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Marketing Automation: Five pitfalls to avoid

Marketing automation has gone from rising trend to essential strategy in a matter of a few years.

To the uninitiated it may sound like a buzzword that threatens to replace real marketers with robots, but in reality it’s a smart way to generate, nurture and qualify leads so your sales team can focus on what they’re good at: selling.

If implemented well, it can drive up conversions and help you forge smarter, more profitable customer relationships. But if done badly? You could waste time, money and end up behind the eight-ball when it comes to responding to your customers’ cues and needs.

If you are wondering what marketing automation is, read more here.

If you’d like to unlock the many advantages marketing automation offers, here are five pitfalls to avoid when building your strategy.

1. Neglecting stage one of the funnel

For a successful automation strategy to work, it's important to be able to attract the right prospects in the first place. That means focusing on the discovery and awareness phases to attract and ‘warm up’ potential leads before pushing them into the sales funnel.

2. Focusing on the channel, not the customer

Are you starting with the statement: ‘We need marketing automation to help us with our email strategy’? Sure, it can help you with that. But the best way to make the most of the technology is to take an omni-channel approach.

That means putting the customer first and considering all their touchpoints. If you treat each channel as a separate strategy, you could be missing out on opportunities to engage with both new and existing audiences.

3. Not doing your platform research

Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Pardot, Marketo, Hubspot, Act-On: you’ve probably heard the names, but which is right for you? It’s important to understand the key strengths and differences before deciding who to go with.

If your focus is on engaging and growing an existing audience using social media, EDMs and content marketing, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has a great range of features to support this.

If you need something that focuses on generating, nurturing, tracking and converting B2B leads through marketing automation, then you should lean towards Salesforce Pardot.

Marketo is another option to throw into the mix. It’s a marketing automation platform that combines social, mobile and ad targeting to help nurture and engage potential customers.

At Blirt, we love the Salesforce platform as it enables best in class data driven marketing.

We believe in applying the right technology to the right customer experience.

4. Going it alone

As with onboarding any new strategy or software, there are bound to be hiccups along the way. That’s where talking to an expert really makes a difference. Blirt can advise you on set-up, implementation, training and goal-setting, as well as reporting on performance and using data to feed back into your sales and marketing strategy.

5. Forgetting to be human

When we talk about marketing automation, we mean using the best technology available to nurture prospects and offer them the optimal experience of your business.

We’re big advocates of using platforms such as Salesforce to help us achieve this. However, we understand marketing automation enables rather than replaces all of your existing marketing efforts.

It takes the human touch of creativity to personalise your messaging for each different touchpoint, and a real person to determine the triggers for an EDM series or automated content delivery and campaign. And, importantly, it takes human analysis to use the learnings from customer behaviour data and feed this back into your marketing strategy.

At Blirt, we believe people buy things from people - it's the essence of our approach to branding. So, when it comes to designing marketing automation within your MarTech stack it is Automation 101 to start with the customer in mind.

Stuart Leo, Founder and MD, Blirt

Stuart is the founder and Managing Director of Blirt - passionate marketer, brand strategist, MarTech devotee and leader of the team at Blirt.

As one of Australia's leading MarTech strategy groups, Blirt specialises in customer experience, marketing automation, digital communications & full funnel customer engagement to help organisations lead in the experience economy.

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