Ismail Aly

5 common marketing automation mistakes to avoid

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How frustrating can it be when you buy a brand new powerful and stylish car, you hit the road to test the fury that lies under the hood and, after a few blocks, the engines dies? Well, that could be the same feeling when your company invests in a brand new marketing automation platform to boost sales and, after some weeks, nothing happens.

The global market has already proved that marketing automation is a powerful tool to boost sales and strengthen business performance, but isn’t a magic solution that solves any problem, in any circumstances. For proper implementation and positive results, a company must meet several conditions to assure correct functioning and, of course, to achieve the sales revenue that every company expects from these kind of solutions.

If a business doesn’t fulfill the requirements, doesn’t have the conditions to implement an automated tool, or simply they don’t truly understand the Inbound Marketing philosophy that lies beneath a marketing automation platform, then they’ll continue making these mistakes and they’ll never get the expected results.

So, let’s take a closer look at these common mistakes that block correct marketing automation performance.

1. Don’t build Inbound over broken processes

Some companies try to fix internal problems – commonly related to poor sales results - by implementing an Inbound Marketing strategy. They see automation as a solution for sales -and it surely is- but first they need to understand that Inbound automation must be built on an Inbound basis.

As Hubspot shows in a study case, a business that buys email lists or tries to connect with leads through non-personalized content won’t get any good results. “Great automation is a result of highly targeted, personalized, valuable, timely, and remarkable content that is sent to a healthy and engaged database,” Hubspot explains.

2. Don’t consider the conversion funnel as a one-way process

Automation doesn’t mean that the lead conversion will be automatic. The conversion funnel isn’t a model that works as an assembly line. It’s a process based on human behavior, so it will behave exactly as consumers do. Some prospects will be rapidly converted into leads in just a couple of days, or even hours, but they could take several months to take the next step. Others could even advance at the edge of the client stage and suddenly go back to the beginning of the process.

Examples and cases are countless, but the essential issue is that if a company doesn’t understand consumer behavior they won’t to be able to generate any good results from marketing automation.   

3. Never stop nurturing your database

According to Hubspot, “the average email database expires at the rate of ~25% per year. That means a database of 50,000 email addresses will have shrunk to 21,000 in just three short years. The best way to solve for attrition is to replenish the funnel with new leads at a higher rate than you're burning through. Or else you'll find yourself with diminishing returns.”

“Before you invest in marketing automation, ask yourself, "What am I doing to fuel the top of my funnel?" In other words, automation is a fantastic tool to further qualify and nurture leads, but when you don't even generate enough for Sales, what's the point?” Hubspot says.          

4. Don’t focus on implementing solutions, but in solving problems

There is an old saying that goes like this: You can't see the forest for the trees. In other words, focus on the whole picture, not just on the details. Another Hubspot blog explains that “it's not uncommon to find that your team is obsessed with how to implement a specific solution within a project. Whether it stems from client interest or internal interest, once you're fixated on making something work, it's hard to take a step back. Taking a step back, however, is often the only way to avoid blowing the budget on a project. This step back should not be focused on re-evaluating the solution, rather re-evaluating the problem. Ask both yourself and the client what the exact problem is that you're trying to solve and the impact of not solving it. Sometimes the solution is simply doing nothing.”

5. Don’t you ever forget that marketing is comprehensive

Despite the fact that your buyer personas can be very specific and very well-defined, don’t forget that any digital marketing strategy must be a comprehensive experience. “If you are focused solely on email –Hubspot says- they (leads) probably aren’t seeing the same targeted message they got from you in their inbox on your website. Instead, they are seeing many different, fragmented marketing messages and value propositions depending on where they go. At best, this kind of fragmentation is ineffective. At worst, it’s a liability if you are putting special messaging or offers in front of specific audiences.”

Anyway, it’s always a good thing to talk about and learn from mistakes. Usually, they even work better that any example or study case.  Let’s build a mistakes database for collaborative learning. Would you like to share or add some common mistakes you have experienced with Inbound Marketing or automation?

Lead Generation using Social Media

Ismail Aly

Ismail Aly

Inbound Marketing & Sales Enablement Consultant, HubSpot User Group Leader, HubSpot Platinum Partner

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