I was talking to my friend and marketing expert Jeff Ernst about it. Here’s my problem, as I described it to him.
Marketing automation now requires knowing and routing all the people who visit your (B2B) website. They come for the blog. You post a pop-up to get them to subscribe (or get your newsletter, or install your app, or download your white paper, or whatever the next step is). You draw them deeper into your web until they’re a qualified lead. Then your sales staff pounces.
Any number of marketing vendors provide the tools that make this work. But what does it do for the site visitor’s experience? Too many sites (like this one) intrusively pop up something in your face as soon as you start scrolling. Half the time they’ve camouflaged the “close” button to make it harder for you to leave.
It’s like getting introduced to somebody, then having them immediately stick their tongue in your mouth and french-kiss you. Yuck! Let’s get to know each other a little better first.
It’s not just me. “I’m seeing that everywhere,” Jeff told me. He also agreed with me that this approach to the “customer journey” has become too automated and gone too far. “If your content is thought-provoking and challenges the status quo, they will want to look for how they can follow you.” They’ll poke around your site or subscribe using the buttons at the top of your site. This should be easy. But they’ve got to indicate some interest first — popping up a window as soon as they visit doesn’t qualify.
Marketers must use these intrusive approaches because they’re working. But if they piss off ten people for every one they suck in, maybe you’re not measuring what “working” means properly. If you sucker a visitor into asking for something they don’t want, are they really a lead?
Shake my hand and make it easy for me to get to know you. That’s quite enough. And please get your tongue out of my mouth.