounded in their skill sets: analytical enough to measure and demonstrate value to the CFO, and also creative and human enough to initiate real relationships with buyers. Let’s not hide behind the latest technology.