By Rehan Ijaz

Managing a large-scale marketing strategy can be overwhelming for any growing business. Marketing automation tools are lifesavers for these companies. They can help even a small company save 10 man-hours a week or more on marketing tasks. On average, marketing automation also increases sales by 14.4% and reduces costs by over 12%.

However, marketing automation is only effective if it is properly implemented. You can waste thousands of dollars or tarnish your brand if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are some of the most common marketing automation mistakes you should avoid.

Trying to use automation to fix a broken process

Keep in mind that marketing automation is not a strategy in and of itself. It is merely an AI based system for streamlining your existing marketing strategy.

Why is this important to remember? Even the world’s most advanced marketing automation tool won’t address underlying problems with your marketing strategy.

Let’s assume that you are running a marketing campaign for a fashion company. Jennifer Gretson states that it is difficult to compete in the fashion business, so it’s important to map out your strategy carefully. You aren’t entirely sure what demographic you should be targeting to grow your business, so you are trying to reach very broad demographics with Facebook ads. You also haven’t created custom content for your brand followers.

Your marketing strategy is doomed from the beginning. Marketing automation software may save you time, but it won’t turn your dysfunctional marketing campaign around. If anything, it may make it more difficult for you to identify the root problem is, because you have already resigned yourself to taking a more hands-off approach.

The bottom line is that you need to make sure that your sales funnel and branding strategy is carefully hashed out before turning to any marketing automation tools.

Neglecting to segment your leads

There are many ways that you can use marketing automation as part of your sales funnel. However, almost all of them involve using an email list of some kind.

By far the biggest mistake that marketers make is failing to segment their lists. Your conversions and brand equity will be much higher if you understand the nuances of your customer groups and segment them accordingly.

If you are promoting financial products, some of your leads may be interested in health insurance, others may be looking for retirement planning and others may need growth investing strategies. You don’t want to lump them all into one email list, because they all have different needs.

Would it be better to create a separate list for health insurance leads and another for retirement planning? Yes. However, those lists would still be too broad.

You would want to further segment your lists according to each lead’s unique needs. You may want to create separate lists for:

  • People with pre-existing conditions that need assistance finding comprehensive health insurance.
  • People that need Medi-Gap insurance to cover health costs that are covered by Medicare.
  • Self-employed professionals that are trying to find better rates for their health plans.

If possible, you may want to segment your list even more based on demographics. Your conversion rates and ROI will be higher if you take a more targeted approach.

Not Having Clear Goals for Your Marketing Automation Campaigns

Would you spend several hundred dollars a month to talk to a therapist without knowing what you wanted them to help you with? Absolutely not, so why would you pay for a marketing automation tool without a clear goal in mind?

Marketing automation tools can cost well over $1,000 a month. The most basic HubSpot plan costs $200 a month and the premium plan costs over 10 times that. If you are going to invest that kind of money, it is important to make sure it will be well spent.

You need a clear goal in mind. Are you trying to build your brand? Do you want to generate more leads? How will your marketing strategy help you achieve these goals?

Make sure you can answer these questions before investing in a marketing automation tool.

Marketing Automation Isn’t Foolproof

Marketing automation tools have helped thousands of companies streamline their marketing strategies. However, they don’t guarantee success by any means. You need to understand common marketing automation mistakes companies make and try to avoid them at all costs.

Rehan Ijaz is an entrepreneur and content strategist passionate about writing stuff for startups. His areas of interest include digital business strategy and strategic decision making. You can follow his latest posts @ShRehanijaz.