We all know the well-loved acronym, KISS – Keep it simple, stupid. And in most cases, I’m a big believer in simplicity. Taxes? Keep ‘em simple. Relationships? Keep ‘em simple. Marketing Automation system? Well now that’s another story…
See, as the intelligent, driven marketer that you undoubtedly are, you have probably pontificated about how to track marketing’s impact on revenue and all sorts of other highly valuable and novel insights. Am I right?
So, then you probably went out and did some research on which marketing automation system was right for you. Congratulations, you two make a great couple! So then…reality set in. The honeymoon phase was over. You and your shiny new system looked each other in the eyes and said, “now what??” You probably set up the basics like you were told, and then realized, “holy smokes, this is kinda hard work. I thought I could just wave a magic wand and it would all be working.” Le sigh.
So then you said, “Aha! Got it. I’ll just go with the easy stuff now, and then one day I’ll get around to the heavy lifting.” And we all know that’s like saying, “well I’ll just buy these great jeans one size smaller because one day I’ll fit into them.” Uh huh…we all know how this ends. And what do you get? A glorified email marketing platform. That’s all. All those beautiful, sparkly reports you promised your exec team? That future raise you already pre-spent on those too-small jeans? All out the window.
What I’m trying to say here is that you really really really need to understand the dedication your marketing automation system will need, especially at first. But more importantly, the value in a seemingly complex system that can help you paint the complete marketing-to-revenue picture, give you predictive analytics, and honestly make you a marketing superstar, that’s where you need to be. The path of least resistance in choosing either a sub-par (read: simple) MA system, or not utilizing your MA system to its full potential is a bad decision.
Don’t think that a MA system is “too complex for my needs” – that complexity is the key to driving your business, your analytics, your marketing efforts, and your career above and beyond. A system that seems more your speed from the outside is really one that screams, “I have limited functionality!” And with that partner in crime, you will go nowhere.
So, yes – START simple, but don’t KEEP it simple. So, go give your MA system a big, giant bear hug. But please, no KISSing.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.