Marketing automation has indubitably come a rather long way from being but a simple method of sending automatic marketing emails without any specific focus. Throughout the years, it has developed into a versatile tool that many marketers now use to create sustainable value for their customers, thereby generating more leads and ultimately converting them to much needed sales. However, marketing automation isn’t a “one size fits all” solution, and this is something that every marketer should keep in mind while tailoring the approach to actively engaging their target audience. Here is some food for thought to help you get a clearer picture of what the benefits and potential pitfalls are for those who have chosen to automate.
Marketing automation can facilitate a synergetic relationship between your marketing and sales teams.
Often enough, there is significant information asymmetry between these two departments and this can cause a costly rift in your value creation chain, meaning less leads and sales than you could be having with your level of investment. Proper automation requires both teams to be in the loop – this creates a process structure that actually makes it nigh impossible for these two departments to become misaligned. Build value from the inside!
It allows for major future returns by keeping your leads in “stand-by” mode until they’re ready to convert.
A well-timed action from your automated system can mean the difference between reinvigorating your communication with a customer and losing it to the competition.
Big data means big opportunities.
Marketing systems rely on trending, trial and error and machine learning, which means they get smarter by constantly doing and re-analyzing. You can easily measure the effectiveness of certain messages and formulations and then adjust your approach accordingly – constant feedback means constant improvement.
Inspiration through integration!
Many marketing automation solutions offer a rather high degree of integration with major customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which can further help you tailor a more personalized instrument to reach your customers.
Strength in numbers
Your new system can indeed help you fire in quick succession and even simultaneously at a host of moving targets in various marketing channels!
It might prove to be a costly investment.
The knowledge required to create an efficient and dependable marketing automation system comes with a price. That price does depend on the amount of functionality and the ability to use it as a scalable solution, but its true cost is always relative to your expected ROI. Do your math carefully!
You’re going to need a ton of data and content.
Processing and learning algorithms work by analyzing huge quantities of data to assess consumer trends and serve your marketing offer accordingly. If your data is scarce, incomplete or even faulty, your automated system is going to be doing a whole lot of missing, and getting wrong or generic offers and messages is something that consumers find irritating.
“Automated” doesn’t equal“no maintenance”
Sometimes it’s just the opposite. You need to manage your tools like you would normally manage your people. There is always some tweaking to be done in order to help this investment of yours grow to its full potential, which means dedicating some human capacity to boostyour machine learning.
It could make you lose your ability to act moderately
Many risk becoming too aggressive, too passive or too generic by relying on a machine to do all the work. Automation may offer you some serious data analytics, but marketing is about building interpersonal relationships through value, and this creates sales.
Wisdom for the road
Marketing automation is a mighty tool with the proven capability of boosting your leads and sales, but getting it right is tricky. If you plan on going “full auto”, bear in mind that the costs can quickly rise and surprise, so keep a close eye on your process, feed it ample data and remember: marketing is about understanding psychology, and psychology is about fundamentally understanding people.