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10 reasons why marketing automation fail and how you can avoid frustration

Marketing automation promises many advantages:

  • A more consistent pipeline of high-quality leads
  • Showing the right message to the right audience at the right time while of course saving time and money
  • Track customer behaviour, if possible across multiple channels
  • Give you all the reporting that you need
  • Integrate with your CRM

If you’re a marketing pro who is aware of and dedicated to driving conversions and improving ROI, you know marketing automation is an absolute must. Put in numbers, marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5% on average while reducing marketing costs.

Now, why do some of us not get the same results? Why does marketing automation fail for some of us? A powerful platform can’t do much without the right pieces in place to set you up for success. To help you avoid frustration and make the most out of your service, here are 10 pitfalls.

Poor strategies

A marketing automation service doesn’t replace your marketing strategy. Placing technology, a tool ahead of your strategy is like putting the cart before the horse. The tool is there to help you deploy your plan and enhance your work.

If you don’t work out beforehand a plan with the goals and objective, don’t be surprised if the technology doesn’t deliver.

No or poor communication between sales and marketing

Marketing automation is there to help your business increase revenue. This by definition includes the sales department. A lack of collaboration and communication between marketing and sales spells problems for your business.

It means not only to include the sales team early into the conversation but also that marketing and sales have the same definitions. Say, do they understand the same thing under a qualified lead?

Wrong service

Choosing the right marketing automation vendor and technologies can prove to be both complex and onerous. For one, you need to exactly know your requirements from marketing, sales, and IT. But you also need to keep your goals and objectives in mind.

Lastly, you don’t want to use too many different marketing automation systems in a siloed, non-integrated manner. If you’re using different automation services, you’ll want to be able to track all the steps in the user journey. Which leads to

Not using user behaviour to target your audience

If you’re only broadcasting your message to all of your audience without segmenting them based on their behaviour, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

The fact is that a message that evokes responses such as opens, clicks, or conversion is contextual and based on user behaviour. You can observe what your audience is doing and also set up a scoring model. This will help you gauge the interest of a prospect.

Poor understanding of your customer personas

If you don’t truly know your audience and understand its motivations, your communications aren’t going to resonate with your customers. If your email doesn’t elicit a reaction from your customers, you’re not going to see the results you projected – with or without automation.

Wrong timing

If you look at your audience at any time, only a small part is ready to buy and the others are still learning about your business, products, or services. If you’re only pitching, pitching, pitching and the prospect is not in that stage yet, of course, you’re going to be annoying.

Understanding the journey a customer takes from being aware of you to buying and using your campaigns to guide and help them in each stage at key decision-making moments is key to success.

Not being on the channel your audience uses

If you take a look at the customer journey, you’ll see that the average prospect needs about 32 touchpoints across multiple devices and channels to convert.

This means a well-designed marketing system is needed that spans across the channels that your audience uses. You need to know where your audience is and communicate there with them.

Trying to automate things that shouldn’t be automated

Sometimes, there are things that can’t be automated. Think of it like this: The best way to make a sale is through one-to-one communication. That’s individual and personalised communication, not a broadcast.

Take social media for example, communication is real-time and unpredictable. You also have no idea what someone’s going to say or how they react to your post.

This is not to say you can’t automate content-based messages that go out on a regular basis. But you don’t want to send automated replies if you want to answer with accuracy and nurture the relationship.

Not knowing which KPIs are used to measure success

Metrics like open and click-through rates, page views can cause you to constantly hit the refresh button, they’re not the numbers that people dedicated to growth and ROI are interested in.

This is the reason why marketing in general and advertising, in particular, are looked at as costs drivers rather than revenue multipliers. If you focus on driving revenue, that is track KPIs that back the overarching corporate business goals, it’s the best way to contribute directly to the company’s bottom line.

Your business can’t grow with the service

Not only does the service not let you create advanced, non-standard automations needed to achieve specific goals, but it is not even able to handle your plans to grow and expand (aka more mails, more contacts, more automations, etc).

Of course, your marketing automation service must align with your business needs, or do you want to spend your time adjusting your business to the service?

Ending notes

Marketing in general and with it marketing automation is an investment in the success of your business. Don’t let these marketing automation fails frustrate you. Stay ahead of the curve and sign up for our marketing newsletter.

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