How to Fail at Marketing Automation

by Rick Burnes

Date

November 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM

11 4 2011 4 57 15 PMImagine this: You run the marketing team at a medium-sized company, you have a blog with some great content -- and now you’re beginning to think about marketing automation.

How do you make sure it’s successful?

Simple. Just ask yourself this question: What is the goal?

If your answer sounds like this, you will fail:

  • "To send more email more efficiently"
  • "To improve my nurturing process"
  • "To scale my email"

On the other hand, if your answer sounds like this, you will succeed:

  • "We’re trying to get better, more targeted information to our customers."
  • "We’re trying to provide more valuable information to our prospects, more efficiently."

What's the difference? The first set of answers is about process, not people. Marketing automation that ignores people is toxic. Marketing automation with people at its core is successful.

4 Characteristics of Marketing Automation That Works

What exactly does it mean to have people at the core of marketing automation? Here are a 4 specific characteristics of marketing automation focused on people:

1. Fresh Content: You provide fresh, relevant content that’s useful to your prospects, not a single hackneyed email offer rephrased ten different ways.

2. The Right Channel: You reach your prospects on the channel they choose -- social, mobile, web, or email -- not exclusively via email.

3. Information/Data Analysis: You collect information about your prospects interests across multiple channels and use it to provide better, more relevant content.

4. Listening Skills: You listen to your prospects (you're active and available on social channels), you don't just talk to them.

At the end of the day, the success of your marketing automation campaign depends on the impression it makes on prospects. If, after the campaign, prospects feels like they have new, personalized relationships with your company, you win. If prospects feel like they're stuck talking to a poorly engineered robot, you lose.

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