Automation Tools–Friend or Foe (or do you even know?)


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I’m not an avid shopper and I stay away from the malls as much as I can; most definitely during the holiday shopping frenzy. So it’s natural that I thought the crowds would have thinned somewhat now that everyone is back to work and school. I had not taken into account the fact that now is the time all the duplicate gifts are being exchanged, new ones are being purchased with the generous gift cards received and everything that does not work the way it should is being returned by dejected consumers who had pinned their hopes on to that most exciting gadget, electronic item or appliance. The lines at Customer Service counters are longer than the ones at the checkout counters. I’ll wait until after Valentine’s Day, thank you; am in no hurry to go shopping!

Now just think how easy it is in the B2C world to go back to the vendor or retail store with a proof of purchase and simply get a refund on your money. The story is quite different in our neck of the woods, i.e. B2B. Unsuspecting organizations invest precious dollars into buying sales and marketing automation tools. Most often, a purchase is made without fully comprehending the functions of the automation tool and without knowledge of what to expect in terms of deliverables. Case upon case is known of companies having to hire experts and consultants at a hefty price so they can actually put to use the “sophisticated” automation tool that started out being the “sexy new thing” in the boardroom and is now the “elephant” in the finance room.

Although what I am sharing here is anecdotal it is based on what we have started seeing over the last year with the indiscriminate application of automation tactics without proper process. It is becoming very apparent that there is a serious push back from prospects because of the frequency of emails that they are receiving. This is clearly a result of a marketing automation program. It is alarming to hear the number of clients who have voiced their concerns that their emails are now being blocked despite the fact that they ave taken adequate measures to secure opt-ins.

At issue is the fact that companies are mistaking automated responses with good marketing practices. I would argue the opposite as this is sheer madness. If you need to suddenly hire an automation consultant to implement your lead nurturing plays, I think it is cause for some serious concern.

Is your B2B sales and marketing automation program a friend or foe…or honestly, do you know?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


  1. I agree that some types of automation is good while others can hurt an online business like auto backlink software that can get you links from the wrong types of sites.


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