Marketing automation is a buzzword nowadays, everybody knows it or has heard about it. For most large businesses it’s not even a question to have it as they could have thousands of customer interactions every day on a handful of online channels. Small businesses might benefit from it as well, however, the validity is not always present.
Let’s look at the most relevant misbeliefs about Marketing Automation and the truth behind them.
Used for sending automated emails only
Many believe that the only channel used by Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP) is email. However, most larger vendors can handle social interactions, create landing pages, process form submissions, SMS, website tracking and so on.
For starting point email is great, however, don’t limit yourself: start small and simple and extend your campaign activities with additional channels, test and learn what works well for your business.
Lastly, it allows you to have a complete 360 view of your customers and study their actions and behaviour so you can modify your marketing programs for better engagement and ultimately for better conversion.
Applicable for enterprise-level only
Every business size has repetitive, manual processes that could be replaced by automation, so you can focus on more strategic initiatives.
By default, large enterprises benefit more from automation because of sheer volume. Enterprise-grade platforms – like Oracle’s Eloqua – have the ability to handle all contacts within a single instance, allowing all data in one place while differentiating user access, activity frequency by business units, segments, etc. However, there are several hundred or more automation providers currently who focus on different business sizes. Therefore, even if you work on a smaller scale it is very likely that you will find a platform that will meet your budgetary limitations and a lot of them even offer a free trial.
Automation makes life easier than manual
If done correctly automation makes things better and saves you a lot of time, but it doesn’t necessarily make your life easier. However, it will create new challenges and tasks which will result in different kind of tasks, more exciting and creative.
After setting up your campaigns, programs and lead management processes you cannot just sit back and relax waiting for people to convert. You should continuously monitor each part of the funnel and using data from the platform to identify points to improve. You need to review and audit your always-on programs from time to time to see if they are still relevant for your audience. You should dedicate your resources to creating more creative and personalized journeys, trying out new channels and maintaining a clean database.
Automated marketing is finished after converting a lead to customer
The main purpose of lead generation is to turn new prospects into buying customers. However, marketing automation is more than just selling one product one time. You should strive for creating campaigns that engage your existing customer base for upselling and cross-sell opportunities.
You might create automated workflows which trigger when acquiring or onboarding a new customer: sending them newsletters, product updates, discounts and doing so on multiple channels in a pre-configured, automated fashion.
Just an additional tool in your martech stack
While you will continue to use several technologies for different goals like CRM, Google Analytics, WordPress and so on, you should consider your Marketing Automation Platform as the heart of your marketing ecosystem.
In order to have a complex full view of your customers, you will need to store all the data in one place. All inbound channel data should be processed by the MAP while managing the outbound communication as well. It should receive all relevant data from other systems (CRM, Ads, etc.) and should send the necessary data to these systems as well. For example, Oracle’s Eloqua lets you use native integration with major CRM platforms, Facebook and LinkedIn. It is simple to configure requires no programming or heavy IT background.
To sum up, marketing automation changes the traditional approach of marketing tactics, with all the technology-enabled opportunities it really encourages thinking creatively. Marketing will not become easier but more exciting and rewarding if done right. Let’s overcome the misbeliefs and accept the challenge.