Although automated marketing is now more widespread within companies, it is also a concept that is often misunderstood by many. Several myths persist on the subject and we are here today to demystify it. So without further ado, let’s start debunking the first myth…
1. Marketing automation is only for big companies.
Nobody likes to do repetitive, boring tasks… This is why many small and medium businesses have decided to use marketing automation… Successfully! With the number of providers on the market, it’s not surprising that some of them are now targeting these businesses and have adapted their offer accordingly.
Depending on your budget, goals, and resources, there are ways to automate the simplest tasks at the beginning and to increase in complexity as you see satisfactory results. It depends on what you’re looking for. In fact, you decide exactly what you want to do: marketing automation adapts well to all needs and that’s why both small and large companies can benefit from it.
Find out about the different options available to you and choose a solution that’s right for you!
2. Marketing automation is hard to implement.
Some companies have entire teams dedicated to implementation. If you don’t have that chance, you can still do very well by setting up a simple email sequence. Some campaigns, such as welcome campaigns, document downloads, or newsletter subscription follow-ups, are very effective and easy to implement.
Once you get used to it, you will be able to add more complex scenarios that include behavior variables and personalization. For example, you could start making product recommendations based on previous purchases. Either way, what is important is to start simple and progress gradually.
3. Marketing automation is impersonal.
Don’t believe that because they are automated, emails are not personalized. On the contrary, marketing automation allows you to create a different sequence for each contact, based on their behavior and/or profile data.
How do you think companies like Amazon manage to send you such accurate recommendations after each purchase? With automation of course! Do you see yourself writing each personalized communication one by one to reach each customer differently? Of course not! Automating your communication sequences allows you to create a customized experience without the slightest effort.
4. The easier it is, the less effective it is.
The fact is, the more complicated a software is, the more you have to invest time and resources, which necessarily will reduce your return on investment… or simply discourage you from using it. A simple and well-done tool allows you to save implementation and weekly maintenance time, which makes the process much more efficient for you!
Maybe your goal is to set up a marketing automation campaign with more complexity and variables. But the fact remains that your marketing automation tool should allow you to do all you need with as little effort as possible.
This is also the case for the training that accompanies the purchase of the solution. If the training is lengthy, it gives you a good indication of the complexity of the tool in general and probably of how many times you will want to pull your hair out while using it. Do yourself a favor by choosing a solution that is simple to use daily. The time you will save trying to understand how it works, you will be able to put it to think about your strategy to increase your ROI and therefore, your overall performance.
5. Marketing automation is too expensive.
Hundreds of marketing automation applications are available on the market today. The offer is diversified and adapted to different organizational needs, which makes it much easier for small businesses to access this technology!
Of course, the more complex your needs are, the higher the invoice will be. But, very often, profits largely cover operational costs. After using marketing automation for only one year, 32% of companies claim their revenue has increased. And after using it for more than two years, the figure rises to 40%[I]. So yes, the initial investment may seem high, but in the long run, the benefits you get from it quickly make you forget the bill.
Moreover, if you choose a solution with which you can be completely autonomous, it often saves you a lot of costs that can often be considerable if you often have your campaigns done by another company.
6. Marketing automation is only a sequence of emails.
From one perspective, it’s true. We often start in marketing automation with an automated follow-up email sequence, which is a very good idea. But marketing automation can be a lot more than that. You can build scenarios that respond to a prospect’s behavior (visit on a website page, shopping cart abandonment, click in an email, purchase, etc.), which allow you to personalize email communications and even have a sales rep make a follow-up call on a hot prospect.
In a marketing automation sequence, you can even include several communication channels. No need to limit yourself to e-mail anymore! By including your other channels such as SMS or mobile push, for example, you make sure you reach your contacts wherever they are and have continuity in your messages. Of course, for this to be effective, you need to develop an overall strategy and tailor your messages to the right channels. But if it’s done right, I guarantee that your communications will be much better.
7. Once our marketing automation is set up, we can forget about it.
A marketing automation scenario needs to be reviewed and updated from time to time. It also has to be in line with your sales strategy and be constantly optimized to get the best performance. That’s why you should always monitor their performance and make sure they are always optimal. You just need to let it work for you, and you’ll save valuable manual processing time.
Don’t forget to make sure that the content in your sequence is always up-to-date. I suggest that you plan time every 3, 4, or 6 months to check all your content and modify it if necessary. This delay may vary depending on your needs and your industry: if you are in a very changing industry (fashion or technology for example), it is normal that you check your content more often than a company working in a slower-paced field. If you’re not sure, it’s better to check it more often than not. It won’t take much time and you’ll be all the more successful.
8. Marketing automation generates tons of leads without effort.
That would be awesome right? But unfortunately, it’s not that magical. Automated systems are used to facilitate lead management to convert prospects into clients and retain them. Businesses that use marketing automation for lead nurturing experience an increase in qualified leads of more than 451% [ii]. But you still have some work to do to get these prospects to enter your scenarios using various field and online marketing tactics.
In fact, marketing automation comes into play after you have attracted visitors after they first interact with your business: that’s when you start to nurture them with your auto marketing sequences. So you still have to make an effort to bring them to your business.
In conclusion, when we talk about marketing automation, it is important to keep things in perspective. Don’t take everything you’re told at face value. A marketing automation strategy can sometimes seem expensive and complex, when in fact, it’s up to you. There are several suppliers on the market and each one has a different offer to propose, all you have to do is find the solution that suits your needs.
Interested? Learn how to start your first marketing automation strategy with our white paper.
[i] B2Bmarketing.net and Circle Research “Benchmarking Report Marketing automation” (2015)