Debunking Common Marketing Automation Myths

 

Max Edwards, Marketing Manager, Concep 

According to Focus Research, 75% of companies using marketing automation see a positive RETURN ON INVESTMENT within 12 months.

As we continue to adapt to the 'new normal' working dynamic, professional services marketing teams are exploring new ventures to help them work more efficiently, this can be difficult when many are seeing their budgets cut. One route that many firms have started to consider is to introduce automation into their marketing strategy. While many are keen, others remain apprehensive about doing so. 

The intent of automation is to save marketers time and resource, allowing them to focus their efforts on more critical, strategic tasks. If you're having reservations on how marketing automation can help your firm to keep momentum during this challenging period, read this blog. Buckle up - we are about to debunk the most common myths when it comes to marketing automation for professional services firms. 

Insufficient internal knowledge of marketing automation

"Lack of skills or experience is currently perceived as the biggest barrier to marketing automation success." - Adestra

Having engaged with many professional services marketers, a common stumbling block is the absence of internal knowledge within the firm’s marketing team. Although marketing automation may seem ambiguousit’s simply just a development of the knowledge and processes you already use day-to-day. While you’ll have to adjust your processes slightly, very few realise that they already have the tools to succeed. 

My recommendation: Deploy marketing automation in a phased approach. All too often do we hear that firms have hastily flicked the switch on automation without first understanding its capabilities and functions. Ultimately, you’ll have invested in a tool that brings no benefit and no ROI. Rather than attempting to implement all available automation features, savvy marketers should focus on the aspects that will help them achieve their marketing objectives.

technology is too complex and expensive

In the professional services world, on the surface, many may argue that this is true. Why? Well, some firms often find themselves tangled in a complex automation web with B2C industry automation giants that charge extortionate fees. In a world where the choice of platform is vast, marketers will need to be diligent in their search for a platform that addresses their specific market needs, aligns with their goals, is reliable, and cost-effective. 

My recommendation: Remember that marketing automation tools don't have to be complicated or expensive. Start with the basics and start to understand the functions that will bring the most value to your firm. Remember; the value of automation is to help marketers be more efficient in the way they work, not to create headaches. 

Automated marketing is for big firms only

"67% of marketing leaders currently use a marketing automation platform." – Salesforce

This is a common misconception within the professional services world. It's true that in the inception of marketing automation technology, only big firms could adopt automation into their strategies due to the significant investment required. Fast forward 15 years, automation platforms have evolved considerably. Gone are the days of the one size fits all, over-complex, resource-heavy automation platforms. We now find ourselves in an age where automation tools are industry specific. When the tools are engineered to your needs, any marketer from any firm can create automation workflows. Suddenly, your goals seem much easier to fulfil. 

My recommendation: Even if your firm is comparatively small, it is still worth implementing marketing automation tools where possible. Save your marketing team time on carrying out manual, redundant tasks. 

It takes time to implement marketing automation 

"Four of five successful marketers credit marketing automation as a key contributor to their success." -Lenskold Group

Learning to use new technology can be time-consuming, and that holds true for all new processes when they are initially introduced. However, the common factor when considering the time spent successfully implementing marketing automation starts with selecting the platform itself. We repeatedly see marketers adopt a complex automation system, leaving them unable to keep up with building and updating overly sophisticated drip campaigns. Soon after, automation plans are shelved completely, and all marketers have to show for their efforts are drained resources and no return on their investment. 

My recommendation: Build the right foundations for your strategy. Once you've nailed this down, you'll realise that it isn't as time-consuming as you perhaps first thought. 

Marketing automation is robotic and impersonal 

Time after time, we hear from marketers that automation will make their communications come across as cold and robotic to their clients and prospects. This simply isn't the case; automation, on the contrary, offers the opportunity to further mature the personalisation of the content you deliver based on how your contacts have engaged with previous content they have received.  

“Personalised, targeted emails account for 58% of all company revenue” – Data & Marketing Association 

My recommendation: Marketing automation doesn't make your firm’s communications machinelike and impersonal. If executed correctly, automation enables you to engage with clients and prospects directly and personally, in more in-depth ways that would otherwise not be possible. 

Summary

There are many reasons why professional services marketers are currently apprehensive about introducing marketing automation into their strategy. However, we are starting to see marketing automation have a significant impact on the industry. The number of firms using marketing automation continues to rise, and there are no signs of slowing down. Don’t let the misconceptions hold you back from adopting your marketing automation - the benefits far outweigh any potential drawbacks. If you would like more information on marketing automation and how it can help achieve your marketing goals, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.