Automating marketing and customer engagement has tons of potential, but such potential translates to reality only when automation is done right.
Technology is the least of a marketer’s concerns when considering automation. With adequate funds and executive management support, marketers can easily adopt the right software to automate crucial marketing and engagement processes.
The key challenge is reluctance to change. Automation requires marketing personnel to learn new skills, change their methods of operation and improve communication.
Success depends largely on the input of precise and high quality data, which is contingent upon the software’s ability to deploy algorithms and make decisions. The challenge here is the reluctance by different stakeholders to share data. Without comprehensive data that cover the metrics that matter most, automation will flop.
Another challenge relates to competence. A database polluted by erroneous or duplicate data can lead to misguided decisions and even make the process counterproductive. For instance, consider a case where the presence of duplicate data on a selective basis may offer the conclusion that the best time to contact a CMO to make a marketing pitch is at 12 in the afternoon, a time he or she would normally be busy with a lunch meeting. Yet, bad data often seeps in, owing to a lack oversight and application from the marketer’s side to check for such factual errors when entering the data, or even owing to sheer incompetence.
Success also depends on trial and error, for which a robust feedback loop is important. The very purpose of automation is to make things faster and more efficient, and if the automation cannot provide such benefits to the team, it defeats the whole purpose of implementing such software.
While there are challenges to automating customer engagement, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, it does improve the sales and marketing process. Paying attention to these challenges and working with your team to overcome them will help you create a process that is beneficial and more efficient for your team.