Marketing Automation: Set It and Forget It?

September 4, 2015

No doubt you’ve heard of marketing automation. There seems to be a hell of a buzz around it recently, and I know a fair few marketers who are nothing short of obsessed with it. However, new research has suggested that many marketing automation investments fail, according to HubSpot. 

The dream is that marketing automation can organise data – it takes manual tasks and does them for you. But this “set it and forget it” mindset is frankly unrealistic; it undervalues both the input needed by marketers to actually make the tech run effectively, and the constant maintenance and monitoring that is required.

Contrary to popular belief, it also requires more employees: you are likely to need a marketing technologist who can assist you with the new system and ensure you get the most from it. Secondly, marketing automation relies on formulas such as “when X happens, do Y” – and turns to the traditional purchase funnel for the logic behind it. However, as we all know, the purchase journey is now so much more complex than this.

And finally, marketing automation disregards the fact that prospects are continually evolving in their needs and motives; sure, it can give you a lead score, but you’ll never know the reasons behind why that prospect is so engaged. 

Really, then, isn’t marketing automation a workflow tool, as opposed to an automation tool? Idio Platform recommends Content Intelligence as a viable alternative – this tech involves algorithms that learn and react based on new information, rather than turning to rigid rule-based logic. 

The fact is that marketing automation is far from being a marketing paradise. Is it really worth the hassle? Have you ever used marketing automation, and would you recommend it?

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director