Marketing automation has many advantages. But none of them are particularly easy to realise, not least because many marketers underestimate the upheaval required to make their MA systems do what they want.
Beware the common pitfalls, and learn to recognise when it might be time for a change of tack. Here are four telltale signs that something's gone wrong:
1. Your leads are being rejected
One of the main bullet points on the box your MA platform came in was: more effective lead management. Marketing automation means marketers are able to pass only the hottest leads over to sales, and myriad inter-departmental benefits cascade down from there. But this nirvana is far from automatic.
If sales are rejecting a large chunk of MA-approved leads, it’s very likely that the agreed definitions and scoring models in place are wrong. Yes, the system has spat them out and labelled them ‘ready to buy’ but that’s only because you’ve set the parameters by which it decides what’s what. It pays to regularly monitor the attributes of prospects that close and those that don’t. Subtle adjustments to lead scoring rules can make all the difference.
2. You’ve got no time to think
Relatively few marketing departments are blessed with spare time. I’m yet to meet a marketer boasting about their super-manageable workload. But there is a difference between someone who’s busy and someone who’s run ragged. And misaligned MA set-ups can certainly create the latter.
A hell of a lot of work goes into setting up successful marketing automation campaigns; this shouldn’t be forgotten. But the trick to making sure it doesn’t leave you pulling your hair out is to focus down on key groups and key messages. It’s tempting to run before you can walk with MA, but baby steps – and a laser-sharp focus on which sections of your audience to target – will help.