Have you ever tried to run a marathon with no training? What about with no carbs and hydration beforehand? How about with the wrong shoes? Without stretching or taping up any previous injuries before? There’s a lot more than just a couple long runs that goes into having a successful marathon. Making these rookie mistakes can cause you to finish a little differently than you anticipated.

The same goes with marketing automation. Sure the idea of marketing automation sounds great. Once you purchase a solution, your team is ready to run with the new automation tool. But that’s probably not the best approach. Let’s step back though and do a little stretching before sprinting out of the gate or else you’ll still be crawling at the finish line … if you make it there. Don’t let yourself or your team fall victim to these common rookie marketing automation mistakes.

5 Marketing Automation Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Assume marketing automation is easy: Marketing automation is supposed to make everything easier and automated (hence the name) right? Well yes, but there’s more to it. On the back end, marketing automation is actually quite detailed and complex. It takes a highly pragmatic mind, one who loves digging deep into the data to unlock your marketing automation platform’s (MAP) true potential.

    Setting up your MAP from the start takes a lot of upfront understanding. If it’s not set up correctly from the get go then your marketing strategy will continue to go down the wrong path. It’s important to understand that implementing marketing automation isn’t easy but with the help of a trusted vendor and a knowledgeable super user within your organization, you will get where you need to go.
  2. Having no official marketing automation strategy: Using a marketing automation tool without an official marketing automation strategy in place isn’t any different than trying to play a new board game without reading the rules first. You wouldn’t play the game without knowing what you’re doing so if your sale’s team is relying on marketing to bring leads in, why would you try to market without knowing what you’re doing first.

    Take into account that your marketing automation tool isn’t your strategy. It’s only a means to assist and track your overall marketing plan. When your marketing strategy and marketing automation are aligned, it’s easier to measure success and achieve your desired results. However, without a marketing plan, your MAP typically ends up being used as a glorified email tool … which brings us to our next point.
  3. Using marketing automation as a glorified email tool: According to SiriusDecisions, 85% of B2B marketers using marketing automation platforms feel that they’re not using them to their full potential. While sending emails through your MAP is great for automation and tracking purposes, marketing automation is more than just an email machine.

    Marketing automation includes content marketing, lead management and scoring, social media, CRM integration, landing pages, reporting and analytics, etc. Unfortunately, even when a MAP is implemented, it ends up being underused.

    Here’s a quick insight on reasons why companies invest in marketing automation. You can also check out our eBook on unlocking the value of marketing automation for more info.
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  5. Having no testing methodology: It’s obvious that testing is a part of the marketing process. However, the way you approach testing can make all the difference in your overall approach. Your testing should account for various spots along the customer’s journey – email opens, link clicks, next actions, etc. Sending emails that don’t respond to your customer’s behavior can get pretty embarrassing. But it does happen. Be sure to test all of your nurture campaigns and make sure they’re optimized and always include A/B split testing in your email marketing.
  6. Having no process to align your sales and marketing: For decades, sales and marketing have had an ongoing love/hate relationship. We understand that. But they really should be the power couple within your organization. Communication is vastly improved when the two teams and the two systems they’re using (MAP and CRM) are aligned. According to our Learn Marketing Automation survey, 60% of users reported strong or exceptional communication when their MAP and CRM was aligned. Here are a few more stats to help understand the importance:

 
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Marketing Automation Rookie of the Year

Marketing automation is an investment that when used properly, doesn’t have to break the bank. And just because you’re new at it doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to the shortfalls users find with implementation. Knowing these 5 mistakes can help you ensure that each campaign set up through your system counts. Step out there and try new things with your system, test the waters and team up with sales – this will help you cross that finish line strong and quickly become marketing automation rookie of the year.