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3 Marketing Automation Misconceptions to Avoid

January 28, 2016 | Michael Davis | No Comments |

In my experience as a consultant, all the time I see people come to the table expecting marketing automation software to be the solution to all their problems.

It’s certainly sold that way. But in no way is it some magic solution that alleviates all the hard work that it takes to be a truly great marketer.

Don’t get me wrong, Marketo is an awesome platform that gives tons insights that you simply can’t get anywhere else. But it can’t replace the sweat and imagination of being a good marketer.

This became even more clear recently as I (finally) finished reading Walter Isaacson’s masterful Steve Jobs biography. What struck me was Jobs’s idea of pushing the human race forward using the right tools. He didn’t necessarily believe in making good gadgets. He wanted to make great tools. Great tools empower people, they don’t replace them.

Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” – Steve Jobs

If nothing else, Marketo empowers you to understand what’s happening as a result of your efforts. It allows you to track things you never could using manual effort. That view is end-to-end, not fragmented

Coming to the table thinking it’s going to do this all this “stuff” isn’t the right approach. Sure, it can help you build that. But at the end of the day it’s a tool. It’s a a great tool that you need, but it won’t ever replace the mind of a great marketer.

Here are three popular misconceptions about marketing automation you should be aware of:

1. It’s a money machine

Marketing automation can’t do anything on its own, it only automates the processes you tell it to.

If you haven’t established your buyer personas or completed your content mapping[LINK] , revenue mapping, lead scoring and sales-alignment exercises, then you won’t get very far with marketing automation.

2. Results come quickly

Marketing automation is an education-based model, which means that it compiles automatically triggered messages based on buyer behavior, lead score and sales feedback. This process takes place over a long period of time, which means it’s a long-term investment.

Think of it more like a marathon than a track meet. And, please remove “batch-and-blast” from your vocabulary.

3. It will generate new leads

Marketing automation specializes in lead nurturing , lead scoring and process management — not demand generation. In short, it takes the new names you add through tactics like pay-per click, search-engine optimization, content and third-party initiatives and warms them up over time. Again, it takes a long-term mindset to really see success. It’s your efforts to generate new leads that marketing automation will amplify.

If your organization passes new names directly to sales, marketing automation will actually decrease lead flow because it’s adding a filter between new leads and hot leads.

Above all, marketing automation is a great tool to empower people. But It’s not designed to replace them. Instead, it’s designed to give insights in your current efforts and how to improve them. That said, working with a consultant is a great way to ensure you’re avoiding these pitfalls and getting the most out of your marketing automation investment.

Looking to supercharge your marketing automation system? Check out our latest eBook: the Super Awesome, Totally Wicked, Definitive Manual of Marketing Automation

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