Corporate and field marketers face a lot of challenges. Automation supposedly simplifies their lives. Yet one of the most demanding tasks they face is the design, execution, and management of marketing campaigns using a marketing automation application.
Whether it be simple email campaigns aimed at attracting registrants for a Webinar, or a more complex, multi-channel affair launching a new product or service, capturing and managing all the steps – and logic rules – required to automate campaign steps can be tedious to build and tricky to debug. At best you end up with a Visio-like process chart covered in a mass of spaghetti links and flows; at worst campaign design becomes a series of impenetrable workflow wizard steps that defy editing and change. A lack of more usable and useful tools is, in my opinion, one of the key issues holding back widespread adoption of marketing automation.
But there is hope on the horizon.
Two days ago, Silverpop announced a new graphical user interface for their campaign design and management software — called Engage B2B (formerly known as Vtrenz) — that I think could transform the way B2B marketers plan and manage campaigns. Rather than conventional workflow diagramming, Silverpop’s new GUI uses a horizontal storyline metaphor – commonly used in video or TV program editing – to help marketers layout steps in a simple, visual flow.
Marketers can combine flows of simple tasks, like “register for an event” to create multi-track, multi-point campaigns that run over several weeks or months and help sort out the most engaged buyers from those merely kicking the tires. Silverpop designed the tool to handle the tasks marketing performs when designing campaigns that take action based on how prospects interact with marketing communications, messages, and offers and move leads through the sales pipeline. Visually, it’s clean without being overly simple. I like it and I think you will too.
So today, my hat goes off to Bryan Brown and his Engage B2B design team. The new UI will certainly help marketers focus on managing demand, not simply generating it. It makes it easier for marketers to build practices that score leads numerically, route top-scoring leads to sales, nurture contacts not yet ready to buy, and use visual tools to engage with sales. Practices, in our research, shown to not only improve marketing ROI but demonstrate more clearly marketing are impact on the pipeline.
Engage B2B customers, let me know what you think once you’ve had the chance to test drive the new UI. Would love to hear about your first hand experiences.