Marketing automation is an absolute necessity for businesses and marketers dedicated to driving conversions and improving ROI. Today’s platforms enable marketers to deliver their messaging to the right audience at the right time while saving time and money and increasing sales. In fact, marketing automation can help businesses increase sales productivity by an average of 14.5% while reducing marketing costs. If you’re looking to produce similar results, implementing powerful, sophisticated marketing automation is the way to go.
However, a powerful platform can’t do much without the right pieces in place to set you up for success, which is why a marketing automation vendor’s job should transcend merely providing you with an effective automation solution. Your vendor should be willing, eager, and able to provide the strategic guidance and expertise you need to use your new marketing automation software to its fullest potential.
At Act-On, we’ve worked with thousands of customers, big and small, to help them uncover solutions to their biggest challenges and help deliver real results. Here are 5 common obstacles to successful marketing automation implementation we commonly see and how to overcome them.
1. Ineffective or Absent Marketing Automation Strategies
A marketing automation tool is not meant to replace your marketing strategy. Instead, your marketing automation platform should help you deploy your plan. In other words, don’t expect your new marketing automation software to generate the results you want if you don’t have a complete and thoughtful plan for how you should be using it.
Before your team pours money into a new platform, you should articulate which goals and objectives you want to tackle with this new solution. As product experts, the marketing automation software company you’re considering partnering with should be able to offer you advice and tips to help you maximize results. They should also provide you with personalized support throughout the implementation period so you can overcome pain points related to your inbound, outbound, sales, and loyalty marketing efforts.
2. Limited Resources to Deploy Your New Software
I’m sure this is something many of us have seen over the years at various organizations. Your business invests in a supposedly life-changing solution only to find themselves investing countless hours simply trying to figure out how to use it.
When choosing a platform, consider what kinds of onboarding services are provided. Research how involved your vendor will be in helping you implement your new marketing automation platform and whether they’ll provide ongoing support and training to help you maximize your use.
3. A Breakdown in Sales and Marketing Alignment
Despite research indicating that marketing/sales alignment can lead to an increase of 38% in sales win rates, the lack of collaboration and communication between these two departments continues to be a problem for many organizations. For businesses that choose marketing automation, this lack of alignment can be detrimental to their overall success.
It’s not enough for your marketing automation platform to integrate with your CRM. Alignment with sales starts strategically by having the same vision around goals, metrics of measurement, and the process that you’ll use to get there. For example, do marketing and sales have the same definition for a marketing qualified lead? If not, that’s one thing to consider as you implement your new marketing automation solution.
4. Lacking a Clear Understanding of Your Customer Personas
Automating your emails can only take you so far if you don’t truly know your customers and understand how to motivate them to take action. If an email doesn’t resonate with your audience, you’re unlikely to see the conversion rates you’re hoping for.
In order to launch new campaigns in your marketing automation platform successfully, you need a clear understanding of your buyers, and your sales funnel should be optimized to fit their needs. Over 70% of companies with documented buyer personas exceed both their lead and revenue goals.
Marketers and sales professionals need to speak their buyer’s language on their terms. Do your buyers appreciate more formal or casual language? Do they respond better to hard facts and numbers or customer stories and anecdotes? If you don’t know the answers to these types of questions, your marketing automation vendor should be working with you to develop inbound and outbound marketing strategies that drive engagement. Think of ways you can tailor your efforts to collect data that will enable you to better understand your customers and create a plan of action for engaging them throughout their customer journey.
5. Using the Wrong Analytics to Measure Success
Whichever marketing automation platform you choose will be equipped to summarize results, but you need to understand which metrics and KPIs to track and analyze to improve your overall marketing efforts. Before you implement your platform and begin to launch your marketing automation initiatives, you should consider what kind of data you want to measure and the types of results you’d like to achieve. Then, set up your campaign in a way that helps you measure what truly matters to the success of your business and marketing efforts.
Personalize Your Marketing Efforts with an Effective, Efficient Automation Platform
If your goal is to provide your customers and leads with more personalized marketing, you need a more personalized approach to your marketing automation implementation. As you embark on the search for the right platform to help you realize and transcend your objectives, search for a partner that can offer you a complete end-to-end solution with platform, strategy, and support to provide the resources required to exceed your business goals. It’s in your marketing automation provider’s best interest to set you up for success, and as experts in their product, they should be able to help you implement your new software in a way that works best for you.