January 26, 2021. Without the appropriate technical knowledge, your marketing efforts could go straight down the pan.
I spend a lot of my time working inside marketing systems.
Managing data, building funnels, developing content…
The list goes on for a bit.
Because marketing systems are complex.
And contrary to popular belief, marketing [automation] systems require a lot of work for them to work.
But they help lighten the overall burden because tasks can be automated and repeated where possible.
In 2021 (especially in a COVID-19 era), they are make-or-break.
Marketing managers and directors will talk about this a lot. But do they know how to execute such tasks?
It’s one thing to conduct “inbound marketing,” it’s another to manage user journeys, workflows, filters, triggers, merge tags, data fields, segments, optimisations and so on.
To say that marketing automation is complex is actually putting it mildly.
And all the above needs to be managed within a real-life context; within a market where sellers are competing for the attention of buyers.
If you’re new to marketing technology, enrol in a comprehensive course.
If you’re using any sort of marketing system often, partake in ongoing training.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, make YouTube your first stop to review the available technologies.
Systems and tools are fundamental to marketing success; and the tools you use need to be used well.
To use them well, and to your and your organisation’s advantage, you need to understand them.
An event from WW2 captures what I’m talking about here.
The U-1206 was an advanced VIIC U-boat deployed by the Nazis in the latter parts of the war.
It was a large submarine allowing it to carry increased armaments.
Designed to be out at sea for longer than its counterparts, it could torpedo more ships before submerging.
But this wasn’t all that the devious Germans would introduce within their VIIC U-boats.
In their quest to save weight and space they also redesigned the onboard plumbing.
Specifically the toilets.
Allied submarines funnelled human waste into onboard septic tanks which would be emptied on the surface.
The U-1206, on the other hand, was equipped with high-tech plumbing technology; sewage was discharged directly into the sea whilst still underwater at depth.
Such advanced technology, as you’d imagine, required expertise and technique.
Flushing these facilities was a complicated procedure. Special technicians were trained to operate them.
First, it directed waste through a series of chambers to a pressurised airlock.
A number of sequences then blasted the waste into the sea with compressed air. Like a poop torpedo, if you will.
Opening valves in the wrong sequence could result in sewage or seawater flowing back into the hull.
Now, meet Captain Karl-Adolf Schlitt who was looking to make some room for lunch.
He decided he was going to launch a poop torpedo all by himself.
I’m sure you’ve guessed what happens next…
Captain Schlitt, who wasn’t properly trained to operate this complex facility, unleashed a torrent of sewage and seawater back into the submarine.
A chain of subsequent events – such as malfunctions, battery leaks and the release of chlorine gas – made the U-1206 uninhabitable and led Captain Schlitt to order the vessel to the surface.
Straight into the arms of Allied planes patrolling overhead who then bombed the doomed submarine.
Of the crew, one died in the attack, three drowned in the heavy seas and 46 were captured.
Captain Schlitt, made famous due to his involvement in a WW2 malfunctioning toilet, lived to the grand age of 90.
The U-1206 made its way to the bottom of the North Sea where it still rests to this day.
After 1 patrol and 0 victories.
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6 thoughts on “Use Marketing Technology (Properly)”
You can’t make this stuff up – fantastic tale! His name just needed one less L to make it perfect. It is many years since I studied marketing but I know the technology has changed remarkably to reach customers.
Thanks, Kerry – appreciate the comment. Yes, it’s a crazy tale that reminds me a little about marketing today – yes, one less L will do it!
Life is just bananas right now, especially in the States. All my contract work disappeared with the pandemic (out of state conferences). Looking forward to working with the public again in 2022??
Wow thank you for sharing this article. It is really very well written and you truly deserve a thumbs up. Yes this 2020 was really devastating year.
Really interesting story, It truly portrays how some leaders think that they have control of certain circumstances when they actually do not. Delegating, understanding and trusting teamwork is critical for success. Really enjoyed your analogy!