Digital Marketing Automation – Is It Worth The Hassle?

How can I describe the future of digital marketing automation ?

I’m breaking up with you! It’s not you; it’s me.

When I first started working in digital marketing, I naively and mistakenly thought that digital marketing automation was a magical unicorn that would save me so much time and energy. Time and energy that I could spend taking care of all of the (usually) forgotten elements of my business that need attention.

I started using digital marketing automation without having a perfect understanding of what it is, what it can do and what it doesn’t do. So I was extremely disappointed when I realised its magical abilities were nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

 

What Is Digital Marketing Automation?

 

Read our in-depth blog, ‘A Beginners Guide To Marketing Automation’ to learn about the technical side of automation.

 

Who Should Use Digital Marketing Automation?

 

Digital marketing automation is perfect for businesses who have already established a fantastic flow of inbound leads to their website.

However, what about websites that don’t have a steady flow of traffic, that can’t analyse the digital body language of site visitors, and who are feeling less than overwhelmed by the number of leads ready to be turned into customers? Should those people forget about marketing automation?

Absolutely not! Digital marketing automation is NOT a magical unicorn that will MARKET AUTOMATICALLY for your business – but it is the dream that we should all aim for.

Because when your business does NEED the use of marketing automation to keep up with customer demands, you will know that all of the inbound marketing strategies that you have manually put in place are working just as they should be.

Getting your business ready now for marketing automation IS smart for future growth. If you want to track visitor journeys and sales pathways to increase profits and ROI on your marketing activity – marketing automation is the best way to do it.

 

The Future of Digital Marketing Automation: Is it Effective?

 

After spending hours devouring content and courses and implementing marketing automation myself, here is the answer I can definitively give you: “Yes digital marketing automation is useful, BUT….”

Marketing automation MIGHT be useful for businesses who fully implement it into every aspect of their business, have a stream of inbound leads, and can analyse the digital body language of site visitors.

This is the kind of answer I expect my kids to give me. It’s the “Yeah, But” statement that allows your kids to provide you with the answer they think you want to hear but still have enough ambiguity to back away from the answer if needed.

 

  • Yes, digital marketing automation is effective, BUT it is hard to implement and may not be cost-effective.
  • Yes, digital marketing automation is effective, BUT content creation, search engine optimisation, social media, and social networking are more effective.
  • Yes, digital marketing automation is effective BUT only if you genuinely know what you are doing, embrace it for what it is, and utilise all aspects, not just email.
  • Yes, digital marketing automation is effective, BUT there is a lot of background work that needs to happen (and this is rarely talked about).
  • Yes, digital marketing automation is effective BUT only if it is used with an inbound marketing strategy focus.

 

Before you begin your courtship with marketing automation ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the goal of your marketing automation investment? Usually, its to convert more leads into customers, with the ultimate goal of making more money.
  2. Are all the customers you need to sell to, in order to hit your revenue target, in your database right now? If you answer no to this, then you are going to have to find a way generate more leads and your money may will be better spent on gaining traffic to your site and lead generation than digital marketing automation.
  3. Are you getting new leads every month for your automation to have an impact on your sales funnel? Please keep in mind that digital marketing automation is not going to have a significant impact on your lead generation tactics.
  4. What kind of marketing automation tools, software or platforms can your company afford to invest in? Keep in mind the cost of the software/tool/platform, the time for training, campaign planning, content development, and automation management.

 

So the future of digital marketing automation can be bright and can have a significant impact on your business if you go into it empowered with knowledge. Regardless of where you are in your journey with marketing automation, knowing that it is out there and accessible for your business is comforting and inspiring!

 

The Promises We Make

 

The promise that is assumed when we hear the term digital marketing automation will not be fulfilled if you think of and use digital marketing automation as a way to blast a generic series of email messages to your CRM database.

The future of digital marketing automation is firmly embedded into an inbound marketing strategy. While we all know the promises that digital marketing automation makes – “A powerful personalised marketing approach for all business great and small.” Can we be honest enough with ourselves to know if we are using it correctly or simply paying lip service to a new trend in digital marketing?

 

To live the dream of digital marketing automation, the process would:

 

  • Organise prospect data and information
  • Use that information to formulate the right content strategy to feed them
  • Interact with prospects at the right time (when they are ready or looking for it)
  • Help close the sales deal because you have answered all objections before prospects even get to the sales team

 

Although this is the dream, it is also the reality for many businesses. Digital marketing automation gives the buyer simpler, more professional sales process, and sellers get more efficient (cheaper and quicker) sales process that results in better customers. Although it is the new buzzword around digital marketing, marketing automation is a very involved and strategic process that needs to be executed with surgeon-like precision.

Digital marketing automation can keep its relationship promises to businesses. However, like many great love stories, I started my affair with marketing automation before I was ready. Now I understand what a demanding lover it really is, and I am STILL willing to give myself and my time over to it!

If you want to get your business on the right path for future growth, come in for a chat with our expert at Baker Marketing. Together you can plot your business’s inbound marketing strategies and begin your own affair with marketing automation the right way.

 

Call Baker Marketing on (08) 8352 3091 to talk to a digital marketing automation expert today.

 

Image: It’s Real Love… by Matt Cooper via Flickr

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