Article

Marie-Pier Godere
Marie-Pier Godere 12 July 2017
Categories B2B, Email & eCRM, Technology

The truth about marketing automation: 8 myths debunked

Marketing automation is a tool that has certainly increased in popularity over the years. According to a survey carried out by Ascend2 in 2016, 71% of companies already use marketing automation and, among those not using it yet, 23% plan to do so in the near future. Nevertheless, several false beliefs persist on the subject.

Myth #1: Marketing automation is only for big companies.

Many small and medium businesses are successfully using marketing automation. 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. You just need to ask around and choose the one that better meets your needs.

Myth #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 document download 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. What is important is to start simple and progress gradually.

Myth #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. You can also personalize the emails in your sequence in order to create a tailored experience.

Myth #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. 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.

Myth #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 organisational 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].

Myth #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, etc.), which allow you to personalize email communications and even have a sales rep make a follow-up call on a hot prospect.

Myth #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. You just need to let it work for you, and you’ll save valuable manual processing time. But don’t forget to make sure it meets your needs and that the content is always up-to-date.

Myth #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 in order 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%. But you still have some work to do to get these prospects to enter your scenarios using various field and online marketing tactics.

Dr.Venkatesh Raman
Dr.Venkatesh Raman

Insightful article! Marketing Automation helps companies to be in touch with customers through entire digital marketing funnel i.e. Visitor to Advocate.

Bart Foreman
Bart Foreman

Spot on. Well said. My only comment is that while 71% of companies say they are using marketing automation, probably 61% are not applying it very well and yet, it still appears to deliver positive sales results. Think of the possibilities. On-line sellers probably do it best; traditional retail (whatever that is) and brands have a long learning curve because of traditional thinking and cultural inertia.

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