Marketing automation is an incredible tool for connecting with and engaging your customers. The old adage, “half of my marketing is working but I don’t know which half,” no longer really applies. Truly, marketing can be held accountable for both success and failure, and can more effectively learn from each mistake. Also, we are able to attribute sales to specific activities, which over time helps to create a more impactful marketing plan to maximize resources and hopefully grow budget each year.
BUT, there is also a dark side to marketing automation. By making the process to connect with customers more streamlined and robotic, there can be a tendency to forget to put ourselves in the shoes of the customer. Marketing is still about communication, and we have to focus on connecting with customers in the way that they want us to. Here are three mistakes that some marketers make with marketing automation:
- Sending too many emails. Yes, sending an email to your list is really, really easy nowadays. But that doens’t mean that you should be doing it every day, every week, or even every month, depending on who is a part of your list. Here is where having a solid preference center is helpful, so that your customers can choose how often they want to communicate with you, and which topics they are actually interested in.
- Selling before they are ready. We are trying to close deals, and make a profit for our organizations. This is no secret, and at the end of the day, the customer can’t blame us for trying to sell them something, right? Well, that is partially true. But there is a time and a place to sell, and if you are a marketer, selling outside of that zone is probably doing you more harm than good. Interestingly, the average consumer doesn’t want to engage with sales until they are a good way through the buying cycle. As marketers, it’s our job to create a relationship with people so that when they are ready, our salespeople can do their job. So, instead of using marketing automation to push your offering onto your leads or customers, use it to prove your value and distribute thought leadership. If they find what you are offering them useful to their business, they are far more likely to buy from you when they are ready.
- Prioritizing quantity over quality. It’s not about how many names you can shove into a database. In fact, the more names you have, the more likely you are to be doing harm to your marketing efforts. Marketers are often hoarders in that way. We never want to get rid of a name if it might turn into a deal sometime down the line. I get it. But, if your database gets messy, and you can’t determine what each lead means to you, or how to effectively connect with them, then everything you have built becomes really kind of useless. Focus on keeping your data clean, and maximizing the leads that you have instead of trying to get more at the expense of quality.
Marketing automation is fantastic. In my short career, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing three different platforms, and I love crafting nurturing streams and seeing the power that comes with understanding my database. But, it doesn’t replace the need to think and to connect with those leads in the way that they want me to.