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5 Ways Marketing Automation May Be Doing Your Business More Harm Than Good

5 Ways Marketing Automation May Be Doing Your Business More Harm Than Good
Image credit: Ryan Etter | Getty Images

Brands on the cutting edge of technology often enjoy an advantage over their competitors. In 2016, 60 percent of marketers surveyed by Black Ink said they believed that business intelligence would become the most in-demand technology. And one area that is significantly influencing business intelligence is marketing automation. 

Related: 10 Marketing Automation Hacks All Businesses Should Be Using

But marketing automation in and of itself is not going to give your business a new lease on life. Sometimes, the top marketing tools can do your business more harm than good.

That’s not to say that when you you automate your marketing tasks, you don't stand to gain a lot. But you do have to do it correctly. Here are five incorrect applications.

1. You believe in the myth of ‘one and done.’ 

When people think "marketing automation," they think they can install a tool and it will take care of everything for them. Marketing automation still requires constant monitoring. Yes, many of the menial tasks are taken out of your hands, but that doesn't mean you can set the tool to work and concentrate on something else.

For example, visitor engagement is something no tool can manage. You need to keep track of your marketing activities to make sure that you’re not leaving visitors hung out to dry.

Failing to react to engagement can and will hurt your company. You'll miss out on business.

2. You paralyze yourself with tech.

A careful selection of tools will help you become more productive. They'll help you to streamline your business. But, install too many tools, and the exact opposite may happen. You'll find yourself spending so much time managing the tools and making sure they don’t come into conflict with one other that you won't accomplish anything at all.

One of the big marketing automation mistakes is to download too many tools. You should still take on certain tasks by yourself. The goal isn’t to become as lazy as possible and abandon your marketing campaign.

Related: Marketing Automation Can Help Startups Sell Like the Big Brands

3. You are using it only for email marketing.

A common misconception is that your PR should include marketing automation exclusively in an email capacity. Part of the reason for this is that marketing automation initially focused exclusively on the email marketing field. But, marketing automation now can be used for practically everything: social media, landing pages, mobile marketing automation and lead generation, for starters.

If you’re using it only for email, you’re not getting its full range of benefits, and that omission could hurt your business.

4. You are using it to be lazy.

Think about why you want to use marketing automation in the first place. Focus on your motivations. The goal behind marketing automation should be to make yourself more productive, as you might do, say, outsourcing some of the smaller tasks that you can’t fit into your day.

You should never use marketing automation just because you're lazy. At all times, you should know exactly what you’re saying across all your channels. You should have a general overview of how your PR campaign is going and where you want it to go next.

In other words, a tool shouldn’t be doing all the work for you.

5. You are replacing humans with robots.

Technology has reached such a level that robots can now automatically reply to people. If you wanted, you could quite easily never speak to another customer on any channel ever again. That's not the joke it may appear to be; in fact it's one of the reasons why customers aren't trusting in brands the way they used to.

You should never replace humans with robots, because people are going to see right through you. It’s easy to distinguish when a social media update has been posted by a robot and when it’s been posted by a human.

Brands that use marketing automation to replace the human aspect are making a huge mistake. They’re putting themselves in a position where they’re not meeting the needs of the customer. The last thing your target market wants is to be directed to a marketing automation tool masquerading as, well, you.

Last word -- a time and a place

There’s a time and a place for everything, including marketing automation. This is something designed to make your life easier. But it’s not something designed to take over your entire marketing operation. The smartest brands are using it to free themselves from menial tasks so they can concentrate on what really matters.

Related: 7 Tools to Automate Your Marketing Tasks (Without Blowing Your Budget)

So, take a look at your automation setup and consider whether you’re as streamlined as you can be. How have you used marketing automation to change your company? And would it be smart to cut back some of those uses in order to let the "human" part of your brand shine through?