Business Growth

What Marketing Should You Automate and What Should You Not?

We all know what marketing has traditionally involved for most companies. Booths set up a trade shows, detailed spec sheets, glossy brochures, and lots and lots of in-person meetings and phone calls.

To be sure, there is a lot of value to that approach. And, arguably, the personal approach that most companies have deployed to cultivate relationships and convert prospects into actual customers becomes only more important as the influence of technology becomes more and more pervasive.

But there’s also a strong argument to be made in favor of companies increasing their use of marketing automation in conjunction with their CRM, which allows software to take over many of the manual tasks that are involved with digital marketing. Since most businesses love numbers and data, here are two statistics that will prompt many companies to investigate CRM marketing automation further: According to a study by Nucleus Research, marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5 percent and reduces marketing overhead by 12.2 percent.

The use of CRM and marketing automation can also become a powerful differentiator for marketers. Indeed, the Content Marketing Institute reported that 55 percent of B2B marketers use marketing automation software. So combining CRM and marketing automation are better together and deliver a complete solution.

More and more, businesses will inevitably utilize any tool that can increase sales productivity, decrease overhead and serve as a differentiator. But here’s the thing: Marketing automation is by no means a panacea that can be deployed and quickly solve all of your marketing challenges. It is simply a tool that can provide meaningful value to certain marketing tasks.  The question is this: When does it make sense to use marketing automation and when does it not?

Automate the mundane and time-consuming tasks

As a very general rule, it’s best to consider utilizing CRM marketing automation for the tasks that take up a lot of time and, while necessary, don’t require much creativity or thought. For instance, digital marketing is ultimately only as effective as the content created to support it. But getting that content in front of the right people and on the right channels can be a tedious and time-consuming task.

When possible, it can be extremely worthwhile to use marketing automation to schedule and promote the publication of content on websites and in social media. By contrast, the actual marketing content that gets published via any channel should not be created by software. Though there are programs that will churn out blog posts and other content, there is simply no substitute for the insights, experience and with that an actual human can provide.

The same approach can be applied to email marketing campaigns. The actual content and messaging that gets sent out should be carefully crafted to emphasize a company’s unique differentiators and value proposition. But the effective delivery of the emails can be handled with marketing automation. And automation can do more than just send emails without requiring a person to hit send over and over. Automation can help segment leads based on the buyer personas that your marketing team has developed and also ensure that the salutation in the body of all of your emails is personalized with the recipient’s name. Even more helpful, marketing automation can also track the results of your campaigns and provide helpful feedback that can allow you to tweak it to be more effective.

Just as content creation should always be handled by people, so too should the work of engaging your prospects and customers. No amount of automation builds trust and the sort of long-term relationships that all marketers seek to create with their customers. Used properly, marketing automation provides marketers with the time they need to do that important work.

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