Marketing as an object-oriented program?
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Marketing as an object-oriented program?

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Marketing as an object-oriented program? Scott Brinker I ran across an inspiring blog post this week by Jacques Spilka of Whatsnexx, titled Complexity killed marketing automation! (The if-it-bleeds-it-leads school of blog post headlines.) Jacques made two insightful points: 1. Marketing automation programming can get complicated fast First, he cut right to the quick of the challenge of marketing automation: for marketing automation to be really effective, it needs to be wielded by the marketer, not by the marketing automation expert. Most marketing automation packages require fairly extensive setup and configuration, frequently done by high-priced consultants. (It's no accident of strategy that IBM, arguably primarily a technology services company, acquired enterprise marketing software provider Unica.) "The purpose of automation is to simplify and speed up processes — not complicate things!" writes Jacques. But as marketing automation providers continually add new and disparate features, such as merging in more social media capabilities, the "automated" solution can unintentionally become more complicated to wield than the processes that you originally wanted to automate in the first place. This complexity can dampen the actual adoption of automation — even if a company has installed an amazing marketing automation platform, they may only be leveraging a small sliver of its capabilities.

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Published 21 February 2012
Reads 191
Language English
Marketing as an objectoriented program? kerScott Brin I ran across an insirin bloost this week bJac ues S ilkaof Whatsnexx, titledCom lexitkilled marketin automation!(The ifitbleedsitleads school of blog post headlines.) Jacques made two insightful points: 1. Marketing automation programming can get complicated fast First, he cut riht to theuick of the challenge of marketing automation:for marketing automation to be really effective, it needs to be wielded bthe marketer, not bthe marketin automation expert. Most marketinautomation packaes re uirefairl extensivesetu and confi uration,fre uentldone bhi h priced consultants. (It's no accident of strategy that IBM, arguably primarily a technolo servicescompan ,acquired enter risemarketin software rovider Unica.) "The purpose of automation is to simplifand speed up processesnot com licatethin s!"writes Jacues. But as marketinautomation roviders continualladd new and disarate features, such as merin in more social media capabilities, the "automated" solution can unintentionally become more complicated to wield than the processes that you originally wanted to automate in the first place. This complexity can dampen the actual adoption of automationeven if a company has installed an amazing marketing automation platform, they may only be leveraging a small sliver of its capabilities. Of course, Whatsnexx offers its own marketing automation solution that proposes to address this challenge, so Jacques does have an ulterior motive for makinthis point. But the statement of the problem the're trying to solve rings true.
2. If marketinis beinpro rammed,can we use an ob ectoriented paradigm? Jacques describes their solution ascustomer state marketing. (Akin Arikan did a nice post on them last year.) If you have some software engineering background, your synapses may already be firing associations with state machines, and that seems to be part of Whatsnexx's intention. According to Jacques, the key benefits of their approach are: 1. Scenariosdisplathe characteristics of ob ectoriented pro rammin2. Scenarioprogramming is procedural Whoa. Let me do a double take. We're readina blob amarketin solutions rovidersellin tomarketersthat is toutinthe characteristics of ob ectoriented programmingas one of the benefits it provides customers. That's pretty bold. I mean, I just recently wrote that marketers should learn how to pro ram,but to have a marketintechnolo compantr into sell a "better" programming paradigm to marketers is kind of striking.
Yet it resonated with me instantly. (And apparently with Akin too.)
To quote a bit from Jacques's post:
For rorammers, theabove two benefitsare sinificant. For everone else this sounds like some forein lanua edefinitely very obscure. Let me put it another way:
1 Scenariosare selfcontained. The know how to behave in resonse to external stimulus (i.e., an event). This stimulus occurs randoml, and the scenarios will automaticallrespond to the event accordinto the rules contained in the scenario itself. The scenario only knows what it needs to know in order to respond to the stimulus, and contains all of the information necessar inorder to carrout its functions roerl i.e.,actions , such as sending the appropriate email.
2 Scenariosfollow simle rules, and have a simle roram flow and limited branching options. This makes it easy to design statebased event/action proram flows thatovern how and when a scenario responds to a random customer event.If that's not pitchinto a neweneration of marketersand marketin technologistsI don't know what is. Even if the net functionalitthat Whatsnexx delivers is similar to traditional marketinautomation sstems, theower of aaradi mcan't be denied. Thinkin aboutthe modern marketinfunction as a larescale ob ectorientedro ramstirs the imainationat least it does for me and suggests a number of intriguing new ways to organize and coordinate the multitude of moving parts in marketing's environment. Just as ob ectorientedro rammindramaticall chaned the development of softwarewithout directly changing what that software was able to dosuch object orientation could have a big impact in the wa thatmarketin automationprocesses are conceived, implemented, and maintained. Following the objectoriented train of thought, I can't help but ruminate about hown patterns miht be adapted in theob ectoriented desi context of marketinasas stem. Mabe there are marketinanalo s to Adater, Decorator, Sinleton, and Strateatterns. Or mabe there are entirely different pattern conceptsbut patterns nonethelessthat can help structure and standardize this space. It is unlikela anaceafor marketincom lexit ,but it could be a better architecture for managing such complexity. I don't know if Whatsnexx actually delivers on this promiseI've only read a few of their blog posts and browsed their web sitebut Iive them full props for promoting a brilliant way to frame "programmable" marketing.