On social media, urban legends and myths abound, overflowing into the business sector. It is no different with Marketing Automation.
Marketing Automation uses software to automate marketing activities. Many repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns – are efficiently personalized for individual clients.
Technology makes marketing targeted, faster and easier.0
Sometimes these automation tools use only one platform to track leads, automate personal marketing activities, and produce complete reports on all marketing activities. This gives you a complete control of your marketing efforts on just one platform. Modern CRMS have taken the market by storm because there is a high demand for such tools with company trying to achieve digital footprint.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system supports marketing, sales management, delivers actionable insights, and integrates with social media. All 3 segments of business, the marketing, sales and service teams communicate seamlessly across this single platform. Needless to say a platform can enhance the business outreach, maintain and engage the customer base like never before.
Access is not a problem as the Cloud-based CRM systems offer complete mobility. Many devices can access this hub of customized apps.
Here are 4 common myths that linger (like the dense London fog) around Marketing Automation and confuse Cloud-based technology newbies.
Lets suppose an entrepreneur, Engineer Joe was the quintessential hands-on-engineer. He started his business in a desolate industrial region with just 3 workers. Soon he built a fine team and was known for his integrity, ingenuity and timeliness. Business boomed.
His marketing strategy, was merely word of mouth recommendations from former college mates in his industry.
The data connected to his business grew exponentially. Due to this, even in the arid area where his site was located, he soon felt like he was drowning – in massive amounts of data!
The myths that troubled many startups, initially troubled him as a non marketing background owner, when he pondered over the difficult decision of automating his business.
Finally, just when he had decided (almost) to fully automate his marketing operations, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Now he knew that he had no options as the movement control order clamped down operations.
With time on his hands, he glanced at the online campaigns of his competitors. He couldn't believe as he clicked on the website of some of the similar businesses who struggled in the same area and their success stories with inbound marketing.
Other industry players had used different media channels and various attractive campaigns. He wondered how they had managed to execute and track these popular drives as there were so many technical challenges involved.
This, on top of maintaining contacts and servicing his steady clients and customers – he was simply overwhelmed.
He came across top 4 myths of Marketing Automation.
Myth 1: It’s only for Big Businesses.
My budget, and of course the ROI.
Already having an online presence. A good-enough website and a Facebook page.
If budget is a big concern, then just get the tools you require immediately. Don't buy technology or software just because there is a huge media campaign or it is the latest catchword.
There are software providers who offer free trials. Maybe just try one like the HubSpot CRM and tools. HubSpot claims it is 100% free, and always will be. It is said to be one of the most lightweight and powerful CRM around. There's no other contract required. Sign up and you are good to go!
Then as the business grows and you need more, there are Starter and Professional packs. All, (if you so choose) at your own pace. Future upgrades are based on the free (forever) CRM hub. If not this, then you can search for other available software as well.
Marketing automation and online marketing became intertwined. Automation is an extension of online marketing. It needs online marketing to work, just as online marketing is made more effective by marketing automation.
Myth 2: It’s complicated (automation overload)
A team will need extra time to learn new systems and processes. And the customers; I wonder how they will react to so much automation? Most of my present customers are used to face-to-face interaction only.
The new normal includes social distancing. Both employees and customers are familiar with the SOP now. The service providers have researched human behavior intensely. The products are built to match the buyers’ journey. The way they shop, learn and communicate. The software or tools are user-friendly. But if you are short of time and want a quick, seamless migration of data, they do provide support staff.
Partner Agencies are also on hand to help with the on-boarding process. No worries!
Myth 3: It’s only for email.
I am not really interested in sending even more emails to my present customers. Our relationships are already well established.
Although E-mails used to be one of the best means of reaching out to customers, now it is only a part of the complete marketing campaign. There are other means of getting the message across. With a combination of calls, emails, social media campaigns, blogs, and content refined with SEO and SEM, a complete integrated marketing experience for your client is at hand.
Search Engine Journal states that 93 % of all buying cycles begin with an online search.
So how can you ignore these multi-channeled social media platforms?
Marketing Automation with the help of even a free basic CRM can get your teams to collaborate, gather improvement insights from social media and track vital metrics.
Myth 4: Marketing Automation needs huge amounts of content
The content across many of my competitors' blogs seem to be generic? Why bother to add to the noise? It is of no value whatsoever to my customers.
Precisely. Knowledgeable customers are online researching for solutions – not solace! Your content needs to be useful and on-point to industry trends and standards. Then clients will engage with it. Your brand will gain in credibility. Just adding critical key-words to content will not work. Do give credit to the prospect’s intelligence.
Did you know, AI does not just target and measure keywords in blogs? It is no longer about keyword stuffing to build high rankings.
AI can discern intent as well as key-word content - accurately!
With the “retail window” of almost all businesses now forced online, customers can choose quality businesses to align with. And this will be based on the great content of your virtual messages. This “retail window” will attract customers just like the window- shopping norm during the good old Pre-Covid -19 days!
Why are you worried about content?
You are an expert of your industry. Just as an example: get your team to re-look the pile of case studies in that dusty corner of your office.
Present your successes and failures as learning points for others in your LinkedIn posts, your tweets, , blogs and webinars.
Get those chirpy Millennials you employ working on free e-books that provide solutions (based on your 10 years of experience). Design free downloadable templates listing useful safety measures or other SOP in your industry. These can be downloaded by visitors to your site (free). This is your legacy for the industry that made you rich.
When your content is genuine and overflows with solutions, how can the real leads resist?
You will build both a great reputation and strong client relationships. Trust is the greatest requirement for both new-age remote marketing and remote workers.
(A magical silvery bowl used by Prof. Dumbledore to review memories)
Now, I have a concern and a question. Listen to this cautionary tale. Is this what we’re really going to do with this sophisticated and powerful technology?
Mitch Joel (Medium, Aug 17, 2016) cautioned against spewing unwanted emails onto unsuspecting prospects. Some businesses have dumped all customer emails into marketing automation machines. And now, these long-suffering good leads are tortured with marketing automation spam!
Regarding Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing, your marketing team must still do the hands-on work of developing an ethical list of well-researched potential clients.
Then the real work of marketing and sales is to actually nurture those relationships.
Automation brings in the raw data via the links, crawlers, the chatbots, widgets and apps. The professional marketers, the sales team who are proud of their work, and all who care about the reputation of the business, must then step up and target the right prospects.
Content over-kill in any form destroys the present good leads. And it annihilates in one fell swoop all hope of retaining future prospects! Be subtle. Less is more.
Your prized customer (which is every customer) deserves this seamless service. Marketing Automation is not about increased disruption in any form to anyone, it must foster frictionless sales.
There are myths about anything and everything on the internet, it takes a need-based research rather than following trends. Marketing automation is something every business at least try and do justice while doing it, because many has done it wrongly and created an abys of misconception about marketing automations online.