Friday, September 9, 2016

Digital Marketing Tools: Should You Be Using Marketing Automation Software?

Marketing automation, people are talking a lot about it but what is it really?  And, more importantly, can it generate more revenue for companies that implement it?

HubSpot defines marketing automation as "the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier."

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Marketing automation is a tool that allows marketing departments to more effectively market to multiple channels like social, blogging, email, landing pages, and so on, and to automate certain tasks.

Sounds great, right? What's not to love about software that will make your life simpler by automating repetitive marketing actions? The truth is that marketing automation is a wonderful tool ... but only if it is used correctly. Used poorly, it can be a wildly expensive exercise in marketing futility. To determine whether marketing automation is right for your organization, it is wise to take a deep dive into the advantages and common pitfalls of marketing automation and weigh your options carefully.

Understanding the Challenges of Adopting Marketing Automation as a Tool A recent Forbes article reports that, excluding tools specifically for email automation, marketing automation has been adopted by only about 10 percent of companies. There are several reasons for this.

Implementation Issues: For instance, because marketing automation tools must be integrated with a company's website, its social media accounts, and its CRM, implementation can sometimes be a time drain for smaller companies. And if those companies falter in the implementation process, their marketing automation strategies may never get off the ground, making the investment in the technology a bad deal.

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Level of Expertise Needed: Another major challenge to marketing automation adoption is the persistent notion that marketing automation products are designed to work straight out of the box, so to speak. The reality is that marketing automation tools do work, but it takes time and patience to reap consistent, positive rewards with marketing automation tools. For many companies, marketing automation becomes profitable only when companies partner with digital marketing agencies familiar with an expert in marketing automation and its many uses.

Level of Hands-on Work Needed: One persistent myth about marketing automation is that using it implies having a hands-off approach to marketing. Hubspot states: "Marketing automation needs constant care and awareness for it to work effectively. Too many companies skimp on these details and think they can let their automation do all the work - not exactly the best way of accomplishing your goals. Marketing automation works as a supplement to your sales strategy, allowing you to strategize the path ahead. It's not meant as something you can set and forget."
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Why Adopt Marketing Automation? Considering these challenges, you may be thinking that marketing automation is not for you. However, it bears noting that marketing automation done well will provide significant benefits, including:

  • Savings of time, energy, and money
  • Better lead scoring and nurturing capability
  • Improved email and social media campaigns
  • Better lead segmentation
  • More efficient A/B testing
  • Shorter campaign creation times
  • Better measurement and reporting
  • Reduced conversion times

Leveraging Digital Marketing Automation to the Full As a digital marketing tool, marketing automation is hard to beat. Skill, patience, and time are needed to make the most of your marketing automation tools, however. For many companies, the way to reap the most positive ROI with marketing automation includes partnering with a digital marketing agency with deep knowledge and experience in working with marketing automation tools.

As a Hubspot Platinum Certified Agency Partner, Connection Model has the experience and the expertise to help you fully benefit from your marketing automation tools. Contact us today to begin a discussion of what we can bring to the table for your firm.

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