6 Marketing Automation Mistakes You Might Be Making

6 Marketing Automation Mistakes You Might Be Making

Marketing automation has completely transformed the way marketers communicate with their customers and prospects.

“A quarter of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are already using marketing automation, along with 76% of the world’s largest SaaS companies.” (Pardot)

Many businesses adopting marketing automation are benefiting daily from improved lead management, lead scoring, lead nurturing, and easier automated segmentation. The most common mistakes when it comes to marketing automation still lie in the basics of your digital marketing strategy. Marketing automation can easily go wrong if there is a lack of clear strategy, non trained users or poorly-defined goals.

The adoption of a marketing automation tool for many organisations is not an easy process and it usually requires time.

As a Pardot consultant here are the most common pitfalls I came across:

1. Having a poor understanding of your target market  

If you have implemented marketing automation you need to have a clear idea of who your buyer is. Creating buyer personas profiles and identifying key needs might be the key to success. Having an in-depth understanding of your target market will help you with content creation and personalisation, sales follow up, product development. Create your buyer personas, identify their needs and build your marketing strategy taking them into account.

Without an understanding of your audience, tailoring your message and creating a winning content strategy will prove to be incredibly difficult.

2. Not collecting the right data

From the very beginning when you start using marketing automation you will realise the importance of data quality.

One of the biggest advantages of marketing automation is the ability to capture leads like never before. You can easily integrate all your web forms with your marketing automation tool and set up various completion actions and automation upon submission. This will revolutionise your lead generation and lead management strategy like never before.

The information that you choose to gather for your leads via your forms will enable you to customise your marketing campaigns and improve your segmentation.

“It is essential that you collect enough data to be able to segment your database”

3. Not thinking about your users journey experience

Rule number one in marketing: Always think about your customer’s experience. You need to bear in mind that your customers’ time is valuable and they don’t want to fill in 5 different forms in order to get to content hosted on your website. Make sure you simplify their journey and collect all the information you need at the same time. Mapping your users journey is an essential component when it comes to MA success.

4. Contacting prospects too early

Remember that your customers’ journey usually consists of 3 main stages : Awareness, Consideration and Decision. Often one of the reasons for Opportunities to be lost is because they have been contacted too early in the buying cycle. With Marketing automation in place you can easily nurture your prospects through carefully defined drip campaigns. Define conditional actions and introduce scoring for your prospects. Make sure you send them to sales only after a certain score threshold is met.

(Check out our previous Pardot blog post about scoring and grading here)

5. Not communicating with Sales

There’s always been a love and hate relationship between marketing and sales and in many organisations marketing and sales departments tend to work in silos.

Keep your sales team in mind throughout the whole marketing automation process. Team up with  sales and identify buyer personas, set up a lead scoring threshold and identify grading criteria.

6. Only using Marketing automation as an Email marketing tool

As a marketing consultant I came across many instances in which marketing teams are using Marketing automation as an email tool only. While email is still extremely important and effective ,the key to successful marketing automation strategy is to make use of all available features such as lead scoring, lead grading, SEO, landing pages, lead capture forms, reporting.

When using marketing automation can help you automate previously manual tasks and improve your marketing efforts, it is important that you learn how to control such tools so you can maximise the benefit of it. Without the human intelligence and a well defined content strategy even the most advanced marketing automation tool will fail to deliver tangible results. The success of marketing automation lies in understanding the bigger picture. MA is one piece of the puzzle and is there to help you. Structuring your digital strategy around marketing automation is your key to success.

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Author : Boyana Mancheva 

Boyana is a certified Pardot Consultant and holds a Masters degree in Marketing.