There are many common misconceptions about marketing automation. As a result, myths abound about what this technology can (and can’t) do for B2B marketing teams. Our goal is to debunk some of those myths so you can harness the power that marketing automation brings.
Top Ten Myths About Marketing Automation:
1. It’s expensive and is only for larger organization.
In the early days of marketing automation, this was true. Many of the developers of marketing automation solutions catered to larger organizations, which came with a heavy price tag. However, new and more affordable solutions have come to market in recent years. They are designed specifically for small to mid-sized businesses that offer much of the same features and functionality as those geared toward larger enterprises. Key players in this space are Hubspot and Infusionsoft.
2. It’s difficult and complex to learN.
According to a Regalix research study, State of B2B Marketing Automation 20151, 79% of B2B marketers globally have a marketing automation solution in place. Marketing automation is a must for modern marketers if they want to save time, create personalization, and measure their impact on the business. If platforms are that complex, would the adoption rate be so high? Likely not. There are a series of certification programs, tutorials, forums and other support options available when adopting and learning a new platform to make it an easier and more enjoyable undertaking.
3. It’s only for email marketinG.
A common misconception about marketing automation is that it’s strictly for email marketing, but this is simply untrue. B2B marketing teams should look to their platform as much more than that. Marketers have access to a wealth of data and information including behavior analytics, email automation, campaign optimization, reporting and metrics, third party platform integrations for tactics like social media and PPC, and more.
4. It limits creativitY.
Marketing automation provides just the opposite and opens up a world of creative capabilities. For those without designers, most platforms offer pre-built templates that you can customize to your brand and message. Plus, with options like dynamic content and segmentation, B2B marketing teams can craft customized marketing messages to the right audience at the right time allowing for a more personalized touch and to meet complex promotional requirements.
5. It’s impersonaL.
Marketing automation is as personal as the marketer allows it to be. Sending out mass emails to lists of unsegmented leads will naturally be impersonal. But leveraging the platform’s tools and capabilities to create targeted segment lists with messaging geared to each of those audiences will give the recipient the personalization they demand today, which in turn creates higher engagement and conversion rates.
6. It’s only for lazy marketers.
Just because you can auto-schedule your content for future distribution doesn’t mean that you’re finished. Marketers who focus on quality know that it takes work and that it’s actually just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to the strategy at large. Savvy B2B marketers are constantly seeking ways to improve their outreach tactics. Marketing automation enables that through the ability to monitor and understand the impact of your efforts. With the reporting and metrics available, you can continue to hone in on what’s working and what’s not to drive better engagement and conversion rates.
7. It fails to generate quality leadS.
Quality and quantity of leads continue to be the primary concerns of B2B organizations. Today’s platforms offer a series of capabilities that are good for the top, middle and bottom of the funnel. The list for lead generation is plentiful. B2B marketing teams have the ability to send automated trigger emails based on prospect activity and create automated programs that automatically channel prospects into a pre-built nurture stream pushing them deeper into the funnel. They can track website visitors and gain insight into the companies that are coming to their site regularly, accompanied by their content interest areas. This enables sales to better target their contact strategy. Web forms can be created to capture information about prospects when downloading value add content, which pushes contact data into your CRM for sales. SEO audits can be performed to ensure your website and content are optimized for inbound traffic.
8. It creates spaM.
Spam is unsolicited, irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent to a large number of recipients. Emails should be tailored to the user and personalized to match their experience. This is the marketer’s responsibility and automation platforms enable this to be done more accurately and efficiently by building lead nurture programs that guide the prospect through the funnel with information they want to receive.
9. You can set it and forget iT.
B2B marketing professionals using marketing automation know all too well that this is not the case. Marketers need to leverage their platform to create nurture streams that will enable meaningful interactions with prospects that can help them move through the various stages of the sales cycle. These nurture streams need to be monitored and modified based on engagement and conversion data to ensure they ever go stale and that improvements are made to increase ROI.
10. It offers no benefit to saleS.
Marketing automation is integrated with CRM, the tool that sales teams count on for their livelihood. The bi-directional syncing of data allows for tools like lead scoring models to be setup and allow sales to receive alerts and triggers when prospects are primed and ready to buy. Sales can also see the activity and content areas prospects have engaged with to create more personalized conversations.
Don’t let misconceptions keep you from adopting a marketing automation platform. The benefits far outweigh any potential pitfalls people throw your way. Using a platform brings a world of possibilities above and beyond any savvy marketer’s dream. Talk to us about how you can implement marking automation to take your B2B marketing to the next level.