5 Common (and Costly) Marketing Automation Mistakes

Myth #1 You Can “Set It and Forget It”

Real talk. Marketing automation (MA) is not a crockpot recipe and you are not Julia Child. You cannot expect to set up your automation system, leave it unattended, and come back to an amazing result. It’s just not going to happen. However, marketing automation systems do allow businesses to automate tasks that would normally be repeated manually time and time again. In fact, most marketers report the largest benefit of using some form of automation is saving time (Venture Harbor, 2017).
So, when it comes to your MA system, think of it as a plant that needs nurturing and attention to bring forth beautiful blooms. And how can you actively do this?  Utilize A/B testing to see what content generates higher responses from your customer base. Make tweaks in your MA strategy as you learn more about your customer’s responses to what you are sending out. There are so many variables to adjust and test out from the timing of your messages to the platforms you are sending them out on to the segments you are targeting and more.
The more you listen to your customers, the more fine-tuned and efficient your marketing automation strategy will become. So test, optimize, and test again!

Myth #2 It’s Just Glorified Email Marketing

For those of you who believe this all too common myth I have two words for you: think bigger. Marketing automation can work to your advantage in so many areas ss from scheduling social media messages to aiding in lead generation, and even offering services that previous generations of marketers dreamt of (hello algorithms that make campaign direction recommendations).
The list of potential ways to benefit your business with MA is a long one and while it does include email marketing, it goes beyond that. Traditional media marketing alone offers no insight into what leads to follow up with beyond click through rates. With marketing automation, you can ensure the sales team is only following up with leads who are in a prime position to buy. By scoring leads, marketing automation software provides you with a clearer look into your potential customers and saves the sales department from wasting time chasing people who are not ready to buy. This is just one example of how automation allows for a streamlined process.

Myth #3 It’s for Large Companies with Big Budgets

After learning about the myriad ways in which MA saves time and aids in increasing revenue, it’s only natural to want in on the action. However, a quick google search into monthly rates of today’s most popular systems may prove discouraging. “There are a lot of people out there that see the power of permission marketing and in-bound marketing, But as soon as they start looking at how they can implement it, they hit a wall of $500 or $800 a month, which is out of the price range of many people.” This statement comes from Matt Fenn, founder of the affordable marketing automation platform JumpLead which offers inbound marketing automation services to companies not wanting to break the budget.
And the best news? There are plenty of other companies like Matt’s that offer low-cost marketing automation options. Remember that you do not need to use big-name software to generate great results for your company. The right system (and price plan)  for your business is out there. Additionally, there are free plugins and software to try out for those wanting to dip their toes into the world of MA.

Myth #4 Automation is Impersonal

Much like the force in Star Wars, marketing automation is a tool that can be used in beneficial ways and in destructive ones. The amount of impersonal, annoying marketing email blasts flooding inboxes everywhere indicates that some marketers have missed the mark on automation and slipped into the spam category.
But your marketing automation does not have to be this way. In fact, the key benefit of marketing automation is the availability to send targeted information to leads at different points in the funnel thus avoiding the cringeworthy spam emails that get sent straight to the trash folder without a second glance. When done right, targeted messages will resonate well with customers and lead nurturing will become less of a struggle.

Myth #5 It Just Involves the Marketing Department

Stop operating in silos. I’ll say it again for the people in the back. Stop. with. the. silos. At HMG, we’re on a mission to stop the friction between sales and marketing departments so that companies can get real results. Your business is a machine and an open flow of communication, information, and ideas through every department is the oil that keeps it moving smoothly. When it comes to implementing a marketing automation system, this is crucial for getting the most out of your investment.  Marketing automation should not only benefit one department, rather it should offer tangible advantages through the entire organization.
Picture this: The marketing department shares relevant information with the sales team such as lead scores. Sales are now better equipped to pursue qualified leads at the correct times and revenue. The customer service department benefits from the integration between CRM and marketing automation systems which allows employees to provide tailored help to customers on the platforms they prefer. Now your system is benefiting customers, employees, and the business as a whole.
When used strategically, marketing automation can open doors for revenue growth and resource-saving abilities across an organization.
So, there you have it. Five mistakes you, our well-informed reader, won’t be making on your marketing automation journey. Thanks for reading and happy automating!