When You Do Industrial Content Marketing…Do No Evil

I was in the car today and made the mistake of answering a local number that was not identified by caller ID. Sure enough, I had to put my nasty hat on and tell them to “get lost”.

My wife and I switched from Android to iPhone last month at the assistance of my wife…actually my wife’s friends, as well as my own kids. (Domestic tranquility is bliss.)

I noticed that several of my favorite blogs were now populated with extremely annoying pop-up ads on the iPhone versus my old Android. I will fix that!

It seems like every website you visit now has followed you around like some sleazeball stalker and then displays ads for the last watch you were looking at on Amazon, that last automobile you were researching or those magnificent golf clubs you had your eye on. Creeps me out.

Technology is great. Your car works better because of technology. Your medical care is better because of technology. Industry is more productive because of technology.  And so, it goes.

But marketing is suffering because of technology & marketing automation…and big-data is the culprit.

Now marketing professionals can slice & dice customer data and push data and annoying ads to millions of customers and a meager 1% conversion renders a healthy return on their investment.

I hear it almost daily from my marketing friends, “But…it just works”. To me it is evil.

If you know me and read this blog you know that I am a believer in using the web, big-data and marketing automation to gain a competitive advantage over your industrial competitors.


The customers’ needs, good taste and common sense must trump all that data you are collecting in your marketing automation software (i.e.HubSpot, ActiveCampaign or Act-On). (It seems like there is a new marketing automation platform daily)

A recent report from Content Marketing Institute, 2018 Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends, tells us industry is spending more on industrial content marketing, but still struggling to prove return on investment.

I maintain that all that automation and data are getting in the way of…you guessed it…what your customer wants…and, getting in the way of meaningful ROIs.

Big data and marketing automation makes it so easy to push out content…good or bad. Can anyone say, “Crap on the wall?”

However, does your customer want it?  Does your customer love it? Is that content helping them make better decisions? Does your content help them do their day-to-day jobs better?

Marketing automation platforms such as HubSpot can turn industrial marketing professionals into glorified IT geeks. Automated works flows like “lead nurturing” can pummel your prospects until they block your marketing efforts.

The heart & soul of your marketing is still your customer.  As David Meerman Scott says in The New Rules of Sales & Service, “Educate & inform, instead of interrupting & selling”.

Technology, big-data, marketing automation & industrial content marketing are great, but use it as a force for good, not evil.

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