How to Overcome the Top Execution Challenges of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation has the ability to benefit businesses in many ways, including an increase in lead generation, sales qualified leads, and an increase in ROI. But there are also challenges businesses have to overcome in order to succeed when considering marketing automation. This is understandable. After all, marketing automation is not comprised of a singular component, but many segmented pieces synchronized together to achieve optimal results. In order to overcome marketing automation challenges, a company must first identify the main hurdles, they are as follows:
- Budget constraints
- Lack of informed employees to manage marketing automation
- Poor contact database quality
- Lack of content
- Complexity of marketing automation software
Each of these challenges provides a reason for a company not to implement marketing automation. But each of these issues also has a solution.
Don’t Break your Budget with Automated Marketing
Keeping to your business’s budget is a necessary fiscal responsibility, but it shouldn’t keep your company from progressing. The Marketing Automation Report of 2014, states that 56% of B2B companies evaluate marketing automation software based on cost while 37% say the biggest challenge to implementing marketing automation is budget constraints. While budget and cost are valid concerns, marketing automation has become increasingly cost effective. More affordable marketing automation software has become available through providers like SharpSpring, which can be laid on top of an existing website, and Infusionsoft, which has a holistic approach and includes ecommerce.
In addition to less expensive software, customized implementation is another way to reduce costs. Don’t think of marketing automation as having to be all or nothing. Marketing automation can be implemented in segmented stages as the budget allows, it’s just important that your business starts the process. For instance, maybe you can only replace your general email campaign. The sooner your business can replace your general email campaign with marketing automation, the sooner you can get quantifiable data about your leads. Once the data is received, you can create customized automatic emails for potential customers which then translates to a higher conversion rate and ROI.
Lack of Understanding of Automated Marketing Systems
Marketers agree, marketing automation increases a businesses growth and profit. But in order to obtain that increase, a company must have the labor and knowledge to implement and use it. The Marketing Automation Report of 2014, cites that 36% of B2B marketers say that they lack informed employees to manage marketing automation, while 23.2% attribute their challenges to the complexity of marketing automation software. This is not surprising since marketing automation is a fairly new product. However, there is a solution for businesses struggling with marketing automation. Many digital, technical, and internet marketing firms have noticed the lack of skilled labor and understanding of marketing automation and have filled the gap. They offer services like:
- and Management
These consulting firms make it their business to know the ins and outs of marketing automation technology. Not understanding the full realm of marketing automation is no longer a reason not to be at the cutting edge of marketing technology.
Poor Contact Database Quality within Automated Marketing
Bad contact database quality can end up costing your company time and therefore money by reducing the reliability and efficiency of your email marketing plan. So it’s not surprising that the Marketing Automation Report of 2014, cites that 33% of B2B marketers say that having poor contact database quality is one of the top challenges of marketing automation.
The solution to this challenge lies within your understanding of marketing automation and depends on how well you have constructed your buyer’s personas. If your business hasn’t established what a qualified lead looks like then your database will have poor quality leads and contacts. To combat this issue your company might consider hiring a consulting firm that specializes in marketing automation that can help you optimize your software use.
When marketing automation is used correctly, your automated marketing system can improve the quality of your contact database by maximizing your collection of quality contacts. But most of the time, bad contact database quality isn’t caused by marketing automation, but the quality of lists your business bought or acquired. This, along with data decay contributes to poor contact quality. Business records decay at a rate of 2% per month (NetProspex). Try taking fifteen minutes every month to cleanse your contact database list to avoid this issue.
Marketing Automation Requires Quality and Quantity Content
Content is now considered by marketers, one of the most important parts of marketing. And with marketing automation, your business can target buyers and feed them individualized content at the right point in the buying process. But while this all sounds great, the fact is that to use content marketing with marketing automation, a business must provide different types of high quality content directed toward different buyer’s personas. This means a much greater output of content to keep up with the marketing automation leads, which can be extremely hard to fulfill.
Hypothetically, let’s say you have 3 different buyers personas, with 4 different identifying needs, and 5 different channels, with fresh content posted 12 times a year, that’s 720 pieces of new content. It makes sense then that Marketing Automation Report of 2014 cites 32.1% of marketers saying that content is the fourth largest challenge for them when it comes to marketing automation.
This may sound hard to overcome, but there is a solution. Business will have to devote more resources to the development of content. This can be achieved in one of two ways,
- Hire a person or team to exclusively write content.
- Hire a digital marketing firm that specializes in marketing automation to develop content.
For Every Marketing Automation Problem there’s a Solution
There are many challenges a business can encounter when faced with buying and implementing marketing automation. But there are just as many solutions out there as well. A Focus Research study indicates that 75% of companies using marketing automation see an increased ROI in only 12 months. Have your business become part of this statistic. Your company can be at the technological forefront of marketing by starting your marketing automation program. You won’t have to worry about going over budget or having employees struggling to understand the more advanced technology by just getting a consultation. You wouldn’t go on a cross-country road trip without a GPS, so why start on the road to marketing automation without a knowledgeable consultant guiding you?