How The Right Marketing Tech Can Turn Your Sailing Ship Into A Battleship

Over the last few years, I’ve taken a some flak from our finance department about how much we spend on SaaS applications for demand gen.  It’s roughly one third of our overall demand gen budget.  In a nutshell, here are some of the vendors in our martech stack:

Marketo – Hubspot (blog) – Demandbase / Spiderbook Infer – Uberflip – LeanData Bizible ZoomInfo – RainKing SwagIQ (PFL)InsideView LeadGnomeCaptora ZenIQ

Invariably, they all ask the same question “Are all these tools really necessary?”  I answer this intriguing question with the following analogy:

One hundred years ago, if you wanted to operate a sailing ship like a clipper or schooner, you would need one hundred men. You would need:

  • Men to rig the sails
  • Men to load and fire the cannons
  • A man up in the crow’s nest looking out for land (or enemy ships)

And finally,

  • A captain to command and control the vessel.

I recently read that today’s modern combat ships can function with as few as four (4) people:

  • One man/woman on propulsion
  • One man/woman on munitions
  • One man/woman on navigation

And finally, a captain to command and control the vessel.

What does that mean for marketing (specifically demand gen) departments?

ANSWER: I don’t have one hundred people on my marketing ship.  I have four.  I am competing with organizations that have three times that number.  In the case of Oracle/IBM/SAP, ten times that number.   That means I need to use computerization and automation to turn my small but mighty marketing ship into a battleship.

I wish I had one hundred marketers at my disposal.

In the absence of that, I’ll take a kick-ass martech stack.  Boom!