Marketing automation (the process of automating marketing actions) is a crucial element in any marketing department to increase operational efficiency, thereby growing revenue faster. This category of technology aids in the streamlining and automating of marketing tasks, processes, and workflows.
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Marketing automation benefits several key categories of the marketing process, from lead generation and segmentation to customer lifecycle and customer retention.
In the now more highly competitive marketing landscape, marketing automation has become essential. Optimizing strategic marketing processes with automation ensures your business has an edge over its competitors. The ability to take a highly-targeted and personalized approach to your marketing initiatives will aid in closing more deals, engaging new and current customers, and generating more revenue.
But the integration of marketing automation is a costly investment. Automation solutions can run the gamut when it comes to pricing. Pricing comparison for automation software can start from $1,000 per annum and scale up to six figures for enterprise solutions.
While the estimated revenue growth and cost-saving benefits will offset the initial investment of marketing automation, failure to launch or successfully integrate automation will be costly. To seamlessly implement automation to your marketing processes, here are five pitfalls you need to avoid at all costs.
Here are 5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Marketing Automation
1.Failing to develop a focused strategy
Despite the benefits that come with marketing automation, automation software is not an effort-free panacea for all marketing ills.
Automated software must be programmed to automate tasks and workflows for better-streamlined efficiency. But when automation is set up without conceptualizing and considered planning, your automation software will fail to deliver your desired ROI.
To fully exploit all the benefits of marketing automation, outline your goals and strategy to ensure your investment isn’t simply a state-of-the-art mistake.
2.Inadequate resource allocation
The term “automation” often conjures ideas of a “set it and forget it” mentality. But when that happens, your business may find that your shiny new automation software is preventing sales or marketing alignment. This could be due to an insufficient allocation of tactical resources
When investing in marketing automation, it’s important to remember that additional marketing resources will be required to fuel automation processes. For some, this will require more tailored-content to drive personalization and consumer engagement.
Additional collaboration with internal stakeholders and departments may also be required to empower the desired outcomes such as lead nurturing.
When implementing your new marketing automation platform, ensure full training is sufficiently implemented for the benefit of all employees who interact with the platform. This will prevent the post-acquisition stagnation of the software.
3.Employing the wrong automation success criteria
Marketing automation brings with it a tremendous amount of valuable insight. But if the wrong benchmarks are used to determine automation success, any valuable business insights gained may result in reduced sales effectiveness without improvements on marketing operational efficiencies or in revenue growth.
Your automation success criteria must focus on data-driven results. Align your business goals with the marketing automation processes to make the most out of your automation platform. The goals may vary depending on your business. The most common goals set for marketing automation are increasing the quantity and quality of leads, and reducing churn or raising the average purchase value.
By focusing on the right success criteria, your automation software can demonstrate real ROI achieved.
4.Automating every marketing activity
With marketing automation, every channel can be successfully managed through your automation platform. This includes social media, contact management, drip campaigns, email marketing and content posting. And though this may appear to be the best strategy and tool to streamline workflow and increase efficiencies, this is not always the case.
Consumers today are sophisticated, motivated buyers. They will eventually notice when content and engagement efforts are driven by automation processes rather than live, human-driven interactions. So while you can automate every channel, you need to make sure first that the platform you use is designed to improve targeting of messages, to ensure the messages your system sends are personalized, relevant and specific to each recipient.
Look into creating a strategic balance that involves automated activities with a touch of human creativity. Remember, automation should serve to enable efficiency rather than totally replace human effort.
5.Not doing platform research
As marketing automation platforms are wide-ranging, many may come with highly restrictive price tags and unnecessary features for your business needs.
Before signing on the dotted line, understand the key strengths and differences that each platform brings to your business. Not every single feature available on an automation platform is warranted and required for your marketing efforts. Neglecting to do platform research may result in the acquisition of unnecessary and useless features which is quite wasteful.
Evaluate your current marketing capabilities and workflows. This will provide a framework for choosing the right automation solution that will meet the objectives of your marketing efforts.
With so many advantages associated with marketing automation, one would be foolish to not fully exploit its many benefits. But while this ever-useful marketing tool has become an essential strategy, businesses must still remain cautious with what marketing automation brings to the table. Poor strategizing and planning will result in wasted investments and a poor integration experience.
There’s no better time than the present to employ the services of automation. Just be sure to avoid these potential pitfalls and your business will reap the full benefits that automation can provide in no time.
Tomi Saikkonen is the Vice President of Liana Technologies, Middle East. Just like you, Tomi is fascinated by the possibilities of digital marketing and technology. He actively seeks out ways to help businesses and organizations across industries to improve their digital marketing ROI.