One morning on the way to work I noticed my gas light was on, but because I was running late (and had no frickin’ clue where a gas station was) I let the yellow gas pump shine and continued on. That night on the way home I got that terrible, punch-in-the gut feeling that comes when your car jerks a little, then sputters, then just rolls to a stop.
I had run out of gas.
What’s a car without gas? Well, it’s a 2,000-pound hunk of steel, aluminum, and plastic.
What’s with the out-of-gas story? Well, it’s exactly like a marketing automation system without content: worthless.
Marketo’s Jason Miller talked about the important tango between content marketing and marketing automation when we caught up with him at Content Marketing World. “Marketing automation gives you a channel to deliver your content to the right audience at the right time–through multiple channels,” he told us in this video.
You see, without content your marketing automation tool will just sit on a digital shelf and suck money from your budget without proving its real value, which is automating the process of driving suspects into prospects, prospects into leads, leads into opportunities, and opportunities into customers. This process depends on delivering the right content to your buyers at the right time in their buying cycle. By this I mean that you don’t want to send them a contract when they don’t even know who you are.
“But I have content in my marketing automation system now. Lay off pal!”
That’s great, but is it the right content? Think of it like this: There are four different kinds of gas at the pump, each for particular types of cars. If you’re driving a Honda, you’re unlikely to pump a tank full of diesel; it’s regular ol’ unleaded for you.
Pumping the right ‘gas’ into your marketing automation tool revolves around the buyer’s persona, or role (vice president of marketing, director of customer retention, etc.), and where that persona is in the buying process. Different buyers have different problems or concerns at different stages, so do your research and learn about their concerns.
Loading up your marketing automation tool with the right content is just like filling up the tank with the right kind of gas. If you do the research to understand your different buyers and their problems, and create the right kind of content for their buying stage, you’ll have plenty of fuel to keep the engine running.