Thought Leader Life with Lydia Sugarman (@venntive) #029

In this episode of Thought Leader Life, Michael and I interview #ThoughtLeader Lydia Sugarman in what she describes as a 50,000-foot conversation. Lydia’s definition of a #ThoughtLeader is someone who can take prevailing tools and ideas and re-work them into something new that better serves people.

Lydia shares her insights about marketing automation and how companies, especially those transitioning from traditional marketing to automation, can find the right technologies or tools, and use them to be successful. In marketing automation, you can have a 360 degree visual of the customer that will help you better define their needs and respond to those needs. Relating her point to the Thought Leadership Funnel, Lydia points out that marketing automation allows a view of internal customers in real time and enables the company to nurture the external customers to becoming advocates.

Lydia notes that some companies or individuals are intimidated by the cost of investing in marketing automation. She cites a recent study that differentiated first-time marketing automation buyers with established marketing automation users. It found that buyers are cost-conscious and customers are feature-focused. What that means is companies need to look at marketing automation as a worthwhile investment, as it sets the beginning of everything for a company. The interview touches on the question of choosing the right technology for automation, and here, Lydia points out that technologies are not the end-all and be-all. They are just tools; relationships are more important, and you should keep return on relationship in mind versus return on investment. Another interesting topic discussed was the frequently asked question on whether all employees should be advocates. Lydia says that employees should always have excitement and passion, and knowing that they are making a difference would convert them into advocates.

I then ask: When automation allows a 360 degree view of a customer, how much of the organization should be able to access that view? Lydia’s interesting response is that, technically, not everybody needs to see everything. Marketing, sales, even accounting, can have access to that 360 degree view, but they need permission to see certain information, and the marketing automation tool should have that feature.

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Here are some “‘aha’ moments” from the episode. See more in the Aha Moments from Thought Leader Life books available in the Aha Amplifier and watch the interview below!

The worst thing for any company is for people to just come in & go through the motions, complacent, with no contribution. @venntive

The tools are out there, it’s just a matter of using them. @venntive

People talk! We want to give a reason for them to speak well of us. @venntive

We need to have a marketing dashboard. @happyabout

Follow Lydia on Twitter at @venntive. Tune into Thought Leader Life every Saturday for more thought-leader goodness!