Marketing automation is a pretty new idea, but it has already saturated the world of online marketing. Whether we like it or not, automation is here to stay. Some businesses have yet to make the transition to automation, so there are still quite a few myths that surround the idea. Clearing up five of the most common myths can help a wary business begin automating their current campaigns.
Myth #1: Automation means you can set and forget.
Just as spreadsheets save time for accountants, automation tools save time for marketers. This does not mean you can turn it on and let it run. Marketers still need to analyze the data, interact with customers, and tailor campaigns to match customer feedback. Completely automating a marketing program is a recipe for disaster.
Myth #2: Automation is too artificial.
Actually, the opposite is true. One-size-fits-all email blasts or snail mail campaigns lump customers into one bucket, which often comes across as more impersonal. Campaigns see poor results when marketers don’t interact with customers and don’t use the data to personalize and target their campaigns. As mentioned, you can’t set and forget. Automation shines and pays for itself many times over when marketers use their data to analyze, segment, re-target, and re-market.
Myth #3: You need a lot of technical expertise.
In the early days of internet marketing, tools had to be custom-made, which meant most companies just didn’t do it. But now, professionally developed software packages and tools have changed the landscape. Current tools save time, are easy to use, and can be implemented quickly.
Myth #4: Measuring and analyzing a campaign is too complicated.
Some of the heavy duty programs can have scary-looking dashboards and analytics features. It can be daunting to go from a straightforward email campaign to a complete marketing automation suite that integrates analytics data with CRM, email, social, and search marketing. A lot of this, though, can be chalked up to a poor user interface. While a certain amount of training may be required for new marketers, anyone with intermediate computer skills can learn to use marketing automation tools to improve their campaign.
Myth #5: It’s a silver bullet.
Those unfamiliar with the marketing automation arena may think that these tools will do all the work for you and let you crush competitors. Ten years ago, this might have been true, because ten years ago, no one was using automation. Now, everyone’s doing it. Automation is necessary just to keep up.
For those companies not implementing automation, misconceptions still abound. And the sooner those myths get tossed out the window, the sooner those businesses can use automation to maintain a competitive edge in their industries. Marketing automation tools provide access to sophisticated new methods and techniques — which may take getting used to — but the rewards far outweigh the drawbacks. More and more companies are taking advantage of automation tools, and businesses that wish to retain a competitive edge will have to follow suit.