Marketing automation can feel scary to companies that have not tackled it before. After all, automating your marketing campaigns takes them out of your hands and puts them in control of software and algorithms that can handle them for you. However, while marketing automation can feel risky for a multitude of reasons, it's actually one of the smartest steps that organizations can take today if they want to produce and place marketing content that's interesting, well-executed and, most importantly, effective.
The following are some of the greatest fears regarding marketing automation – and why you should feel okay about casting those fears aside and relying on technology to make you a better marketer.
1. Your Marketing Content Won't Be Timely
Marketing content must be timely and relevant to be effective. According to the marketing experts at Kissmetrics: "To be relevant, you have to think about your audience's current needs, wants and opinions." However, many marketers fear that if they leave marketing content to a computer or algorithm, that content may not be up-to-date, or it may be out of sync with what a current audience is interested in seeing.
In reality, though, you create the content that your marketing automation software distributes – your software does not do that for you. So if you are paying attention to the interests and desires of your customer, you will be able to create marketing content that will appeal to them – then you can rely on your software to effectively get that content out in front of the people who want to see it.
2. The Software Will Be Too Difficult
If you're a marketer, you might feel like an expert at coming up with campaign ideas and knowing where to place display ads. However, it's possible that you feel like a software and technology novice. If that's you – fear not. First of all, you're not alone. More than a quarter of marketers believe marketing automation software is too complex to use.
Next, the good news is that today's marketing automation software is designed to be intuitive and helpful to marketers, which means you're going to find that it makes your work easier, not more complex. Most companies that have created marketing automation software have done so to streamline processes for marketers, take complicated tasks out of their hands and free up time for more important, cerebral tasks.
3. Marketing Automation Software Will Take Away People's Jobs
Artificial Intelligence can be scary. After all, if machines can be as smart (or smarter) than humans, will they eventually replace humans? Many marketers share the fear that they will be replaced by automation software if that software gets good enough. However, in reality, if you're afraid of the power of AI, and you're not embracing and learning how to use marketing automation – that may end up being the very reason that you lose your job in the long run.
It's important for marketers today to realize that marketing automation software isn't a threat, and that it has a very different set of tools and abilities than the human brain. Marketing automation software can help easily target audiences by shared characteristics, send out emails and perform administrative tasks, and track engagement in order to improve performance. However, human marketers have creativity and judgment, which automation software will never have. This means that humans will still be required for things like coming up with ad creative, finding new innovative platforms and channels for marketing content, and figuring out how to best appeal to human emotion.
4. It Will Be Too Much of a Financial Strain
Marketers often fear that investing in marketing automation software won't pay off. In reality, there are many marketing automation software options, ranging from very inexpensive to very expensive. You can find a marketing automation tool that fits in your budget. And, if you do, fear not: studies show that marketing automation techniques work when it comes to growing your business.
For example, automated, triggered emails have a 70.5 percent higher open rate than regular email newsletters, companies using marketing automation are twice as effective at generating leads than those that aren't, and using marketing automation software to nurture leads is 451 percent more efficient than not using it.
Ultimately, the above stats mean one important thing: the money that you invest into marketing automation will be worth it, and you'll end up getting more in returns than you're spending.
5. It's Only for Email
Maybe your company isn't big on email marketing, or maybe you've already gotten your email marketing down. If you think that marketing automation is only for email marketing, though, think again. There are tons of marketing automation software choices out there.
Some marketing automation tool options you should consider include CRM software (to manage and nurture customer relationships), like popular options Salesforce and Chime (for real estate companies); software to manage and track the performance of marketing campaigns, like HubSpot (for digital marketing efforts) and Pardot (for B2B businesses); social media marketing software, like HootSuite and SocialOomph; and creative production and management platforms like ReFUEL4.
Marketing automation is a tool that was developed to help marketers do their jobs better and more efficiently, so there's no reason to be afraid of it. By embracing marketing automation software and learning to deploy it properly, you can free up time and energy for yourself to do more creative, complex tasks, and simultaneously ensure that your marketing efforts go off without a hitch.