You finally got that fancy marketing automation tool you’ve been dreaming of! …But it’s now basically a money pit, not driving the results you were hoping for as you struggle with how complex it is. Or you’ve heard horror stories from your peers and remain skeptical before taking the leap yourself.
With the tight labor market and increasing demands of your clients, you know you need to get started with marketing automation to minimize operational inefficiencies.
But questions remain: Why does so much of it fail? Is it really the answer?
Why marketing automation fails
You could have your client personas and marketing strategy perfectly planned out with alignment between sales and marketing. None of that matters, though, if you can’t execute properly.
Here are eight things to avoid in your marketing automation tool to see success.
1. Lack of implementation support
Even the simplest marketing automation tools require some technical savvy to set up — whether that’s an in-house team or the platform’s. Without the proper technical support, making progress on implementation will be painful or, worse, the technology won’t be implemented in the right way for your business needs, stunting your growth.
2. Lack of ongoing platform support
Even if you and your team have the technical chops, the platform may be completely new to you. What if you have questions or get stuck on a particular issue? Your marketing automation tool may feel overwhelming.
And if you don’t have the knowledge and support (or your support team doesn’t understand your business), you’re likely barely scratching the surface of what this technology can do for you and your clients. If you’re not fully using everything the tech has to offer, you’re missing opportunities that can further boost your return on investment (ROI).
3. Lack of tech integrations
For marketing to be successful, it cannot live in a silo. Your clients experience your brand across multiple channels and teams. The beauty of marketing automation tools isn’t just the automation, it’s the cross-channel automation.
If you cannot integrate across your tech stack, like your website and customer relationship management (CRM) tool, you won’t be able to deliver on the seamless, personalized cross-channel experience your clients expect. And don’t forget about your event management tool! The more you can bridge the online and offline worlds, the better your visibility into client engagement.
4. Lack of data integrity
Data is crucial to powering your automations. Let’s say you want to automate a recurring email to clients in the United States, so you look at your contact country field and filter for the United States. What you may not realize is that some clients may have their country listed as US or USA.
These inconsistencies in your data can break your automations or make them unreliable, leaving you vulnerable to potentially costly mistakes.
While this isn’t directly the fault of a marketing automation tool, the best ones at least expose all the variables to help you better manage your data.
5. Lack of user-friendly interfaces
This one almost speaks for itself. If the platform is difficult to navigate and use, you will struggle with getting things done. So much for saving time, huh?
This is especially true of big, legacy platforms that have cobbled together different technologies acquired over time into a single, disconnected experience for you.
6. Lack of organization
To add to the non-friendly interfaces: Without clear ways to organize your marketing programs and content within a platform, you’ll find it challenging to scale — or even just to find things. We’re talking about what goes where, the ability to use folders and nested folders, and how things are named.
7. Lack of reporting
Most marketing automation technology comes with some analytics — but does it have the analytics your business needs? Think about the different reports you’ll need to determine what works and what doesn’t so you can compare that against the platforms you’re considering. For example, you might be interested to see which investment products your clients are most likely to engage with.
One thing you may not have thought of? Bot traffic. This makes it difficult to gauge true engagement, so how does the platform handle that in its reporting (if at all)?
8. Lack of advanced features
You may not need all the bells and whistles of a particular platform right now, but you also don’t want to go through the pain of migrating tools too soon. Consider where you want your marketing program to be in two or three years, and make sure your marketing automation tech can grow with you. Otherwise, it simply won’t be able to do what you need it to — and you’ll fall behind your competition.
StoneShot: the marketing automation tool that won’t fail you
As an investment marketer, your needs are different from those in ecommerce, software-as-a-service, or any other industry — and we understand that. That’s why we’ve built StoneShot specifically for investment and asset management firms.
Our automations are very niche, such as fund reporting email automation and CPD event certificates, geared toward specific business challenges that financial services companies face. You won’t find this kind of detailed dedication elsewhere.
Investment marketers also love our support services. Most platforms provide only the tech, so you need to get a separate consultancy to advise you. We both advise clients on automation as well as provide ongoing support to help clients execute.
But don’t take it from us. Hear what HSBC has to say about how StoneShot has transformed their business:
Marketing automation can increase your operational efficiency and streamline the client experience. But choose the wrong tool, and you’ll just end up confused and frustrated instead of saving time or driving up your ROI like you hoped.
No matter which technology you go with, remember to avoid what makes so many others fail:
- Little implementation support
- No ongoing platform support
- Lack of tech integrations
- Poor data integrity
- Not-so-easy-to-use interfaces
- No clear ways to organize
- Few analytics you actually need
- Basic-only features you’ll quickly outgrow
…and you’ll be on your way to success!
Need some help getting started? Check out StoneShot’s marketing automation platform on top of our campaign management and strategy and consulting services. You’ll get superior customer service with real people who care — not a faceless organization that treats you like a number. If you want to learn more, let’s chat.