5 Reasons Why Businesses Are Failing With Marketing Automation

Malinda Wilkinson on Jul 19, 2017 in Marketing Strategy

5 reasons why businesses are failing with marketing automation and how you can take a no-fail approach instead

Marketing automation has transformed the world of marketing. In fact, Google searches for marketing automation alone have reached an all-time high, showing that search volume for marketing automation has been growing at huge incremental rates. This statistic suggests an increased interest in and awareness of the technology. But what about companies who implement it and never see tangible results? If marketing automation isn’t implemented correctly, it can be a colossal failure.

I’m outlining the five most common reasons for marketing automation failure so you can learn from the mistakes others have made and avoid or address these issues in your organization.

Fail #1: Not including the right people in the decision

Marketing automation is meant to help your business grow revenue by giving you the tools to capture, track, communicate with and prioritize prospects. A successful marketing automation implementation includes the sales team early and often in the conversation. Not only should sales be a part of the decision to implement marketing automation, it’s important to give them input on deciding which platform is right for your business.

To have a successful implementation, your marketing automation platform will need to be integrated with your CRM to report marketing ROI. Integration also gives your sales team a prioritized list of leads with a view into what each lead is interested in based on their activity. Including sales in the conversation will not only lead to choosing the best system to meet your combined needs, it will create another champion within your organization for this technology.

Fail #2: Choosing the wrong vendor

Choosing any new technology can be an arduous process. As marketers, we often have difficulty evaluating technology because being a technologist isn’t typically our day job. Include these elements in your vendor evaluation process:

  • A complete list of requirements from marketing, sales and IT
  • Well-defined goals
  • Peer/Customer recommendations
  • Analyst reviews
  • In-house talent review

Ask each vendor to show you exactly how they’re going to help you achieve your specific goals. Request customer referrals from companies with similar goals and CRM. And rather than exclusively evaluating their system, take a look at each vendor’s services. Some vendors offer “do it for me” services to help maximize your marketing automation investments. Finally, be sure to ask about a vendor’s roadmap. Analyst reports are a good source for understanding each vendor’s completeness of product vision and ability to execute on that vision.

Fail #3: Not getting the right support or service

Service and support from your vendor are just as important as the product. Look for a vendor that isn’t just going to teach you where to click, but rather how to efficiently use the platform and achieve your goals. Being able to call, chat or email your vendor’s support line is important so you can get help along your marketing automation journey. The vendor you choose should have as much of a vested interest in making the platform work for you as you do.

Fail #4: Not getting educated

Even with 5,381 Martech solutions now, marketing automation itself is still a newer technology. Because of this, it can be difficult to find marketers who are well-educated in marketing automation. If you want to hire someone to manage your system, understand that not all platforms are created equal.

Even if you choose an intuitive and easy-to-use platform, it takes time and additional education on your unique processes to be successful within your environment. When you choose a new marketing automation vendor, your onboarding experience and ongoing support should be outlined. The more clearly your goals are defined, the more your vendor should be able to help you achieve them.

While the onboarding experience is primarily for the people who will be using the platform, your leadership team should be involved as well to understand in better detail how it works and what’s possible within the platform.

Fail #5: You can’t grow with the platform

Just as deciding whether or not a full-suite marketing automation platform is for you, you also need to decide whether your chosen platform is able to handle your plans to grow and expand. There are a lot of players out there and picking a platform that will grow with you is important to your overall success. Be sure to clearly outline the future state of your business before you make your selection and ask your vendor how they’ll help you get there.

So how about taking a no-fail approach to marketing automation?

With the right goals in place and a vendor who will work with you through your adoption phase, marketing automation will drive tremendous opportunity for your business. Whether you’ve already implemented marketing automation and it didn’t go the way you’d hoped for the first time or you’re completely new to marketing automation, these no-fail tips should help you ask the right questions to choose a marketing automation solution that works for you.

Malinda Wilkinson
Malinda Wilkinson
Malinda Wilkinson is the CMO of Salesfusion, the provider of a complete and easy-to-use marketing automation solution that enables marketing teams to deliver effective programs. Appropriate for companies new to marketing technology and those with advanced requirements, Salesfusion is affordably priced and scales to support growing businesses. For more information, please visit www.salesfusion.com.
Comments
  • Zahra Ardehali

    Great post and so true.

    I also add one more point – I think many companies think marketing automation is out-of-the-box installation and ongoing maintenance. Since every company is different, the initial set up will have to be different; you have to develop a strategy and put lots of planning into everything that you need, such as: the structure, required features, naming conventions, process of lead collection, forms, and many more.

    Many times, I have noticed that companies purchase the marketing automation and they quickly want to get going; however, not much goes into the planning and discussions with stakeholders. As a result, they end up with a system that constantly has to be changed, while it still does not satisfies everyone’s needs and does not work at its optimal. And, they wonder why it’s not working for them!