With big data analytics and “hyper-customization” becoming indispensable to generate leads and engage with prospects effectively, marketing automation has become an integral part of the marketing landscape. B2B estimates 46% of marketers have adopted some form of marketing automation, with 62% of them being strong adopters. By 2014, the tribe of strong adopters will grow substantially to 81% of those who embrace marketing automation.
However, B2B marketers need to be careful and wary of the pitfalls on the way to marketing automation. Many marketers stumble when trying to align marketing automation and content.
- Poor alignment with marketing content. It’s not enough for the marketer to reach the right person at the right time. The marketer also has to say the right thing at the right time. This often translates into offering the appropriate content based upon the prospect’s stage in their customer journey. Many marketers consider automation as an end in itself, when actually what marketing automation does is facilitate the marketer to do the right thing.
- Going overboard with automating content. Many marketers extend the scope of automation to pass on stock content to targeted prospects. While this has some advantages, such as making an acknowledgement or sending out a special offer to a batch of prospects, relying only on stock content is naive. In today’s competitive age, it takes original content, customized to the prospect at some stage of their customer journey to persuade the prospect to convert.
- Over-kill. While marketing automation allows marketers to identify leads and reach out to prospects easily, there is a danger of over-kill. For example, flooding a prospect’s inbox with a ton of email day in and day out, just because the analytic engine identifies the prospect as a sure buyer, is a sure way to lose a customer.
Just because marketing automation works wonders for some marketers, it doesn’t do the same for everyone. Success depends on developing a coherent content marketing strategy and then using automation to execute it.