The phrase ‘marketing automation’ sounds pretty dark, dystopian, and uninviting. Like some type of cold, bleak artificial intelligence world where machines have taken over and people don’t feel very welcome.
‘Automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor.’
– Webster’s dictionary definition of automation
Understandably, there are a lot of misconceptions about marketing automation, but the reality can be much different than perception. The good news is that marketing automation software has evolved considerably in recent years.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the types of things people think of when automation comes to mind, but may or may not necessarily be the case, and how you can identify opportunities to automate processes in your business.
MYTH #1- Automation is Impersonal
While it’s true that marketing automation is about automating tasks and processes inside a platform, the results for the end user is actually very personal.
What it allows for is that you construct the systems your customers go through in their experience with your business and scale their personal attention. Saving time and getting more organized is merely a by-product of the system you’ve built.
Automation allows you to identify where a prospect or customer is in the buying process and deliver personalized content and relevant information for their specific situation.
You can segment your customers and prospects into meaningful groups and market to them differently based on their needs and stage in the buying process.
Automation is only impersonal if the system you want for them is built that way. The reality of what can happen is you get to put yourself in the shoes of your prospects and customers where you get to create their experience.
It’s like a canvas and you get to determine the picture you paint for them. It truly can be the perfect customer experience. If it’s impersonal, it wasn’t built right and it’s time to improve the system and your messaging.
The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer.
Unfortunately, automation can’t do everything for you. But it can do quite a lot to make you more efficient and more productive, saving you time and money.
MYTH #2 – Automation Removes You From the Business
It’s easy to see why people would think this would be the case. Automation implies automatic, as in no effort or input required. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. In order to automate anything in your business and use an automation system, you need to first identify your processes and create systems that can be repeated.
So while processes may become automated and you will save time, there is a lot of thought and creativity that goes into creating the business system.
Designing and developing the system is one of the most engaging things you can do because it forces you to work ON the business instead of IN the business. It’s not a cold, robotic, impersonal system unless you construct it that way.
Because really what you want to create is the perfect experience for your perfect customer every time.
Ever had a bad day, or you were sick, or there was an email you forgot to send, or a call you weren’t able to make? You’re not alone.
Instead of waiting things to get done perfect manually, when then that actually happens, it happens in a planned, systematized, scalable way.
So while automation will improve efficiency and free up your time, this process doesn’t remove you from your business. Quite the opposite – it actually put you more into the business and brings you closer to your customers as you built the system.
You design intentional and repeatable experiences for your customers so they get the best experience possible.
MYTH #3 – Automation is For Dripping on Leads
Automation is NOT a stand alone broadcast email system not just send out periodic offers, newsletter, and tips. It’s closed loop system with contact management, web forms, landing pages, campaign creation/management, broadcast emails, campaign emails, and goal/behavioral triggers. You can also integrate text messaging, video, direct mail, and much more.
It’s nice to have more leads. You could spend money on Facebook or on Google Ads, and get plenty of leads coming. You could send out offers through a broadcast email provider. But if you’re like many businesses, you probably have a database of prospects.
But what you really need is more sales from the prospects and customers you already have. A better way to convert those leads into sales, where everything is organized and tied together so you can nurture relationships, systematize conversion and maximize return on investment (ROI).
And that’s what automation combined with a customer relationship management system is best at. Even better, approaching things in this manner is way less expensive than finding new leads too.
Marketing automation is a focused, targeted, organized approach that allows you to create follow up systems that will reach out to prospects and customers based on area and level of interest. This is it’s most powerful feature.
This way you can nurture, educate, wow them, and stay top of mind. And send out offers to capture more profits when they’re ready to buy.
MYTH #4 – Automation is Expensive
Automation platforms are a subscription model and costs have come down considerably in recent years with improved functionality and features. Gone are the days of thousands of dollars needed up front just to purchase and set up the new software.
For marketing automation software designed for small business, monthly costs typically start at about $100 for the platform. This is pretty reasonable.
Companies looking to truly invest in the system should anticipate an investment of at least $2,500 per month to design, build campaigns,create the assets, and continuously improve them, depending on their business needs.
While this is not an insignificant amount, an effective automation system can eliminate the repeatable, mundane tasks and save a business 10 hours of labor per week per employee. So if a business has 10 employees, with an average monthly compensation of $4,000 per month, they’ve saved $1,000 per month per employee, or $10,000.
The time freed up can be used to focus on more profitable, revenue generating activities. This is where automation starts to become incredibly cost-effective with excellent ROI. And imagine if a business has more employees?
What about revenue? Check out this survey below from automation software provider Infusionsoft.
MYTH #5 – It’s NOT a Priority
Creating a systems where your customers get a better experience so they buy more, spend more, refer more, and come back more is really what automation is about.
Is there anything more important than that in your business?
‘Marketing automation is you, being you, on your very best day, every single day.’ – Gareth Everson
In short, you’ll be more organized, and more profitable. Who doesn’t want that?
But it’s never going to get any better unless you take ACTION.
Take Advantage of This Free Resource
Want to learn more about how businesses are using automation to transform their businesses and make them more profitable?
Then grab the 25 Ways to Automate Your Business guide below and discover how you could use it in you business.