By Liz McBrayer — Senior Manager, Marketing Content at ClickDimensions
Have you heard the one about the mysterious apparition appearing in the mirror in the dark? Or how about the one about the disappearing hitchhiker? Urban legends endure in the folklore of every culture, much like how myths about marketing automation continue to make the rounds in business circles. And just as urban legends can make you want to avoid certain behaviors in case there’s some truth to the tale, marketing automation myths can discourage associations from utilizing an exceptionally beneficial technology. Let’s take the time to separate fact from fiction by busting five of the most common marketing automation myths.
Marketing automation and email marketing are the same.
The terms “marketing automation” and “email marketing” are used together so frequently that they have become synonymous in many people’s minds. While email marketing is an essential part of marketing automation systems, the list of marketing automation features doesn’t end there. The features found in marketing automation solutions will vary somewhat by platform, but in addition to email marketing, often include nurture marketing, web intelligence, landing pages and forms, SMS, social marketing and more.
Marketing automation is impersonal.
Here’s a clear case where the name of something doesn’t do it any favors. Automation doesn’t exactly sound personal, does it? Despite that, marketing automation gives you a variety of tools you can utilize to personalize your marketing and cater to audience preferences. Marketing automation gives you the ability to send the right message to the right person at the right time – and via the right channel too. So, if you have some members that like association update emails and others that prefer receiving that information via SMS, you can meet both preferences with marketing automation.
Marketing automation is difficult to use.
When marketing automation was new on the marketing technology scene, some solutions were clunky and complicated. Today’s systems, by contrast, are streamlined and user-friendly for business users, not just technical personnel. And it’s one of the biggest benefits of marketing automation for marketing and IT departments alike. IT doesn’t have to worry about using often-limited resources to manage yet another piece of technology. At the same time, marketers have more autonomy and can increase their efficiency by being able to use and manage the system on their own.
Marketing automation is hard to implement.
Depending on the marketing automation system you choose, sometimes this myth can turn into a fact. That’s why the first step in a successful implementation starts during the selection process. There are many factors to consider when shopping for a marketing automation solution, but the level of integration is especially critical. A marketing automation platform that is well-integrated with your CRM maximizes the capabilities, effectiveness and value of each system.
Marketing automation is only useful for marketing.
This is another case where the name of the technology contributes to misconceptions about it. While marketing automation is an essential system for marketers, it isn’t just for marketing anymore. A marketing automation platform can be used by departments throughout an association to communicate with and convert their various audiences. Think of a business goal and there’s a good chance marketing automation can help you achieve it.
Liz McBrayer is the Senior Manager, Marketing Content at ClickDimensions, the leading marketing automation solution for Microsoft Dynamics.