Marketing automation is one of the hottest ways to drive more qualified traffic to your business, and industry revenue is expected to grow by more than 50 percent in this area in 2013. Essentially, the term "marketing automation" refers to software platforms that businesses can utilize to perform automated repetitive tasks such as email marketing, cross-sell based marketing, and managing e-commerce tasks such as online shopping carts. If it's implemented correctly, marketing automation can make a significant contribution to your company's bottom line; however, all too often it is done the wrong way.
HubSpot shares some examples of companies that missed the mark on their marketing automation strategies, and hopefully you can learn from these mistakes:
- Incorporating an automated marketing process into an already broken strategy won't fix the problem. For a company that is struggling to attract new leads, simply purchasing an email list and pushing poor quality content out to them through an automated marketing email won't do the trick. Instead, taking the time to produce high quality content that is both relevant and interesting to your target audience will improve your efforts in driving more qualified traffic to your business.
- Focus on attracting and converting new leads before putting a marketing automation strategy in place. According to HubSpot, the average email database shrinks by 25 percent each year. If you're not focusing on growing prospective leads for your business, marketing automation will likely not help your business.
- Understand that your leads won't always move neatly through the sales funnel as marketing automation assumes. By not being aware of this, you will likely miss out on opportunities to interact with prospects and customers that are visiting you online.
- You can get automated marketing software with all of the bells and whistles, but if they don't offer solutions to your specific needs, it may not be beneficial. Creating a laundry list of all of the areas that you need your automated marketing software to address is critical. Take a close look at how each of your existing problems will be resolved with the software.
- Automated marketing software should benefit both the marketing and sales team within your organization. Ideally, automated marketing should help move leads further down the sales funnel, resulting in more closed business for the sales team and more revenue for your company. Marketing automation should help to align the goals of both teams. Both teams should discuss which priorities need to be addressed in relation to marketing automation before selecting software.
- Focus on marketing expertise versus technical support when selecting marketing automation software. By working with a vendor that is entrenched in the marketing industry, you can stay ahead of the curve.
All in all, marketing automation should be something that is well though out by your company before making an investment in any particular software.