Very good article about the pitfalls of marketing automation – if you are thinking about installing a marketing automation or feel like it is not working well for you – contact Atlas.
Clifford Jones, Contributing Writer
Sep 9, 2015, 9:58am CDT
Success with inbound marketing and automation technology is most about business leaders being in a position to make better budget and hiring decisions, and selecting the right technology solutions.
The story goes like this: Buy our amazing marketing automation software, set it up in five easy steps, launch it, and sit back while the new leads and prospects roll in to schedule appointments with your sales team.
Sadly, inbound marketing and the automation technologies that make success possible are not as easy to implement as the tech sales guy may tell you. Far too often, tech sales people will not reveal what the true cost of successful ownership will be, because their one purpose is to sell you their solution.
But what about the true cost of ownership and the many frustrations business leaders face when trying to make inbound automation work?
For the same reasons you don’t make our own paper clips or envelopes you need for your business, most companies find it necessary to outsource their inbound marketing and automation implementations to professionals who know how to get the job done. Business owners and leaders either outsource the work or find a way to hire the talent and bring it in-house.
This talent is in high demand and is harder to find because of the various skillsets required to align to a plan of action so the marketing automation technology generates a positive result. The people you hire must know how to align your brand, story, sales process, digital marketing assets, content, systems, design, copywriting and project management. Otherwise, as many business owners know, the failure rate and frustration levels are high and costly.
Here are five primary reasons business leaders are so frustrated with the myth of easy inbound marketing:
When it comes to making informed decisions about inbound marketing and automation technology, you are often dependent on the sales person in the call center, who may not reveal the true cost of ownership and success with the application you’re buying. Without having a trusted adviser, experienced consultant or in-house leader with a proven track record, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment, especially if you make this decision in a motivational seminar.
While the software applications all have their inherent strengths and weaknesses, success is more about your approach to implementing an already sound sales and marketing strategy with the technology solutions you choose to integrate. These technologies include your website, customer relationship management (CRM), email and automation, e-commerce and business intelligence. Success is highly dependent on the people you hire to make your automation and related technology work well.
You won’t know you’ve paid for the wrong solution or hired the wrong people until things go terribly wrong. Anyone who’s been through a failed website, CRM or marketing automation project knows the high cost and pain related to failure. This is painful to see, because while the software industry has great intentions, it is not their job to help you with hiring decisions any more than it is to sell you a competitor’s solution. It is often true that consultants or employees lead you down a path of failure, despite good intentions. The technology, the people and the content costs money.
Content is a major key to all of this. You need a consistent source of great content to feed your inbound marketing and automation campaigns. Content requires creative people to work together, which means you must have the bandwidth to manage the talent and project work flow in the first place. Have you managed many creative people lately? It is seldom easy to align and manage creative talent, but it is fundamental to your success.
You must have the right analytical tools and ability to interpret the data so you can make informed decisions to achieve better results. Otherwise, what is the point? This begins at the top of your marketing funnel with website and landing page design, copywriting, and watching closely the data to assess meaningful data.
Success with inbound marketing and automation technology is most about business leaders being in a position to make better budget and hiring decisions, selecting the right technology solutions, and taking a long-term approach to making inbound marketing and automation work. Success is not about your SEO, ad copy, content, team or software solution by itself. You need to take an integrated approach, and hire the right talent to help you make these critical elements work together. You need a realistic budget to afford the systems, and talent that will meet your needs and goals.
To be fair, not all business leaders are frustrated or fail when it comes to success with inbound marketing and automation. It’s just never easy to find the right fit for your business, sales and marketing goals. It requires you to take the right approach, a willingness to keep learning and the patience to bring your team and the systems together.