Marketing Automation – Good Versus Evil… You Decide!

Marketing Automation - Good versus Evil

Marketing Automation means different things to different people.

Throw those two words at someone who makes a living from social media marketing, and they will immediately think of Twitter auto-DM solutions and follow-back schemes, both of which are seen in a very negative light.

These tools, in my eyes, are best defined as ‘antisocial automation’. We’ve labelled the likes of Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn ‘social media platforms’ for a reason; you’re supposed to be social on them! Anything that automates the process could be deemed anti-social, although scheduling posts is seen by some as acceptable under certain circumstances and even auto-DMs can be useful for charities or other non-profit organisations.

However, mention our favourite two-word phrase to an email marketer and they start to think of ‘drip campaigns’ and sending different email contents to their subscription list based on segmentation, source and other differentiators. These features are seen as positive by email marketing people – getting the right message to the right people at the right time.

I’m inclined to agree, both with my marketing hat on and with my consumer glasses in place. If I sign up for your newsletter and you sell 1,000 different products, sending me details of those that fit my interests and profile is better for both of us. But others disagree with this and find personalisation and targeting ‘creepy’ and an invasion of privacy.

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Other marketers, such as those responsible for website, CRM, B2B, B2C and mobile delivery, have their own definitions and opinions on techniques such as lead scoring, lead nurturing, auto-SMS text messages, progressive profiling, dynamic landing pages and rules-based lead routing.

With a broad swing of emotions attached to two simple words, it seems Marketing Automation needs a little assistance when it comes to defining the space. At the very least, marketers should be more aware of what is seen as good and what is evil so that they can make the same decisions as those made in the world of SEO, where there is a fairly clear distinction as to what is ‘black hat’ versus ‘white hat’.

So let’s define the space, together. Here’s how it works.

Look at the list of automation tools and techniques after the jump. Step through them all one-by-one and simply click the up arrow if you think that system is good, ethical and ‘white hat’. If you think it is bad, unethical and ‘black hat’, click the down arrow.

Got a comment on each item? Just click the comment button (speech bubble) against the item and wax lyrical. Tell us why it is good, why it is bad, why it works for you or why you wouldn’t touch it with a long pole.


Click for Good. Click for Evil. Click to Comment. Use your new powers wisely…

The list will automatically recalculate showing the good stuff at the top and the evil tools at the end, so check back regularly to see how your peers feel.

This is your chance to define the Marketing Automation space. What will you vote up, and what will you send crashing to the depths? Click through now to cast your votes, and let’s see how we all feel about the techniques on trial…

Marketing Automation – Good versus Evil – an Interactive List

This article originally appear on the Brightpath blog and is reprinted with permission.

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