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Why marketing automation strategies can fail.

Everyone wants more time in their day, 24 hours just doesn’t seem to be enough sometimes. Maybe you wear multiple hats or support a large team. Suffice it to say, you feel like you just do not have any extra time to do all of those repetitive tasks to keep things running. You know, painstakingly qualifying leads one-by-one for those hungry sales reps, creating a list of potential prospects that the team spoke with at an industry event to email at some point, or even just simply following-up with a visitor that recently filled out a form on your website.

It can get overwhelming for an individual, and even more so for a small, medium or even large enterprise business. Those tasks can build exponentially, and someone needs to take control of it.

Everyone needs a bit more time it seems. So how can you and your company get more of something we all have the same amount of? You can work smarter, not harder.

“Smart” companies (and individuals) have figured out that by investing some time, effort, and a bit of resources to implement marketing automation, they are getting more done in their 24 hours than ever before.

Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, it absolutely can be the solution to gaining those precious minutes or even hours back in the day. However, sometimes results don’t always end up the way you might hope.

Here are a few reasons why a marketing automation strategy might fail:

  • Not setting measurable goals. Think SMARTer Goals.

  • Lack of planning ahead. A solid plan can make or break automation efforts.

  • Only nurturing leads during a single part of the decision making process. Or forgetting the buyer’s journey all together when planning automations.

  • Not giving the buyer the option to jump ahead (or back) within the journey. See planning ahead above.

  • The messages just aren’t helpful. Solve for the customer, always.

  • Too many interactions or touchpoints. Messages can get spammy and can become irrelevant.

  • Messages just push the sale. Remember, always be helpful!

  • Lead lists are purchased to fill the top of the funnel. Buying lists...This is a huge no-no. Even “highly-qualified” lead lists can hurt your brand reputation and lower your email deliverability rates. Just don’t do it.

  • Focusing on a single channel of engagement (like email). Engage with contacts where they are most comfortable to get the best results.

  • “Set it and forget it” mentality. Marketing automation is not something you just do once and never touch again. Optimize, optimize and optimize again.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking Marketing Automation is the silver bullet to all your time-sucking woes. It can be a way to take some stress off the Sales and Marketing teams, only if done with careful planning and the customer in mind.

Tried making use of Marketing Automation and failed? Good, failing is the first step to success. Hopefully you have learned why and can start again with a little help from the tips above.

What other reasons have you have found why marketing automation fails? Please feel free to share them!


D’Ana Guiloff is a Marketing Professional immersed in the world of Marketing Automation in several platforms including HubSpot.

She has helped clients large and small create well-oiled marketing machines that do the heavy lifting, reducing spend and increasing revenue.

Book time with D'Ana should your marketing automation engine need a slight tune-up and you need a helping hand to perfect it.

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