The implementation of a marketing automation tool can go wrong for a number of reasons—from the lack of adequate training for your staff to the lack of clearly defined goals. Even if you get the best solution, it could still remain gravely under-utilized.
Not taking full advantage of your marketing or web-sales automation tool is a sheer waste of money. Thus, you should make sure that you don’t make some of the most serious mistakes when implementing such a platform and that you utilize all of its features optimally.
Here are the most common mistakes that companies tend to make with their marketing automation, which you should avoid at all costs:
1. No Clear-cut Strategy or Goals
If you have no clearly defined goals and no strategy laid out for your marketing automation implementation, you are bound to hit a brick wall. The solution should provide you with a good return on your investment. But for that to be possible, you need to map out a strategy for how you are going to gain revenue from it and use it to the fullest.
This includes setting both short- and long-term goals, as well as drawing an implementation plan for your marketing automation. Make sure you cover these points at all costs:
- What was your reason for purchasing the software? “Everyone uses one” is not a valid reason.
- What marketing campaigns will you apply the solution on—social, email, PPC, SEO, webinars, etc.?
- Which processes will you be automating?
- Who will use the software? Define both the primary and the advanced users.
- What kinds of metrics and reports will be generated?
- What is your aim—increasing the number of qualified leads, increasing the revenue, improving the lead velocity, or something else?
2. Stale Content
Marketing automation requires a lot of content. A good lead nurturing program devours amazing amounts of content, and without good content, it is almost impossible to close a deal. You’ll just be sending sales pitches until you annoy your prospects and they unsubscribe from your newsletters.
You should designate a team to constantly develop fresh content for your campaigns in different formats like blogs, case studies, webinars, product videos, etc., which are aimed at each one of the marketing funnel’s parts. Inbound marketing thrives on fresh content. With it, you can attract prospects, earn their trust, establish credibility, and ultimately, convert them into paying customers.
3. Keeping Your Sales Team Out
This is one of the gravest mistakes you can make. Your sales department should not be a bystander to your marketing automation implementation. They can benefit from it, too.
In the ideal case, marketing and sales should work together to convince management that the marketing automation will improve their performance. After all, both departments share a common goal—gaining as many quality leads as they can, and as fast as possible—and the key to achieving this goal is marketing automation.
The solution should be integrated with the CRM system in order to provide the sales team with access to the entire lead history of each prospect and advanced lead intelligence. When your sales are well armed with this data, they can target the prospects with tailored content, and they have higher chances to close a deal.
4. Utilizing the Marketing Automation Solution for Email Marketing Only
Email marketing is just a fraction of the entire host of areas in which a marketing automation solution can be implemented. If you use a marketing automation tool for email marketing campaigns only, you would be better off investing in the services of an email marketing service provider.
Marketing automation can be used for so many other things that it would be a shame to under-utilize it in such a way. Here’s what else you can do with it:
- Identifying anonymous visitors of your website
- Website analytics
- Building a well-structured lead nurturing program on the basis of visitors’ behaviors
- Prioritizing leads and lead scoring
- Creating optimized landing pages
- Growing your email list
- Integrating the solution into your CRM
- Cross-selling and up-selling to your existing customers
- Lead attribution
- Managing your presence in social media
- Integrating a proactive live chat into your site for better customer support
- Calculating the ROI of each individual marketing campaign
- Receiving detailed reports on campaigns, leads, and conversions
This is a lot more than just managing your email campaigns, don’t you think?
5. Running on Autopilot
It is possible to run a marketing automation tool on autopilot. You could automate your social media posting, email campaigns, sharing leads with the sales, etc. and forget about all these tasks. However, this would have disastrous results.
If you run on autopilot, you will end up with massive numbers of unsubscribes and a loss of many followers, and your sales team will most probably hate you.
Thus, you should monitor your web-sales automation solution regularly and train the primary and advanced users to work with it. Setting milestones and tasks is a good strategy to keep everything under check. Devise and tweak your lead nurturing programs based on the gathered intelligence data. Keep striving for perfection and the optimal working of your solution, and you will soon enjoy the results.
When implemented in the right way, marketing automation has the capability to significantly improve your efficiency, help you expand your business and provide you with comprehensive measurement tools for all your marketing campaigns. However, if you commit even one of the above mentioned mistakes, you will be denied these benefits and your tool will bring you little or no use at all. So, step carefully and avoid those mistakes to get impressive results from your marketing automation implementation.
About the Author
Daniel Hristov is CEO of Deskgod Inc. – a company that offers a web-based marketing automation solution for medium and small business owners. He really enjoys travelling and sharing tips on marketing automation, conversion optimization and leads management.