Pros & Cons of Marketing Automation
When marketing automation was first introduced, the idea of having your leads nurtured and activities executed automatically was enough to attract most marketing professionals, although many stood on the fence skeptical of its capability. Fast-forward to today, and marketing automation has evolved from a niche to a must have for anyone calling themselves a marketing pro.
Over the years marketing teams have learned that automation is a tool and that using it involves challenges as well as benefits. Along with a great range of benefits, it has its fair share of headaches. Here we explore some of the aspects of this revolutionary innovation as becomes common in all marketing practices.
These are the pros and cons of marketing automation.
-It’s a huge time-saver. Marketing automation’s convenience allows marketing teams to spend less time dealing with administrative details and more time doing what they do best.
-It greatly facilitates A/B testing. For those who are not familiar, A/B testing can be grueling and time-consuming, you’ll appreciate how much hassle these tools can save you. Simply create your selection of variables, enter some basic instructions on how they should perform, then sit back and wait for the results.
-Useful for everybody. Marketing automation isn’t just something that works for a hand full of industries, if you sell products or services and you have prospects, automation can be crucial for your marketing team.
-Works great for lead generation and lead nurturing. With marketing automation, you can set up email campaigns or a landing page to capture leads for your database, and from there create automated workflows to keep your brand prevalent in the prospect’s mind.
-It’ll cost you. Although the cost of automation has come down over the years, you still have to fork over some cash (usually on a subscription basis), which means an additional expense. Not everyone will have the budgetary dollars for an automation platform.
-There is a learning curve. There’s both an art and a science to successful automation, and it may be through trial-and-error you find the right balance. Using platforms correctly will take some practice. Marketing automation platforms are sophisticated solutions, an inexperienced user can find themselves up to their necks in campaigns, audience segments, and endless reports.
-It takes time to set up and manage. This is a bit of a contradiction as these tools are meant to give users more free time, but it does require time to set up and to manage. Many marketing teams who invest in automation platforms don’t realize manual input is required and periodic management of automated campaigns. The “set-it-and-forget-it” approach will only work to a certain degree.
-Mistakes will be magnified. Automation platforms can handle huge numbers of prospects, mistakes can happen. This means that an error may go out to thousands instead of just a few recipients, and you may not even become aware of it immediately.
As you can see, marketing automation offers many advantages to time constrained marketing professionals, but it’s not a magic pill. Implementing and managing your platform requires a large commitment of effort, time and money.
If your team is considering an automation solution, make sure you understand what you’re signing up for. Aside from the price, assess what the platform will do, what it will not do, and what you need to put into it. Make an informed decision when choosing the right platform and make sure your team is fully prepared to properly use it.