Laura Ramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Corporate and field marketers face a lot of challenges.
Automation supposedly simplifies their lives. Yet one of the most
demanding tasks they face is the design, execution, and management of
marketing campaigns using a marketing automation application. 

Whether it be simple email campaigns aimed at attracting registrants
for a Webinar, or a more complex, multi-channel affair launching a new
product or service, capturing and managing all the steps – and logic
rules – required to automate campaign steps can be tedious to build and
tricky to debug. At best you end up with a Visio-like process chart
covered in a mass of spaghetti links and flows; at worst campaign
design becomes a series of impenetrable workflow wizard steps that defy
editing and change. A lack of more usable and useful tools is, in my
opinion, one of the key issues holding back widespread adoption of
marketing automation.

But there is hope on the horizon.

Two days ago, Silverpop announced a new graphical user interface
for their campaign design and management software — called Engage B2B
(formerly known as Vtrenz) —  that I think could transform the way B2B
marketers plan and manage campaigns. Rather than conventional workflow
diagramming, Silverpop’s new
GUI uses a horizontal storyline metaphor – commonly used in video or TV
program editing – to help marketers layout steps in a simple, visual

Silverpop's UI Simplifies B2B Online Campaign Design
Silverpop’s UI Simplifies B2B Online Campaign Design

Marketers can combine flows of simple tasks, like “register for an
event” to create multi-track, multi-point campaigns that run over
several weeks or months and help sort out the most engaged buyers from
those merely kicking the tires. Silverpop designed the tool to handle
the tasks marketing performs when designing campaigns that take action
based on how prospects interact with marketing communications,
messages, and offers and move leads through the sales pipeline.
Visually, it’s clean without being overly simple.  I like it and I
think you will too.

So today, my hat goes off to Bryan Brown and
his Engage B2B design team. The new UI will certainly help marketers
focus on managing demand, not simply generating it. It makes it easier
for marketers to build practices that score leads numerically, route
top-scoring leads to sales, nurture contacts not yet ready to buy, and
use visual tools to engage with sales.  Practices, in our research,
shown to not only improve marketing ROI but demonstrate more clearly
marketing are impact on the pipeline.

Engage B2B customers, let me know what you think once you’ve had the
chance to test drive the new UI. Would love to hear about your first
hand experiences.

[Cross-posted from B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos.]