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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image of Hana Abaza

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

Twitter: @hanaabaza

LinkedIn: Hana Abaza