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Marketing Automation: A Blessing or Curse?

Posted by Celeste Aslanyants on Monday, July 21, 2014

Topics: Inbound Marketing

marketing-automation-blessing-curseMarketing automation certainly has its pros and cons. While it can be a great way to increase the number and quality of leads that come in, as well as to follow up with those you’ve already captured, it can also require more work than you might think. What marketing automation can do for your business – which is to have auto-responders, timed email, and other messages sent to your leads based on previous interactions with your company – is pretty incredible. But is it as helpful as it’s rumored to be?

If you’ve been contemplating a marketing automation system for your business, there are a number of factors you should consider before making your decision. Keep reading for a look at both the good and the bad.

Benefits

  • Team Unification

Many times, it seems as if there is a major disconnect between marketing and sales teams. Working out of the same automated system can allow your teams to align more closely and create a more unified message across all platforms.

  • Lead Nurturing

Since you likely have a standard way of following up with promising leads and nurturing that relationship up to a sale, you can make this process an automated one to save time. Rather than physically sending a follow up email to each lead that comes through or each person that you’re salespeople have spoken to, you can set up a standard message to be sent out for the many different specific situations that arise.

  • More “Free Time”

By free time, we don’t mean time to play on Facebook or paint your nails. The free time we’re speaking of should allow you to focus on other marketing efforts that could use a bit more TLC. Use this time to brainstorm new ideas for your business, to engage with your audience on your social sites, or to create new content for your website or blog. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done – marketing automation can help you get some of that precious time back. 

Disadvantages

  • The Expense

Marketing automation systems can be pricey, that’s for sure. Before you make a major investment, you should do your homework and find out exactly what will be done through the system and how much work you will still be required to put in. You can’t just sit back and relax and let the work slide – so make sure the investment is worth it to you before jumping in. 

  • It Can Breed Laziness

Just because something is automatic doesn’t mean you can totally forget about it. The fact that you have a way to set up auto-responders to inquiries, schedule posts, and distribute emails can lead some marketers to become a bit lazy. Make sure those who will be using the system know that this won’t be an excuse to put in less effort. 

  • It Doesn’t Replace Human Interaction

While marketing automation can quickly and efficiently do what would take numerous hours for you do to manually, you can begin to lean too heavily on it. Consumers know the difference between receiving an automated response and hearing directly from a human being. Building relationships with your customer base is huge in this day and age, and should remain at the forefront of your marketing efforts despite the fact that some of your interactions will now be automated.

Marketing automation is something that can be extremely beneficial to your company when used in the right way. Before you take the plunge, make sure you are aware of the pitfalls so that you can start out on the right foot. Used correctly, marketing automation can be one of the best marketing tools at your disposal. To read more on this topic, download our free eBook "How Inbound Marketing Drives Real Results".

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