6 min read
Seventy-five percent of marketers currently use at least one type of marketing automation tool, and spending on marketing automation is expected to hit US$25.1 billion by 2023 . However, despite its widespread use, this type of software is not being used to its full potential.
Lack of a clear strategy, using too many or too few tools, and not testing and tracking your efforts are some of the obvious pitfalls. On top of these, here are some less apparent marketing automation mistakes you might be making – and how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Not Using Your Valuable Data
Data is vital in any marketing automation strategy. However, you can’t use it to drive your efforts if you aren’t collecting and using all your valuable data.
The Fix for You
What is your valuable data? It includes all demographic, behavioral, transactional, and qualitative data from your e-commerce sites, web forms, official websites, apps, CRM, social media channels, customer services and more.
Marketing automation platforms can collate this data in real time for a complete customer view. Such insight allows you to segment your audience in order to create more relevant, personalized content.
Ninety-one percent of customers say they are more likely to shop with brands that deliver relevant offers and messaging. In addition, personalization can boost revenue by up to 15 percent. Therefore, using the data-driven insights to personalize your efforts makes sense.
Mistake #2: Selling, Not Nurturing
When you have the option to automate, it is easy to start pushing sales messages out there. However, bombarding your audience with promotions isn’t going to win you any hearts or wallets. In fact, people will likely get fatigued and send you straight to spam.
The Fix for You
To avoid this, instead of adopting this sales-led approach, be sensitive to what stage of the buyer cycle your prospects are at, and tailor your messages accordingly. By sending automated content that fits their needs at each stage through channels such as web push and SMS, you can push them along the funnel towards purchase.
At the awareness stage, people are looking for answers, resources, knowledge, opinions, and insights. To meet this need, send out helpful information such as links to problem-solving blog posts and social content.
The middle or consideration stage can be fairly short in B2C. For example, it may not take someone very long to decide on a pair of sneakers. However, someone buying a car will likely take longer. In both cases, your focus here should be on building trust with things like instructional videos and product specs.
At the conversion stage, it is all about validating decisions, so send personalized product recommendations or ask them if they have any questions. You should also send automated messages based on actions, such as to people who have abandoned carts.
Mistake #3: Failing to Be Human
While marketing automation is a great efficiency driver, if your content sounds lifeless, robotic, and doesn’t tap into a customer’s needs and wants, your efforts won’t be well-received.
The Fix for You
It is important to remember that even though you are sending triggered messaging via a machine, people on the receiving end are human. To build trust and relationships, humans need warmth, genuine connection, and to feel valued, so ensure your automated content conveys this.
Firstly, personalize your content by tailoring your recommendations, text and images to personal interests, preferences and behaviors. With additional help of machine learning tools, you can even predict future behavior for hyper-personalized experiences.
Secondly, make sure your automated messaging is timely. For this, you can use cross-screen insights to map your customers’ fragmented journeys allowing you to send the right message at the right time on the right device.
By connecting and communicating with your audience at this individual level, your automated messaging will be more engaging and more human.
Mistake #4: Taking a Single Channel Approach
It is likely your company has multiple customer touchpoints, from your website and apps to your email, SMS and social media. But how many are you automating? And are your efforts consistent across them all?
While you might have set up automated emails or in-app messaging, if these communications don’t take into account the other interactions a customer might have had with your brand in the meantime, you risk getting the messaging wrong.
The Fix for You
By adopting a multichannel approach to your marketing automation, you can avoid this. Leverage the data from your online and offline touchpoints to connect the dots and see which channels that customers respond well to, in order to deliver seamless, timely communications across all the touchpoints.
Research shows that taking this type of multichannel approach to marketing automation can improve revenue by 15 to 35 percent, app retention rates by 46 percent, and conversion rates by 49 percent. Using integrated marketing automation platforms also makes the logistics of managing your automated efforts across teams much simpler and more cohesive.
Mistake #5: Focusing on Quantity, Not Quality
One of the temptations of marketing automation is to see it as a numbers game. In other words, the more communications and promotions you send out, seemingly the better. While this sounds good in theory, in practice, this batch and blast strategy isn’t very efficient.
The Fix for You
You know the general rule that 20 percent of customers drive 80 percent of profits? Well, apply this to your marketing automation strategy. Instead of spreading time and resources across your entire customer base, work out who your top 20 percent, or most valuable customers, are and focus your efforts here.
Leverage deep learning to figure which customers have the highest customer lifetime value (LTV) by identifying behavior patterns, segmenting them into lists, and then ranking them according to their potential to bring in profit.
Once you have pinpointed these high-value customers, you can then focus your efforts on increasing your engagement with them. This means finding ways you can connect with them in between purchases to grow their emotional connection with your brand.
According to a recent study, companies who improve engagement can boost cross-sell revenue by 22 percent, up-sell revenue by 38 percent and order size by 5 to 85 percent. Therefore, the more you focus your marketing automation efforts on your most engaged customers, the better your results and ROI.
Marketing automation is not just about creating efficiencies. It is about having the ability to provide customers with a more personalized experience. By avoiding these mistakes, you can engage and nurture your prospects through the funnel with more human, insightful, and seamless interactions – the kind that drive profits.
* Do you want to improve your marketing automation efforts in 2020? Download our latest white paper ‘ The Ultimate Guide to Supercharge Your Marketing Automation With AI ’ for more in-depth insights. Got more questions? We are here to help! Get in touch with our experts today for an exclusive consultation.