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JDR Group's 'Digital Prosperity' Blog

Software Alone Isn't The Answer: Why Marketing Automation Fails

Posted by Leanne Mordue on 09-Mar-2016 10:57:00
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Many businesses sink a sizeable investment into marketing automation software in the hopes that it will make the sales and marketing processes easier and more streamlined, while at the same time organising contacts and segmenting lists, for a more tailored marketing approach. This does not always work out as envisioned, leading to a loss on the monetary investment made and time spent, both of which can never be fully recovered. But there are reasons, beyond the scope of the software, for the failure of this extremely powerful marketing tool. In this article, we will be looking at some of the main reasons why marketing automation software fails to deliver the desired results.

Getting Started

A common mistake, or rather misconception, about marketing automation software, is that it will completely take over your marketing functions. This could not be further from the truth. Marketing automation has been designed to enhance the scale of your already existing marketing efforts, with the aim of saving you time, money and other valuable resources. When it comes to the implementation of marketing automation software, it is imperative that you have a marketing automation strategy. Without a clear and concise strategy, your marketing efforts will be misguided and wasted, rendering the software completely under-utilised and possibly irrelevant.

Another thing to consider when thinking about the switch to automation is, do you have a strong enough lead base, a platform from which to launch your nurturing campaign down the funnel. Until marketers have a steady and strong enough organic lead flow through the marketing funnel, they do not have what is necessary to implement marketing automation for optimal success. When marketing automation is implemented correctly, it takes time and resources, combined with continuous efforts for its growth and maintenance, along with a strong lead base from which to prove itself a useful acquisition.

Marketing Channels

Traditional automated marketing made almost exclusive use of email marketing messages triggered by a certain time delay or actions, such as email opens and email clicks. Email marketing has lost its punch over the years since the advent of social media. This traditionally one-channel marketing option came with its limitations to your marketing efforts, in that it limited the number of viewers to your message, and left a bad taste in the mouths of those who often read rather generic content. The email also limits the scope and range of data that marketers need to better serve their prospects and customers want's and needs. Learn more about effective Email marketing - Is Email Marketing Effective? Why Your Prospects Don't Open Your Emails.

A well designed and strategically sound marketing automation system makes use of multiple channels through which to market your message. Incorporating the use of social media to reach a wider audience through inbound marketing strategies, while at the same time gathering valuable data around your particular target market within your designated demographic. The proper use of these channels is not the job of automation alone. Quality-rich and concise content is what does the work of getting those prospect’s attention, and keeping existing customers interested, thus getting the most out of your automation system while at the same time, gently guiding them through the nurturing phase, leading them where you want them to go.

Good and Bad Marketing Automation

Marketing automation that is implemented without the correct strategy, suited to your business’s unique goals and market offerings, is one that is doomed to fail. Taking the ever evolving needs and wants of your prospects and customers into account when developing an automation strategy is crucial, and can be done through the proper use of automation and implementation. Email is a way that automation gets passed to a particular customer or prospect, but without the proper employment of content with the automation, gathering the valuable data that you need is hampered through this single channel automation approach. While bad marketing automation approaches and strategies will leave you disappointed with your marketing ROI, utilising good marketing automation processes to their fullest potential will boost your bottom line while, at the same time, delighting your customers.

Marketers without good leads generation strategies tend to spend most of their time figuring out how best to squeeze what they can receive from their existing customer base while effectively ignoring the vastness that is their untapped market. Implementing an automation system on this premise is a bad marketing practice as selecting the wrong target market. Neither will provide you with the long-term sustainable returns you are searching for. How effective will your marketing automation be once you have squeezed the last penny out of your existing customers, without the means of generating new leads to create your continuous revenue stream?

In Conclusion

Marketing automation fails for numerous different reasons. Some are due to lack of planning and short-sightedness while another is the failure to produce content that is of the quality and informative nature that today’s educated consumers have become accustomed to. When deciding on whether or not your company is in a position to implement an automated marketing strategy, you should be able to provide assured answers to the following questions: Does your company have a clear and concise automation strategy? Does your firm have a solid platform for lead generation that will provide a consistent stream of leads through the nurturing process?

When choosing a marketing automation system, it's important to recognise that the software alone isn't enough - it needs to be implemented effectively. As the old saying goes, 'A fool with a tool is still a fool'.

That's why we recommend finding a good marketing partner to work with to ensure your investment in marketing automation has the full impact, and moves your business forward rather than being an expensive program that no-one actually uses!

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