Marketing automation is a hot buzzword right now. It is a technique that makes teams more efficient and effective, automating manual tasks that used to take lots of time. However, there are two words that come to me whenever I hear about a marketing automation system: email overload. I get too much email in a day, and guess what, you also get too much email in a day! So can email marketing bring as much benefit as it claims if its main component, the automated email blast, is filling up our inbox and causing us to go crazy? The answer is yes, of course it can! The problem is not with marketing automation but rather with “typical” automation systems. Because most of these typical systems are typically bad, I’m going to point out what typical email marketing gets wrong and how your team can fix it.
You Need Purple Cows!
Seth Godin is the marketing prophet of the 21st century. I subscribe to his blog and read it daily. You can subscribe here, if you’d like. One of his books, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, speaks to making your business exceptionally memorable through marketing. His analogy is the purple cow: if you saw a purple cow in a field of regular cows, you’d remember it.
What do purple cows have to do with marketing automation? It all comes down to content. We’ve all heard the saying that content is king, but in this era of email overload, we get bombarded with a ton of content. Your content and your marketing automation strategy needs to be a purple cow in order to stand out from the crowded inbox. Seth Godin gives everyone a simple five step process in Purple Cow:
- Sell what people are buying
- Focus on the early adopters and sneezers
- Make it remarkable enough for them to pay attention
- Make it easy for them to spread
- Let it work its own way to the mass market
Easier said than done I know, but this is the first step in creating a campaign that works. If you want some more in-depth analysis of this Purple Cow concept, I recommend reading an old Fast Company article with an excerpt about the 10 ways to raise a purple cow.
It’s Marketing Automation Not Sales Automation
This is something I always say with our partners that use our marketing automation system daily. No marketing automation system is ever going to make a sale. A really good marketing automation system will notify your sales teams when individuals are ready to buy or interested in your product or service, but it still won’t close the sale. This is a good thing because the minute a tech company creates a sales automation platform over 13 million plus people will be out of work (Salesloft). In order for any marketing automation system to generate revenue the agency needs to have a sales team ready to act, based on the actions of your potential customers. Very straightforward but very true.
For the sake of argument suppose you have first two things: you got gripping original content, and a kick ass sales team. This next problem is “typical” marketing automation systems are complicated.
With a complicated system you spend too much time learning it and not enough time doing what you need to do. This problem is commonplace with digital media agencies across America. The stats are not painting a very good picture.
- 70% of marketers are either unhappy or only marginally happy with their marketing automation system (Customer Experience)
- 6/10 marketers say poor data quality or lack of data is their biggest challenge (Blue Wolf)
- 44% of dissatisfied users say it takes too long to implement, is difficult to learn and expensive (Autopilot)
The feedback from marketing automation users gets even worse. On average, it takes 59% of businesses up to six months to fully implement a marketing automation platform (B2B Marketing Automation Report). Of those that even start, 61% agree the implementation process is difficult (Email Monday). Furthermore 82% of B2B Businesses believe that they are not using their marketing automation platforms to their full potential (Sirius Decisions).
Do Marketing Automation The Right Way and Win Big!
With these problems it is hard to believe why people even start a marketing automation campaign. Agencies across America are trying marketing automation because they keep hearing the stories of the companies that have done it right and succeeded at it. When you crack marketing automation properly it is a fantastic way to grow revenue—the challenge is picking the best system for your agency.
At the current moment marketing automation is a cool, “nice to have” strategy. But in the not too distant future, marketing automation is going to be used by everyone. So you might as well start now and do it the right way. This way when all those other black and white cows begin to enter the market automation world, you are already there. And you’re also the only purple cow at the party.
If you want to learn more about how to use marketing automation for the best success of your company, you can check out this slide deck from a webinar done by my VP of Sales.
Vendastas Marketing Automation 10X Platform is one of the main pillars of our company's success, and we’ve got the stats to prove it. Recently we were named in the 50 fastest growing tech companies in our country and we even made it into the fast 500 tech companies in North America.
Download the Modesto Bee case study to see how a small newspaper in California generated nearly 60k in revenue using our marketing automation system.