Tips for avoiding marketing automation failure for better ROI

Marketing automation is rightfully praised as a solution that helps companies improve sales effectiveness and quickly see return on investment. Your sales team can get the support it needs without over-extending marketing resources, and your representatives can capitalize on a higher number of sales opportunities. However, if your team is making mistakes, you may not see all the promised benefits of your solution.

Many companies have been convinced of the power of marketing automation, but without sufficient preparation, an implementation can fail, Mathew Sweezey wrote for ClickZ. The following misconceptions and mistakes about an online marketing system can hold you back from gaining the benefits and ROI:

1. Jump headfirst into an implementation without knowing what you’re doing: Some organizations have know-it-all employees who won’t admit that they don’t know what they’re doing, or don’t know enough about the solution to be aware of their gaps in knowledge. This can quickly set an implementation off on the wrong foot, Sweezey wrote. Companies should always take the time to learn about the capabilities of marketing automation before selecting and implementing a solution.

2. Lack of integration: While marketing automation platforms can collect and analyze a rich variety of information on prospects’ engagement levels, many companies do not incorporate this information into their marketing efforts, according to an Ifbyphone article by Mary Velan. Without making regular refinements to campaigns, you may not be able to improve Internet lead generation efforts.

3. Recreating bad processes with your new solution: Many of the major benefits of marketing automation stem from streamlining workflow and improving sales processes. However, if you try to add the same inefficient tactics into your new platform, your team will be held back, Sweezey wrote. These tools should help you work smarter, not more. Even when managers know their old programs weren’t working, they may feel the need to recreate them with the new technology.

4. Relying on existing content: There is almost no such thing as too much content, as long as it’s the right materials. Businesses of all sizes across nearly every industry engage in content marketing now, but many executives don’t realize marketing automation requires content to function. These platforms help sales reps learn about leads as they interact with marketing materials, and this can help your employees determine which types are most relevant at that type. However, this can’t be done unless you have content specific to each buyer persona in every stage of the customer journey.

5. Afraid to try new things: Marketing automation is a great way to experiment with campaigns and find out what works and what doesn’t. This process can be intimidating for some people, so they never get fully started. Sweezey suggested starting small and gradually moving toward bigger projects with marketing automation. Lead scoring or visitor tracking on your website are good places to start for beginners. This can prevent you from getting overwhelmed by doing too much at once. If you have success in smaller areas, it will be easier to make a business case for automation more aspects of the sales process.

How to get the most out of marketing automation

These solutions are becoming more popular because they increase sales effectiveness and show ROI when implemented properly. Automation can create better alignment between marketing and sales team and give them actionable, shared metrics, Velan said. Sales professionals can improve their follow-up procedures with integration with your existing customer relationship management platform. These tools can also help your company achieve higher levels of growth in a shorter period of time at a relatively low cost compared to other strategies. However, these benefits can’t be reached unless you properly implement your solution.

So how can you get started with marketing automation on the right foot? One of the most important things to do is determine what you need out of a new platform and the actual capabilities of the solution. You need to consider your current strategies, goals and resources – as well as the areas of the business you want to improve – and compare this to what each solution can offer. Many platforms are scalable, which will support growth in the long run.

In addition, many companies only utilize the basic capabilities of marketing automation, such as lead nurturing, cutting costs and revenue generation. There could be extra benefits you’re missing if you stick to the basics. Using marketing automation to form a bigger picture of your organization can give you better insight into ROI and areas for improvement. You should always customize your platform to your firm’s unique needs. This is the best way to capture all the advantages.

After implementation, it’s essential to constantly measure your successes and failures with the platform. This prevents issues from persisting.