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The Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing Automation

by Hana Abaza  |  
August 20, 2014

Marketing automation is the saving grace of your failing marketing programs, the silver bullet that magically turn visitors into leads.

Or is it?

Though marketing automation has exploded with an expected growth rate of 60% this year, too many marketers fall short in implementing and using their marketing automation tools.

There's no denying the power of marketing automation—but it isn't a magic formula that will instantly solve all your marketing woes. Like any software, marketing automation is only as good as the person using it. Failing to properly implement and use marketing automation will set you up for frustration in the short term and failure in the long term.

Despite a potentially initial high cost of implementation (depending on the tool, that might mean dollars, time, or both), if you're not using marketing automation, you're at a serious disadvantage.

At Uberflip, we recently released a SlideShare about the 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing Automation. The "sins" are a combination of mistakes we make as marketers and process issues related to how some teams operate. Though those sins may not be as bad as the original deadly sins, make no mistake about it: If you're guilty of even one of the below, you're leaving a lot on the table for sales and marketing success.

1. No documented strategy

Using a marketing automation tool without a documented marketing strategy is like wandering through the grocery store without a shopping list. You end up with a bunch of stuff you don't need and missing ingredients that are essential for dinner that evening.

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Hana Abaza is vice-president of marketing at Uberflip, a provider of content marketing, curation, and publishing software.

Twitter: @hanaabaza

LinkedIn: Hana Abaza

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  • by Blair Symes Wed Aug 20, 2014 via web

    Great article. The section on measuring the right things (leads, opportunities, and sales) to measure ROI is especially important. In terms of marketing technology that can help, my company uses Marketo (track leads from web and email), Ifbyphone (track inbound phone leads back to the marketing source that originated them), and Salesforce CRM (feed lead data in from both Marketo and Ifbyphone to follow leads through to revenue to accurately measure ROI of each source). I published a piece about using the three tools together on Jeff Bullas' blog, if anyone is interested:

  • by Brian Hansford Wed Aug 20, 2014 via web

    Spot on. Two others I also include are poorly trained people, or a lack of the right people for demand generation, and poorly managed data. The wrong people without the right training, experience and direction will lead to a failed effort with marketing automation. Clean data is one of the most overlooked areas for successful marketing automation, which has a direct impact on revenue generation.

    Brian Hansford

  • by Lori Feldman Thu Aug 21, 2014 via web

    Great topic! Hana, I'd like to add to your #5 to spend time on database segmentation. Go beyond customer, prospect, lead and start collecting product/service interest as soon as it's known. Behavioral data is timely, but marketing automation recipients will shut you down if you send them irrelevant (to them) stuff.

  • by NIcolas Lecocq Fri Aug 22, 2014 via web

    First I would like to thank you for this great article. I agree that automated marketing can lead on dead ends.

    An example that I face a few days ago: A great advertisement, telling that the company has released a great new e-marketing tool and all that apply will get it for free as a trial. I applied, and what a surprise, when I received the confirmation email, my name and my company name was wrong. This email was not formatted for me but for someone else... Dead, no chance to do business with me...
    I faced this problem twice since monday... Either the automated mail generator is not working properly or there is a human factor in filling the lead database, but in any case it is not the way I think targeting in marketing. I like when the mail (or any other media) is focus on my business, with my name, addressing my problems...

    Thank's for reading
    Nicolas Lecocq

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