AUG 11, 2017 14:16 PM
6 Myths about Marketing Automation
by Drew Hendricks
Like many software solutions, marketing automation had some spills and bumps in the early years. It’s often tangled up and confused with old-school (and very irritating) customer service automation software. We’ve come a long way since depending on software that caused a lot more frustration than help, but the stigma remains.
Today’s marketing automation strategies and software options are often intuitive, integrated with other technology, and has a mild learning curve. Ultimately, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do: Help marketers do their jobs faster and easier so they can focus on aspects of their job that only they can handle.
If you’ve put off exploring marketing automation because you’ve heard horror stories about it, it’s time to debunk some of those myths. Here are the biggest whoppers floating around:
- It will make the need for human marketers a moot point. This is a big one, especially for marketing managers who might worry about job security. However, marketing automation is designed to help marketers, not replace them. There are aspects of most jobs that waste time and talents. Why have your marketing team crunching numbers, which is impossible to do with the same accuracy as a computer, when they could be out there building relationships and closing deals?
- It’s way too confusing to learn. This was true of some low-grade software in the past (and, unfortunately, even some software today). Not all solutions are going to be “winners,” and they can’t all align with the exact skill level of your average marketing team member. However, a good software is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. If the learning curve is too steep or the program is just too confusing, it’s easy to get turned off of that kind of software for good. That’s why it’s critical to read reviews and opt into free trial runs without any strings attached.
- It’s way too expensive. Again, there are certainly some options out there that fit this description. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but other times there are software options that fit within your budget. A quality software solution is going to be created for your industry and business size, which means it’s also going to fit in your budget. If you’re a little startup, you don’t need software that’s designed for an enterprise—and if that’s what you’re looking at, you’re going to get sticker shock.
- It won’t integrate with my other programs. Nothing is more frustrating than purchasing new software and finding out it doesn’t place nicely with others. Integration is a top priority for solid software designers, and it should be clearly touted as one of its benefits. However, you also want to make sure that the software will upgrade so it continues to integrate with any software you purchase in the future.
- It poses a security risk. Marketing software often works with sensitive customer data like names, phone numbers, email addresses, addresses and even credit card information. Purchase history, social security numbers and more can all lead to identity theft and fraud if in the wrong hands. Security is, perhaps, the biggest priority any software should have. Additionally, businesses should always take steps to ensure firewalls are updated and security software is integrated with other programs.
- We just don’t need it. In some cases, this might be true—such as with the littlest of startups. However, if you know your marketing team is wasting effort and time on administrative tasks or research, you certainly do need marketing automation software.
The biggest myths about marketing automation are often rooted in lack of information, old information, and fear of change. It’s overwhelming to think about learning a new system and ditching how things have been done for years. However, when the end results mean less time wasted and more success, it’s worth the upgrade.
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