Marketing is a field that’s ever-changing, and one of the most relevant technology solutions introduced in recent years is marketing automation. Automation, which limits the amount of manual work needed for time-consuming tasks and processes, has the power to increase a business’s scalability and revenue.
As with all solutions, expectation management is key! Automation has major potential to help your revenue marketing in tangible ways, but you need to approach it with the right mindset of what it realistically can do for you. Marketing automation is not an overnight fix-all, and it’s not a solution that’s uniform across the board.
Learning about the expectations versus realities of marketing automation will equip you with the knowledge you need to make the most of this versatile asset. Keep reading!
Expectations vs. Reality with Marketing Automation
1. Expectation: Marketing automation is a tool, the tool has buttons, and the buttons do stuff.
Reality: Automation is certainly a helpful tool, but before you even consider using it, you have to ask yourself this crucial initial question: what are you trying to do? What exactly are you hoping automation will accomplish for your business?
The preliminary step to picking automation is creating a marketing automation strategy with clear-cut goals on what you want automation to do. This will help you conduct the right research and select the right platform so that your automation does exactly what you need it to. A marketing automation agency can help you figure out the right questions to ask to ensure you invest in an automation software best suited for your business requirements.
2. Expectation: Marketing automation is a cost center.
Reality: In fact, automation is a revenue center. While it might not work overnight, this long-term investment will eventually prove its worth through its time-saving and revenue-driving capabilities. With lead management, email marketing, CRM integration, and much more, the multi-faceted automation platform will ultimately prove a steady return on investment.
Automation can help disseminate information, keep leads warm, provide accurate reporting, and so much more that will help you personalize content, make data-fueled decisions, and grow your revenue and marketing.
3. Expectation: All marketing automation software works the same way
Reality: There are lots of different kinds of marketing automation programs, and it’s imperative to choose the right one for your business. Are you looking to automate customer management? Email marketing? Maybe you want automation that will create workflows for your marketing and sales processes. With so many options on the market, it’s important to acknowledge that not every software will do every type of automation.
This works hand-in-hand with developing an effective marketing automation strategy. By figuring out what you need before you go looking for it, you’ll end up with the best tool possible for your business.
4. Expectation: Marketing automation can replace your entire team and will drive revenue, scale your business, and make a measurable impact...overnight.
Reality: Automated processes, creating workflows, implementing emails – it all takes time. Marketing automation isn’t an immediate fix-all, and your team needs to invest time into setting it up properly.
And of course, automation doesn’t replace the need for your team to nurture leads and do their job. It’s still up to your marketing team to give energy to campaigns and efforts and build those human connections with prospects and customers.
Automation WILL ultimately give your team back all that time they spend sending emails and manually doing time-consuming tasks so that they can focus on opportunities that will yield a higher reward. So, automation isn’t magic. It can’t replace people, and it also won’t start working to its full potential overnight, but before you know it, you’ll start noticing a difference in your team’s energy, time, and focus.
5. Expectation: Once you automate, you won’t need any other tools
Reality: Automation works best when it works in alignment with other tools. Just like how automation can’t replace your marketing team, it also won’t replace every other tool in your tech stack. It will likely downsize what you need and help consolidate your services, but it will not be all you require.
You might even consider combining more than one automation tool to fulfill your needs. The point is that an automation software is not an all-in-one artificial intelligence solution that will do everything. It’s an amazing tool and resource that will help make a big impact, but it can’t carry that burden alone!
6. Expectation: When it comes to automation, you just set it and forget it
Reality: While automation will do a lot for you, you can’t just set it and walk away forever. As your business and tools change, so do best practices, and all of these will impact automation’s effectiveness. The last thing you want is an automation process that was set several months ago to no longer adhere to digital marketing best practices, which frequently change.
Automation is still such an ever-evolving space, and so is digital marketing. That means you have to constantly reevaluate and optimize your solutions and efforts to make sure they’re staying relevant and doing their job properly.
Marketing automation can be a key player in your business, but if you don’t establish a proper marketing automation strategy and manage your expectations of this powerful solution, it might cause more harm than good. A full-service marketing agency with in-depth knowledge of the automation space can help make sure that doesn't happen!
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