For the past decade, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has transformed how companies are buying and using software. Many functions in large enterprises are outsourced in the “as-a-Service” model to provide scalability, expertise, and performance – yet most marketing teams are still understaffed and overburdened.
Amid all of the daily chaos, how can you possibly build and operate a Demand Factory™ and continue to add innovative systems?
The answer is “Marketing-as-a-Service.”
Agencies like mine are addressing the problem by providing the talent and resources to build and operate the sophisticated Demand Factory. The same cost-effective, rapid, agile, scaling model used to procure and access software in the cloud is rapidly becoming the staffing model for marketing teams in high-growth firms.
As an early adopter of marketing automation more than 10 years ago at Ellie Mae, where I was senior vice president of marketing, I purchased these systems and set up access to powerful new tools for my team — and we managed pretty well. We deployed our marketing automation system, integrated with our CRM, launched campaigns, and even put some basic lead scoring and nurturing in place.
Then, we hit the ceiling. With our limited resources and massive campaign volumes, we simply could not keep up with the day-to-day demands of the department while also innovating and leveraging marketing technology to take automated marketing to the next level. Today (fair warning, self-serving statement ahead!), I know better: The in-house approach to leveraging the marketing cloud and launching email campaigns day after day is no longer the answer. Ten years ago, there was no alternative. Today, however, agencies like DemandGen can provide all the skilled resources you need to create and launch your campaigns using your fully deployed Demand Factory while your team focuses on strategic planning, events, and campaign and content strategy.
Don’t get me wrong, you need to have certain internal roles – like the person who “owns” your marketing technology. You need a head of demand generation and content resources (although that, too, is increasingly outsourced). Larger firms often have a dedicated marketing operations function. You’ll even want a data scientist, which I’ll talk about tomorrow.
But for 2015, consider “Marketing-as-a-Service” as the model that enables you to hire only the most core roles for your internal team, and then outsource the functions for designing, building, and optimizing your marketing infrastructure and cranking out campaigns.
And here’s another consideration: Taking on infrastructure and campaign operations internally comes with the risk of being labeled “too tactical” and “IT-like,” and not focusing on your firm’s overall marketing and campaign strategy. No matter how strategic you think your marketing infrastructure projects are to long-term success, sales only cares about output, not construction. The faster you get your Demand Factory built and optimized, the happier sales (and the C-suite) will be.
Don’t get me wrong: agencies can’t do everything. We can’t fix a broken culture, or create a market for a product where one doesn’t exist. The most successful clients who engage with us:
- Have a good, growing market
- Understand the market, personas, and needs
- Have strong leadership in the marketing team
- Are passionate about demand generation and marketing technology
- Are sophisticated, savvy, and aspirational
- Have experience working with outside agencies
- Know that marketing should not be seen as an internal service bureau to other departments, but rather as the powerhouse of the firm (or already is)
Tomorrow: Say hello to your new best friend, affectionately known as the “data geek” but officially called the “data scientist.” Tomorrow I’ll talk about the value of this new role to the modern marketing team.
For more than 20 years, David Lewis has been a pioneering innovator in digital marketing, and has overseen marketing for some of Silicon Valley’s leading technology firms. Taking his expertise for “Making Marketing Matter”, he founded DemandGen in 2007 to build the worlds’ first marketing technology agency.
For the past decade, David and his team at DemandGen have been at the forefront of the transformation taking place in marketing by helping 100’s of the top sales and marketing teams around the world incorporate marketing automation to drive growth. David is accomplished industry speaker, thought leader, and author. His ground-breaking work on the transformation of marketing and sales is at the heart of his book, Manufacturing Demand: The Principles of Successful Lead Management.