Marketing automation can be a time-saving, effective software tool – but only if your team is using it to it’s full potential. There are many misconceptions and myths about marketing automation that inhibit a team’s ability to fulfill objectives and hinder marketing’s ability to more successfully align with sales. My intent is to dispel nine myths about marketing automation that, unfortunately, are commonly misunderstood.

Myth #1: Marketing Automation Fixes your Marketing Problem

One of marketing automation’s great advantages is its ability to offload tasks and perform those tasks at a much faster pace. They key here though, is that for a team without proven processes and content already developed, automating a bad process will not magically make their content more effective or compelling. Automation basically allows your team to now send out crappy, irrelevant content faster and to more people.

Myth #2: Marketing Automation Is Only For Email

Sometimes, this “myth” starts out to be true. We often start with an automated follow-up email sequence, which is a very good idea and an easy way to get our feet wet. But marketing automation can be, and is, a lot more than that. You can build scenarios that respond to a prospect’s behavior (visit on a website page, click in an email, etc.), which allow you to personalize email communications, the way your content shows on the website, or where they are directed after a form submission. Automation is about the whole engagement of the prospect, through their whole journey, not just about when they open their email.

Myth #3: Marketing Automation Is a “Set It and Forget It” Mentality

Campaigns of any nature need to be reviewed and updated from time to time. They must be in line with your business strategy and be measured and optimized to get the best performance. Even your evergreen nurture campaigns must be reviewed and updated in order to maximize their performance. If you adhere to the “set it and forget it” mentality, you risk allowing your campaigns to grow stale and outdated. Always work to keep your campaigns fresh, vibrant, and meaningful to your audience.

Myth #4: Marketing Automation Is Lazy

Quality marketing automation takes work, and it’s well worth your effort in the end. It’s easy to assume marketing automation is “easy” since you can auto-schedule out your content for the future, but quality automation isn’t finished once you send it. You don’t have the ability to sit back and relax because marketing automation is only a small piece to a much larger strategy. How you use your MA software is dependent on the holistic integrations of your multi-channel customer experience.

Myth #5: Marketing Automation Is Spam

High volume marketing is easy to do, but that is not what makes using MA spam. SPAM is SPAM because of its irrelevancy, not because it showed up without warning in your inbox. You can ensure that your campaigns are relevant to your audience by getting to know your customers on a more intimate level. Instead of sending emails that you hope will connect, you can then send emails that you know will resonate with specific people/customers. Consider the new GDPR requirements. Coming into compliance with GDPR will also ensure that your campaigns are not flagged as SPAM and will successfully reach their goals.

Myth #6: Marketing AutomationIsToo Complicated

Some companies have entire teams dedicated to implementation. If you don’t have that capability, you can still do very well by setting up a simple email sequence. Some campaigns, such as document download or newsletter subscription follow-ups, are very effective and easy to implement. Once you get used to it, you will be able to add more complex scenarios that include behavior variables and personalization. The important key to success with MA is to start simple and progress gradually.

Myth #7: Marketing Automation Is Too Expensive

Hundreds of marketing automation applications are available on the market today. The offer is diversified and adapted to different organizational needs, which makes it much easier for small businesses to access this technology. Often the profit gains of using a marking automation platform largely cover operational costs. After using marketing automation for only one year, 32% of companies claim their revenue has increased. And after using it for more than two years, the figure rises to 40%.

Myth #8: Marketing Automation Is Impersonal

Don’t believe that because they are automated, emails are not personalized. On the contrary, marketing automation allows you to create a different sequence for each contact based on their behavior and/or profile data. You can also personalize the emails in your sequence to create a tailored experience.

Myth #9: Marketing Automation Is Only For Big Companies

Many small and medium businesses are successfully using marketing automation. With the number of providers on the market, it’s not surprising that some of them are now targeting these businesses and have adapted their offer accordingly. do your research and choose the platform that best meets the needs of your company.

Whether you are using marketing automation in a large firm or a small startup, you can leverage the power of this tool to suit your needs. Marketing automation won’t fix all of your problems, but it will help alleviate pressure on your team if used correctly. If you know your audience, it can help you reach your customers at the right time with the right message, and, if you keep your campaigns fresh, they will always be a welcome sight in the inboxes of your customers.