Marketing automation mistakes to avoid

Thu, 11/10/2018 - 10:58

Wouldn’t it be great if you could set up an automated marketing campaign, turn it on and forget about it while the leads roll in? Unfortunately, that is not how marketing automation (or, in fact, any software) works. 

Setting up a campaign is just the beginning, as any good marketing agency knows, and once it has been set up, you have to manage it and optimise it. The idea that marketing automation is a “set it and forget it” solution is just one of the marketing automation mistakes you need to avoid making. And here are the other marketing automation mistakes to avoid.

You don’t have an end goal for your marketing automation
Did you start using marketing automation because “everyone else is doing it”? If so, then you likely have not set an end goal for your automation, or for yourself. If you are sending out email marketing or social media messages without an end goal in mind, you are not utilising the automation software to its highest ability. 

You should take advantage of the ease of use of marketing automation software and spend time drawing up a list of goals you hope to achieve with it. For example, one goal could convert a transitioning lead into a marketing qualified lead based on certain behaviours. Once you have created your goals, you can assign these goals to each automated effort to make it easier to track the progress of your goal. 

Good enough is not… good enough
Like any marketing agency or team, once you have pushed a campaign out the door, you are likely exhausted. You spent hours creating that campaign, getting client approvals, proofreading all related content, finalising designs… you get the picture. By the time you start getting results back, you are ready to move onto the next item on your to-do list. 

While marketing automation does make the job of marketing agency easier, it is vital that you revisit your campaigns regularly to check how they are performing, to see if there are any changes you can make and to figure out how can optimise them. It might not seem important to improve your conversion rate from 1% to 1.25%, but this can help to increase the revenue of that campaign significantly. If you had not revisited the campaign, you would not have been able to do this. 

You’re only using marketing automation for emails…
… and not much else. While email marketing automation is an effective use of this tool, it is not the only way to use the software. You need to take full advantage of the features of this software in order to maximise efficiency and to reach the goals you have set out. 

If you look at your schedule, there are probably numerous little tasks throughout your day that don’t seem time-consuming on their own. But, when you add them all up, you will soon realise that you spend a great deal of time posting on social media, updating contact details and other tasks. Take a look at your automation software and see what features it has that can provide you with more time during the day to focus on more important tasks. 

You’re operating in a silo
If you want your inbound marketing campaign to work, the marketing and sales departments have to work together. The mistake many companies make when using marketing automation software is implementing it without considering how it will affect other departments. 

Even though it might seem as though your marketing and sales teams are part of the same department, they are working towards different goals and have different responsibilities. You have to take this into consideration when implementing any marketing automation campaigns. Meet regularly with all teams to discuss processes, resources, and best practices and be sure to map the customer journey together. By involving both teams, you are creating a shared vision and a cohesive atmosphere for everyone involved.  

It is not a bandaid
While marketing automation is effective, it will not do much if your marketing strategy is already ineffective. This might mean that your leads are not connecting with your product or service, or that there are issues with your advertisements or campaigns. 

There can be small mistakes with your strategy that even automation software might not pick up, such as typos, addressing people incorrectly, and sending irrelevant or poor-quality ads. These can all have a negative impact on your marketing strategy and automations might not be enough to fix these issues. You should first work on improving your marketing strategy and then move onto implementing automation software. 

Automate artfully for best results
Marketing automation is taking the marketing and technological world by storm, and you should not miss out on this opportunity. However, there are mistakes that many of us make when using new software. You might start using it without a solid goal in mind or you could assume that “good enough” will work forever (top tip: it won’t). 

Since partnering with Acoustic Campaign (formerly IBM Watson Campaign Automation), we have learned some new and interesting things, not least of all how to use it for campaign configuration and lead management. We have also learned what it can do, which has been a huge advantage for clients and our teams alike. 

You will need to set goals, speak to all teams involved about the software and use it for more than just emails in order to get the most out of our marketing automation software. 

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