Four marketing automation pitfalls to avoidMarketing automation is more than a trend or buzzword. The statistics show that. It is a reliable technological solution that will change the future of marketing. But is marketing automation the holy grail for all companies, the solution for all their marketing challenges? Before you enter the field of marketing automation it might be good to delve into a number of pitfalls that you have to avoid.
Pitfall 1: No clear justification for marketing automationPerhaps the most common mistake is that companies purchase marketing automation software without having a solid plan of action. So before you take the next step, it's important to see if you can answer the question why you would like to start marketing automation. For example, do you have fewer conversions? Do you have a direct need to score leads? In short: what is your "why" and does this justify the risks and costs associated with marketing automation?
If you are sure that marketing automation is the path you want to take, the next step is to create a business plan with a clear strategy and objectives for your marketing automation program. Also make a realistic assessment of what marketing automation can do for you, but also what it cannot do.
Marketing automation is much more complicated than just purchasing a technological solution. It requires a carefully composed mix of software, processes, content and qualified people. And don't forget to take sufficient budget into account.
Pitfall 2: Automating poor marketing processes
In marketing automation, no process is more important than mapping the "buyer journey". What is the journey that your leads travel during the purchasing process? Do you know your most important target groups (buyer personas), do you know when they need content and information from you, and do you know how and why you should move them towards fulfilling your call-to-action?
The guideline is fairly simple: your marketing mix must already be strategic and smooth in its manual form before you transfer it to a "machine" that can do much of the work.
Pitfall 3: Assuming that marketing automation will lead to leadsYou can easily be misled by the magic of marketing automation tools. Most people are pleasantly surprised by all the functions and benefits that these software suites offer. But do not forget that marketing automation will not add contacts to your database and that it will not resolve the lead generation problems of your company on its own.
Marketing automation platforms automate many marketing functions and provide useful data to better understand your prospects and their needs, but they do not include all the digital marketing tools needed to grow as a company. In sales cycle terms: marketing automation tools are designed to "nurture" and activate leads. However, for generating new leads that you can nurture, you also need a solution.
Pamela Vaughan from HubSpot says it well: “If you only rely on marketing automation and have no strategy to grow your new contact list, you will soon no longer have any contacts to be able to nurture. It's that simple. "
Pitfall 4: Failing to produce new, current contentThe maxim is widely used, but it is unmistakable: "Content is king." Especially when it comes to marketing automation. If marketing automation is the engine, then content is the fuel. The last mistake that occurs quite often is companies that buy a nice, shiny, new sports car, but then don't have gas to drive it.
Remarkably enough, many organizations have a lot of content in-house. However, many marketers often struggle with the quality of the content and with the question of where and when this content should be used.
The best content is often not about your own products or services. Of course, prospects (and existing customers) should also be told about your new business and product developments. But valuable, relevant content comes in many forms. Products are purchased for many reasons. But rarely is the decision based solely on the features of the product.