Marketing Automation is now Revenue Performance Management?Perusing my Hootsuite account recently I came across a tweet from Gleanster (who I am a big fan of) that stated that the term marketing automation was now evolving to revenue performance management, and we (marketers? users? bloggers? managers? already-confused prospects?) need to be ready for this. A link was provided. I fearfully moved my mouse to that link, knowing that I most likely would not be pleased with what I read further (much like you are probably thinking now). But wait. Let’s take a step back, as my esteemed Global Channel Manager loves to tell me. Let me tell you why I feared this link.
First of all, ‘marketing automation’ is a terrible term. We in the space know it, hate it, and live with it every day. It gives vendors like ourselves too much credit and not enough credit in a simplistic, two-word classification. “Do you automate my entire marketing processes?” “How many people can I lay off by implementing your system?”. You would not believe the types of questions we get from people new to the term marketing automation. Whoever coined the term in the first place should be subjected to every one of these types of questions that we and the other marketing automation vendors receive.
In the 2009-ish timeframe, Forrester (or at least that was the first group where I encountered this) came up with a much better term; Lead Management Automation. Perfect! Exactly what a middle-of-the-funnel software solution should be named! Countries rejoiced, angels wept….and no one embraced the term. Sigh….
Here’s the thing….I am all for coming up with a better term for our space than marketing automation. I just trashed it two paragraphs ago. But can we please do better than revenue performance management? Yes, of course we can. Can you envision a CMO having a budget line-item called Revenue Performance Management? Me either. Wait, yes I can. Its called your entire freakin’ Sales and Marketing strategy! That’s what revenue performance management is. Lead Generation. Lead Management. Opportunity Management. That’s what makes up revenue performance management. It’s not the name for our platform, in my opinion.
So please, o trusted analysts and brandmakers, I reach out and ask you to please come up with something better. We as vendors will follow, market and brand as you deem fit. But please have it make sense. Thank you.

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