An Open Letter to Marketing Automation Software firms – Knock It Off!


A VP of Sales at one of the marketing automation software firms shared an email yesterday. I was shocked. (Carefully edited to remove all company references.) And the Funnelholic wrote a great article entitled “Who’s Gonna Run This Town? The Continuing War for Marketing Automation Dominance.”

Hi XXXX,

I wanted to check in because I see that you’re using ABC company, which is a great tool to get started with. I work for DEF, the leading marketing automation platform. We’ve recently had an influx of ABC clients upgrading to DEF because they simply could not accomplish their marketing goals with ABC.

Here’s what those customers told us about why they switched to DEF:

  • Unsatisfied with ABC’s support, which was unresponsive;
  • Needed a more reliable application that didn’t slow down when they exported a report;
  • The cookie cutter implementation approach didn’t set them up to succeed;
  • Experienced problems understanding and editing automation logic, getting the metrics they needed and ensuring their emails were sent on time and delivered to their prospect’s inboxes.

These businesses initially overlooked DEF because we seemed (words removed). But let me toss out a few facts that put those myths to rest for good:

It’s high time for the “Flat Earth” crowd to put a fork in it once and for all.  What do I mean by “Flat Earth?” Here’s what Laura Ramos of Forrester Research (She’s now at Xerox, I believe) said back in March:

Based on our estimates, I see market penetration growing from 5% to 10% over the next 18 to 24 months – but there are many marketers out there who have yet to explore the value that lead management automation can bring to their organizations.

Based on Laura’s estimate, over 9 out of 10 ideal target accounts have not yet selected a marketing automation solution. If at least 90% of the marketing is untouched, why the Hell are we fighting over less than 10%? Have we really stooped so low as to compete over table scraps?

So if you work for Eloqua, Marketo, SilverPop, Manticore, LoopFuse, Genius.com, Pardot or any of the others, KNOCK IT OFF! Let’s all focus on broadening the marketing for marketing automation. There’s a LOT more business out there.

Makes no sense to me whatsoever. What do you think? We love comments and re-Tweets.

Due to domain theft, we had to make some changes.

Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple.” He’s also the author of three highly acclaimed white papers

  1. How to Find New Customers (sponsored by Marketo,)
  2. Definitive Guide to Making Quota, and
  3. Moving from Transactional to Conversational Email Marketing (sponsored by Genius.com)

as well the e-book, Prospect Driven Marketing (with Communication Strategy Group) and holds a degree in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame. (Notre Dame is teaching B2B marketing to the next generation using this content.

Find New Customers helps business develop and implement programs to drive more sales leads by improving the way they find and acquire new customers using best practices in lead generation.

2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Marketing Automation Software firms – Knock It Off!

  1. Hi Jeff,

    It makes perfect sense re: “why the Hell are we fighting over less than 10%?”. Too many fish in a small pond. The easiest pickings in this emerging market are customers that understand the concepts already… after all, it’s cheaper to poach customers than educate new ones on your offering (likewise it is cheaper to poach sales guys than to educate new ones on the space.) 😉

    1. Thanks for your comment, Roy. Is it really easy pickings to target customers that understand the concepts already? What if a company targeted and educated a group of customers on demand generation concepts.

      Poaching sales guys “who already know the space” is another red herring. The best salespeople are the ones who are understand customers and have a great process. I point to the salesperson who joined a business intelligence software firm with zero experience, and in three years, never lost a deal.

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