Recently, we discovered a truly magical analogy for marketing automation coupled with a notable piece in the Harry Potter stories, Dumbledore’s Pensieve.
Dumbledore: “I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form.“
Here are five reasons why marketing automation is like Dumbledore’s Pensieve:
1. It allows you to store large amounts of information without becoming overwhelmed.
When Harry Potter first asked Dumbledore what his Pensieve is, Dumbledore responds, “This? It is called a Pensieve. I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.”
When Dumbledore feels overwhelmed by too much information, he uses his Pensieve to unload important thoughts and memories in a safe place. Sales reps and marketers can use marketing automation to do the same in regards to the copious amount of sales and marketing related data they have to manage on a day-to-day basis.
2. It saves important information in a place that is always accessible.
Once a memory is put into a Pensieve, it will always be available for reference. This helps Dumbledore immensely in his battle against Lord Voldemort as he is able to recall key details from events that happened decades ago.
While marketing automation is not yet decades old, it can still be used in the same way. From the time you start using your marketing automation software, all data is recorded and saved for future reference. This can especially helpful in regards to prospect behavior and the increasing length of B2B sales cycles. It may take a year or more for a prospect to go through the entire buying process—making it hard to keep track of where they are in your sales cycle. Marketing automation allows you to go back and see the specific details of any digital interactions a prospect has with your company.
Similar to the last point, the Pensieve allows you to look at specific details about events in the past to enable you to make better decisions about the present. Harry faces an extreme example of this when, during the Battle of Hogwarts, he looks at Severus Snape’s memories and determines the best course of action is to sacrifice himself to save humanity.
Admittedly, there are no guarantees that marketing automation will help save humanity from evil. But, it may help save a deal (or ten). Marketing automation allows you to look back and measure performance of different activities like email campaigns and social media efforts—allowing you to see what is and what isn’t working and determine how to best optimize.
4. You can take people along the journey so they can see for themselves.
One of the coolest things about the Pensieve is that you can use it to experience memories that aren’t your own. Harry does this numerous times during his lessons with Dumbledore to learn how to defeat Voldemort, and his experiences in the Pensieve become an integral part of his success.
Marketing automation platforms are like the Pensive because anyone in organization can be brought in to see for themselves what is happening or what has happened. For example, if a new sales rep is brought in, he can quickly bring up any prospect’s profile to see their most recent activity, marketing content score, most visited page views, etc. This gives him enough background to know exactly how to jump in and guide the prospect to the next part of the sales process.
5. It is a way for you to observe experiences without people knowing you’re there.
When you are reliving memories in a Pensieve, you live them exactly as they were, and no one knows you are there. Harry first realizes this when he goes into the Pensieve and experiences the trials from the First Wizarding War—and no one notices his presence.
Marketing automation platform also allows you to observe behaviors without people knowing that you are observing them. It may sound creepy, but like the Pensieve, it meant to be helpful. By viewing the engagement your prospects have with various emails, marketing content and internal webpages, you can more accurately assess their pains and provide them with relevant and valuable content that addresses how to solve those pains.