It seems as if everyone has tried their hand at marketing automation and has either failed miserably or continues to fight an uphill battle. It is rare to hear success stories.
Wrong. There are success stories, but chances are you aren’t tuned into them. One core reason is that businesses that find a successful venue to market their goods and services RARELY let others know about it. That is why you only seem to hear about the horror stories out there.
Reasons for failure
There are many reasons businesses fail to execute a successful marketing automation strategy. Here are just a few of those reasons.
Marketing + Automation = Easy
False. Business owners and stakeholders love this idea that you can drop some $$$ for a fancy new tool and automate things so that you won’t have to hire or (sometimes) retain employees. Sort of like buying a robot for a factory. They expect a one-to-one or sometimes one-to-many replacement of employees. That is just not the case. Marketing automation demands a team of individuals pouring their talents into the tool.
You’ll need a marketing manager to develop strategy, a content writer to create the email sequences, and a marketing analyst who can install code snippets, filter contact lists, set schedules, and provide reporting.
Marketing Automation = Added Relaxation for Sales Teams
Think of it. As a sales manager, you are only responsible for following up with bottom-of-funnel leads that increase business revenues. You no longer have to answer the phone when new customers call because the Marketing team has been communicating with them. They are responsible for nurturing leads until they are ready to buy.
Again, this is false because when a hot lead does enter the funnel, marketing is often NOT the one you want to communicate with them. They enter with interest, and all you give them is yet another email newsletter or important LinkedIn communication. The sales team should continue to “work” new leads just as they did before the fancy new marketing automation tool was introduced.
All I want is leads.
This is a common thread for the sales team to tell the marketing team. They don’t care about ALL the GREAT Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) that they have acquired in the past month. They are also the quickest to “cancel” them. Telling the marketing team that company XYZ won’t ever buy from us or that the contact being nurtured is not interested, even though all their engagement signals align with interest. Fine. The marketing team states that they will now classify hot leads as Sales Qualified Leads based on specific readiness criteria.
Six months pass, and the Sales team is still balking, stating that the Sales Qualified Leads are still not worthy of a phone call or visit. Now they want their work to be classified as an Opportunity before they engage.
You may be laughing right now, but this is all too common when lucrative sales regions are gerrymandered so that the sales team can earn without breaking a sweat. If your marketing team reports that their lead funnel is getting emaciated by Sales, you should be worried.
The intern can do content writing
Nearly 93% of businesses put content generation on the young. They cost the least, and management knows that writing content takes time. Big mistake here. Content writing is complex, and you’ll not reap any benefit from your campaigns being written by individuals that know the least about your products, services, and organization. The best that you can hope for is grammatically correct prose.
Inbound marketing demands persuasive copy. Copy that jumps off the page and makes the reader do a double-take. Copy that speaks without industry lingo or sales jargon. It’s copy explicitly written to help solve a specific problem or fit a particular application. That’s it.
Why is this blog post speaking to me?
Our prospects have all “been there, done that” regarding marketing automation. Their frustration is either that they felt like marketing automation bilked more resources than what it generated or that their manager felt that way. I’m writing this blog post not to bring up the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) but to address that marketing automation should only be added to your marketing stack of capabilities for those companies interested in investing in growth. Businesses that approach marketing automation with a “dip the toe” attitude need not apply.
Hire a marketing agency (like Bash Foo)
There you have it—the reason to hire a marketing agency vs. hire interns/entry-level marketing personnel. If you want to invest in an excellently run marketing team but don’t want to invest in that team’s health care bills, 401k, vacations, or management, you can hire an agency to execute just this portion of your business operation.
It costs a fraction of hiring internally, you don’t need experts there to train your newbies, and you can gain near-instant results without wasting time on “figuring things out” or that “crawl, walk, run” approach to growing your sales revenues.
Allowing a marketing agency experienced in helping businesses in your industry is a reliable method to prevent wasteful spending of dollars on a marketing automation tool that fails to bring the results you need.