The importance of a story

‘If you just focus on your shots, the scorecards will look after themselves’.

I’ve only ever had one golf lesson, but when I did the pro came out with this brilliant one liner. It essentially means that if you focus on each and every shot, and not worry about anything else in that moment, the scorecard will reflect that. He also said that golf spoils a good walk – or that might have been Mark Twain – but his words stuck with me nonetheless:

We believe this philosophy is also true in business. Too often do organisations focus on selling a product without fully understanding its story for the customer. As the golf pro said, if you focus on your game and not the score, the score will reflect that performance. There are some marketing technology organisations that are focusing on the score and not the shots, and as a result perhaps aren’t resonating with their clients as much as their competitors. As consumers, we know when we’re being sold a product or service the Salesperson doesn’t understand or believe in, and as a result these organisations tends not to have much success. More and more buyers are now buying into a brands’ story before buying their products or services. That’s really why I mentioned golf – that quote may not have made me a better golfer, but I remembered the story, and I remembered the man who said it. Vision is about having a relatable story, not crafting a sales pitch, and that’s how companies should approach their brand journey.

This ethos of starting within before working out, it sells. In fact, according to Forbes, 64% of consumers say that shared values create a trusted relationship with a brand. Businesses and consumers are clearly buying into brand and vision now more than ever, and are frustrated when they don’t encounter either during their buying journey.

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But why does this apply to my martech investment?

The above couldn’t be more relevant in application than in the world of marketing technology. Adobe’s Marketo, one of the world’s leading Marketing Automation platforms, is in part so successful since their acquisition because Adobe's marketing-oriented vision around customer and digital experience aligns itself well with that of their customers, senior marketers.

Salesforce are also immensely successful in part because they are a Sales focused business; and they’re selling a Sales and Marketing product. For both organisations, their vision, story, and identity align with that of the customers they are selling to.

Then we come to Oracle, and their Marketing Automation platform Eloqua. We have increasingly begun to see that Oracle doesn’t have that same traction with their clients, and we believe it is the push from consumers towards identity, brand and vision that has, in part, led to this disconnect. Oracle started out as a relational database company, and they are heavily structured around data. As a result, their story began in a wholly different place to Marketo and Salesforce Pardot, and they have a huge amount of traction in the IT sector because of their early beginnings. The consequence of this however, is that their vision and brand story for Eloqua does not align with the marketers which they’re selling to in the martech industry, and as a result, we are frequently finding many of their clients no longer buy into the product.

Being a leader in the martech industry is about more than just owning the biggest platform. It is about constantly innovating and improving , and developing features to solve the continual challenges of marketers. Oracle, despite having acquired the best and most popular Marketing Automation platform at the time, Eloqua, back in 2012, are no longer leading the market, and have in fact been declining for a number of years. We discuss this in detail in how Eloqua went from Martech Kingpin to a last choice against Adobe and Salesforce.

What next?

Ethos, identity, and vision are essential to any organisation’s brand in 2020, and for those who have bought into a marketing technology platform they believe no longer provides that, will inevitability look to migrate to a new platform. Now more than ever, organisations are replacing investments with a weak or incoherent story and customer experience, and this is frequently seen in the martech industry.

If you’re disgruntled with your current marketing technology investment, we have created a handy guide detailing the necessary considerations before migrating, which you can access below.

Download Your Migrations Guide