Marketing automation: Myths and magic

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Soetkin Claeys

To automate or not to automate, is it still a question? Although marketing automation is definitely on the rise, there are still a lot of misconceptions about what it should or shouldn’t do for your organization. Let’s take a closer look at some of them below.

1. it’s only for Email

The myth: Marketing automation is the same as email marketing

Marketing automation and email marketing may seem similar, but they are quite different. Email marketing tools are used to send mass email, track replies and report on them, while marketing automation tools go way beyond the inbox. A full marketing automation system has applications for channels such as landing pages, sign-up forms, surveys and social media.

The magic:Gain more insights into the needs and preferences of your customers by tracking activities outside the inbox. Think about behavior on social media, your website and many other aspects of their digital ‘footprint’. As all these tools in your marketing automation system are located in the same place, they are designed to work together!

2. Fire and Forget

The myth: Marketing automation is a ‘set and forget’ solution

The fact that marketing automation frees up your time by making your campaigns automated, doesn’t mean that you just press a button and sit back to wait for the results. The real benefit is not in saving time but in improving the quality of your campaign. While the technological part is taken care of by the platform, the overall lead generation strategy and the content or story you want to tell is up to you. Try to identify key signals or critical moments in the customer journey and learn from the feedback each campaign provides you with.

The magic: The more details you have about your individual visitors, the better you can target your future marketing campaigns and develop specific triggers for certain conditions. Although every organization is different, there are still a lot of common key moments you can start with. For example, you can send a nice ‘thank you’ message for every newsletter subscription, wish your customer a happy birthday or send him a friendly ‘oops you forgot something’ reminder in case he abandoned his shopping cart.

3. Marketing automation is for robots

The myth: Marketing automation is cold and impersonal

Just because your messages are automated doesn’t mean it’s impersonal, on the contrary! Automated messaging frees up your time to focus more on the quality of your campaigns and messages. This allows you to deliver personalized and more important, relevant communication. Automation enables you to collect data on your prospects and customers allowing you to categorize them by behavior, goals, preferences, interests and so on. Based on that segmentation, you can deliver personal content based on each unique user profile.

The magic: Target emails based on what you know about your customers or create dynamic content that changes based on website visits. Drive customer behavior by scheduling the right message to the right person at the right time. When marketing automation is done right, customers will never think twice about the code behind it. They’re just happy to have a company driven by their needs and committed to provide solutions.

4. It’s the holy grail of lead generation

The myth: Marketing automation is the silver bullet for lead generation

Marketing automation is often seen as a silver bullet, but this is not exactly the case. While marketing automation can provide you with a greater number of leads, it’s still up to you to close the deal! So why aren’t you succeeding? Why are so many leads you approach “not interested” in what you have to offer? That’s simple, they just aren’t sales ready yet!

The magic: Try to naturally nurture contacts into customers. Visitors that filled out your contact form, need a different approach than someone who filled out a form in order to download your latest whitepaper.

Want to know more and gain the ability to close more deals faster? Stay tuned for the second part in this series! By this time next week, Hendrick will explain how to nurture your leads and truly boost your sales. You’ll be wondering how you ever did business without!

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