Marketing automation (MA) can be a time-saving, effective software tool – but only if your team is using it to its full potential. There are many misconceptions and myths about marketing automation that inhibit a team’s ability to fulfill objectives and hinder marketing’s ability to more successfully align with sales.
Let’s dispel nine marketing automation myths that, unfortunately, are commonly misunderstood.
Myth #1: Marketing Automation Fixes your Marketing Problem
One of marketing automation’s great advantages is its ability to offload tasks and perform those tasks at a much faster pace.
The key here though, is that for a team without proven processes and content already developed, automating a bad process will not magically make the content more effective or compelling. Automation now basically allows your team to now send out crappy, irrelevant content faster and to more people.
New tech won’t fix your problems. In fact, it’ll only expose existing ones (with a high price tag).
Myth #2: Marketing Automation Is Only For Email
Sometimes, this “myth” starts out to be true. We often start with an automated follow-up email sequence, which is a very good idea and an easy way to get our feet wet.
But marketing automation can be, and is, a lot more! You can build scenarios that respond to a prospect’s behavior (visit on a website page, click in an email, etc.), which allow you to personalize email communications, the way your content shows on the website or where prospects are directed after a form submission.
Automation is about the whole engagement of the prospect, through their whole journey … not just about when they open their email.
Myth #3: Marketing Automation Is a “Set It and Forget It” Mentality
Campaigns of any nature need to be reviewed and updated from time to time. They must be in line with your business strategy and be measured and optimized to get the best performance. Even your evergreen nurture campaigns must be reviewed and updated in order to maximize their performance.
If you adhere to the “set it and forget it” mentality, you risk allowing campaigns to grow stale and outdated. Always work to keep your campaigns fresh, vibrant and meaningful to your audience!
Myth #4: Marketing Automation Is Lazy
Quality marketing automation takes work, and it’s well worth your effort in the end. It’s easy to assume marketing automation is “easy” since you can auto-schedule your content for the future, but quality automation isn’t finished once you send it.
You don’t have the ability to sit back and relax because marketing automation is only a small piece of a much larger strategy. How you use your MA software is dependent on the holistic integrations of your multi-channel customer experience.
Need to untangle your stack? Our technology consulting expertise is at the ready.
Myth #5: Marketing Automation Is SPAM
High-volume marketing is easy to do, but that is not what makes using this SPAM. SPAM is SPAM because of its irrelevancy, not because it showed up without warning in your inbox. You can ensure that your campaigns are relevant to your audience by getting to know your customers on a more intimate level. Instead of sending emails that you hope will connect, you can then send emails that you know will resonate with specific people/customers.
Consider the new GDPR requirements. Coming into compliance with GDPR will also ensure that your campaigns are not flagged as SPAM and will successfully reach their goals.
Myth #6: Marketing Automation Is Too Complicated
Some companies have entire teams dedicated to implementation. If you don’t have that capability, you can still do very well by setting up a simple email sequence. Some campaigns, such as document download or newsletter subscription follow-ups, are very effective and easy to implement.
Once you get used to it, you will be able to add more complex scenarios that include behavior variables and personalization. The important key to success with MA is to start simple and progress gradually.
Myth #7: Marketing Automation Is Too Expensive
Hundreds of marketing automation applications are available on the market today. The offer is diversified and adapted to different organizational needs, which makes it much easier for small businesses to access this technology.
Often, the profit gains of using a marking automation platform largely cover operational costs. Consider:
- Almost 1 in 5 marketers reporting a 30% increase in sales opportunities from properly-nurtured leads (via Marketing Charts)
- After using marketing automation for only one year, 32% of companies claim their revenue has increased. And after using it for more than two years, the figure rises to 40%. (source)
- 78 % of marketers say that marketing automation is the main reason for making a better profit (source)
Myth #8: Marketing Automation Is Impersonal
Don’t believe that because they are automated, emails are not personalized. On the contrary, marketing automation allows you to create a different sequence for each contact based on their behavior and/or profile data.
You can also personalize the emails in your sequence to create a tailored customer experience. In fact, one of the primary benefits of embracing this tech is for the ability to create a personal experience!
Myth #9: Marketing Automation Is Only For Big Companies
Many small and medium businesses are successfully using MA. With the number of providers on the market, it’s not surprising that some of them are now targeting these businesses and have adapted their offers accordingly.
Do your research and choose the platform that best meets the needs (and budget) of your company – but there’s no reason to stay out of this mature marketplace.
Whether you’re using marketing automation in a large firm or a small startup, you can leverage it to suit your needs, budget, and team capabilities. There’s no good reason preventing you from taking advantage!
Marketing automation won’t fix all of your problems (one of the more common myths I’ve seen believed), but it can alleviate pressure on your team if used correctly.
If you know your audience, it can help you reach your customers at the right time with the right message, and, if you keep your campaigns fresh, they will always be a welcome sight in the inboxes of your customers.
Try our starting point for executives, a high-level overview with resources to accurate plan for MA.
Want platform-specific help? We have dedicated teams for Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud – among many others!