Five common mistakes in optimising marketing automation software

For those marketers already on their journey using marketing automation software, many are seeing positive and tangible results. However, a number of organisations still aren’t optimising their use of their software. Through my experience in providing services to other companies struggling with marketing automation,I’ve noticed some common misperceptions about marketing automation. Below I’ve listed five important misperceptions and how to avoid making the mistakes associated with them:

  1. Marketing automation is not a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ solution. Simply put — it takes planning, focus and work! It also means you must reevaluate your existing marketing team to discover what skills and competencies your team is missing.
  2. Marketing automation is not a fancier email service provider (ESP). This is a huge handicap to using the software correctly. We often encounter organisations who are brand new to the software and spend several months only sending batch-and-blast emails like they did with their ESP. If that’s how your organisation uses the software, you’ve essentially purchased the most expensive ESP available and you’re wasting money, time and critical opportunities.
  3. Marketing automation involves much more than just your marketing team. It requires expertise from your sales, data/insights and IT teams too. Analysing user behaviours, visitor patterns, opportunities for growth, demand for specific types of content, etc. is a task that relies on multifaceted knowledge. Diverse backgrounds with experience across these four areas will be beneficial for every member of the “marketing” automation team.
  4. Cross-functional cooperation is imperative. Siloed organisations will have a harder time using the software. As workflows are automated through the software platform there needs to be a mutual understanding around the best ways to do it. Cross-channel goals need cross-channel cooperation.
  5. Marketing automation can be used to automate internal processes, not just campaigns. So much focus is on the automated campaigns part of the software that organisations often forget about the internal efficiencies marketing automation platforms can set up. “Campaigns” are really just automated workflows, and nothing restricts them to user behaviour – you can set something up based on internal logistical needs too. For example, lead stage determination can be automated so that no employee (whether in marketing or sales) needs to manually set it. Through a CRM integration it can be automatically determined based on preprogrammed patterns in behaviour or from filled out forms.

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