It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Mark Cerminaro – Enjoy!
A recent survey conducted by marketing technology expert David Raab and VentureBeat revealed that nearly a third of companies using marketing automation software are not seeing the return on investment that they expected. When asked whether the benefits received were worth the money and time spent on the software, 66% of companies responded positively, while 30% said that they could have achieved the same results “more cheaply.” An additional 3% felt like they had actually wasted efforts with little to no results.
Clearly, this is a problem. While marketing automation has the potential to produce big results (another survey reported that some companies are seeing a more-than-150% increase in revenue since implementation), the initial investment is costly both in terms of direct expenses and employee time. You need to be sure that the investment will produce gains.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some common marketing automation failures and tips for how to get past them:
Not knowing your customers
One of the strengths of a marketing automation system is its ability to help you engage with and nurture customers at every stage of the buying cycle and beyond. To do that, you need to have a deep understanding of you audience. What do they want? What information do they need to make purchasing decisions? How do they react to different types of content? What are the opportunities for recycling leads? When’s the right time to follow up? Without this data, you’ll likely be disappointed in the results of your implementation.
To make sure you have the right insights to succeed in this area, you’ll need your marketing and sales teams to work closely with each other to share insights and align messaging. You’ll also need to be willing to invest the time needed to do in-depth analysis and trials to determine what works, and be flexible enough to implement changes where needed.
Not using the right metrics and not acting on them when you are
What are your marketing goals? For your campaign to be successful, you need to focus on metrics that are actually meaningful. Click through rates and email opens are great, but how many of those potential customers are taking the next steps toward becoming customers?
When you look at the right goals, you need to adapt your messaging to reflect that. Let’s say you set up a goal to gain a certain number or a certain percentage of social media followers from every email that you send out. Instead of simply optimizing the subject line for the click (which is still important), you’ll probably need to spend a little more time crafting a social call to action.
As another example, consider where your display ad dollars are going. Are you so focused on getting new visitors that you ignore the ones who may have already been to your site? Are there things you can do to beef up your re-targeting efforts?
Think about your real marketing objectives and how you’re measuring them, and then decide what actions you need to take to improve those numbers.
Not developing an active campaign
You can expect to lose about 20% of your email leads annually through attrition (changed addresses, unsubscribes) alone. To get more sales, you need to be continually replenishing your leads funnel. Marketing automation does not allow you to sit back and relax—you have to remain active in harvesting contacts and reaching out to potential customers.
With that in mind, you need to determine what types of content visitors respond to (and are willing to give contact information to get) and create it. You need to think both broad and deep in asset creation, and don’t be afraid to get into new content areas (videos, ebooks, interviews, contests).
Have you implemented marketing automation? What’s been your experience so far?
Mark Cerminaro is the chief revenue officer at RapidAdvance, a leader in alternative financing. Mark has spent his career advising business owners on investments and helping them access the capital they need to grow. Check out RapidAdvance’s small business funding solutions to help grow your small business.