3 signs that tell if your Marketing Automation is broken and how to fix it

The Marketing Automation and CRM space is becoming more and more complex. Despite the increase in solutions, connectors, BI tools, organizations are still struggling to provide tailored and targeted campaigns that can match the customer’s behavior and offer a value added to their communications. According to an article by Content4Demand, the lack of an effective strategy is the most challenging obstacle to marketing automation success.

I want to go deeper into what this lack of strategy might look like inside a company. When a company dives into a solution, without thinking about the business process in advance, the outcome will most end up in failure. There are similar characteristics among organizations that are not using its Salesforce instance or their marketing automation to its full potential, thus missing the opportunity to improve their targeting and nurturing of their customers.

Your business processes are more than a year old

What does it look like?

Your automation solution is running and you abandoned your weekly meetings to improve processes; the team that used to get together to discuss data quality disbanded and you are looking at more leads that are not Sales Qualified getting into your system.

Your scoring models are set and done, your user segmentation has not been modified in more than six months, and your Google Analytics views have been the same for the last year. You feel like your org is mostly running by its own, but the reality is that your campaigns are repetitive and static.

The good news

Your org is working (for now).

The bad news

No one is trying to push its limits, to improve the workflows, to modify and optimize the way you create and capture leads. Your Sales team is going to start complaining very soon about your Salesforce not providing useful information.

What to do about it?

  • Revise your business process and ask the hard questions.
  • The secret behind revamping your marketing workflows and getting back in the right track with your acquisition has to do with the way you conduct business.
  • If you go through a strategic planning session for the company, there is a big chance that the focus of your business changed from the time you implemented your campaigns and the way your Sales department is honing in on prospects.

You suck as a parent!

What does it look like?

Organizations deal with CRM’s and Marketing Automation platforms the same way parents deal with their children. They believe their offspring is perfect, and if it misbehaves it is because external or environmental causes, when the reality is that you suck as a parent!

The good news

There are some corrective measures you can implement to get your rascal kid back in line.

The bad news

The morale and trust on the system is so deteriorated that you have your Marketing & Sales managers to change the system and purchase one “that works”. You have a revolt in your hands.

What to do about it?

  • Revise your business process (but maybe you did this after you read my previous point).
  • In this case you are going to adopt the role of counselor and psychologist. You know that the system is not broken, but your users may not have enough training, it’s a good time to invest in quality end-user-training.
  • Make sure your Sales, Marketing and IT departments are using your CRM in a similar manner. A lot of the problems with marketing automation come from not having a common vocabulary and understanding of what the other department is doing and implementing.

Marketing is an art, not a science

What does it look like?

Your Marketing team has forgotten about establishing KPI’s, Goals, and tests when they set up campaigns. Your Sales department does not input require information for lead qualification, and they are using free text notes more and more. Your IT department has been relaxing the field policies because the Marketing department wants more freedom.

Maybe you have Salesforce and a Marketing Automation platform and they don’t talk to each other. The most likely scenario here is that Sales was no longer receiving enough leads from marketing so they went on a rampage, since then, your marketing department forgot about the Sales Qualified Lead model and bought into the idea of “Viral” as a strategy.

The good news

Your company is working, your team has managed to create campaigns and they are not slacking

The bad news

You are getting data into the system, but no one is doing anything about it. Your team may be creative, but you don’t know if they are being effective.

What to do about it?

  • I’m going to change speeds here on number one, because this is really really important: Fire anyone that uses the word “Viral”
  • Now revise your business process
  • Be sure to clarify Sales Qualified Leads and Marketing Qualified Leads.
  • Favor campaigns that have a positive ROI than those with a positive brand image – you can modify this later when the storm passes.
  • Measure with a strategy in mind

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