Marketing automation is becoming spam, I am witnessing it first hand. I realize you might use some sort of marketing automation software product such as Hubspot, Constant Contact, or Marketo. If you aren’t using some sort of marketing automation product at the moment, don’t worry it isn’t a bad thing. In fact
I think the majority of the architecture, engineering, and construction industry is probably not using it. There are many different options when it comes to a service for your marketing automation, but problems abound as well when using these.
Marketing automation allows you to create email blasts that go out to your customer list on a frequent basis. We all know that process but consider the data provided after that email blast is sent. Such services as Hubspot allow you to see who opened the email, clicked on a certain part of the email etc. but is this going to far? It’s crazy to think that a company would know if i opened or clicked on something in that email blast. This type of information certainly helps the sales people at an organization, but the marketing department calls these “leads.” Let’s face the reality here and tell the marketing department that they aren’t leads. Realistically marketing departments need to change the name of these clicks to be called “triggers.”
Marketing folks that use marketing automation are implementing the ideas that come from sales people. These triggers need to be addressed the same way a cold lead is addressed, just because they clicked on an image in your email does not make them hot leads. Many marketing folks we talk to have problems using these marketing automation services when it comes to list organization. Unfortunately, that is a product of the marketing department and the unorganized approach they take many times. In all fairness some of these people are dealing with large lists that contain prospects, and customers.
Let me give you an example of how these marketing automation services can be troublesome and painful. Many organizations have different business lines and each list is not being organized by that specific business line. The marketing department will send out batches of emails to promote their product, presence at an event, or presentation without ever taking into account that many of the folks on the list only apply to one specific business line. So Joe starts receiving three different emails from different business lines at an organization and he asks himself three questions:

  1. Why am I getting so many emails?
  2. Why are they sending me an email on an event? 

Joe begins to question himself starting with the so many emails questions and ending with, “I never travel for work so why am i even getting this email.” So what does Joe do he unsubscribes from getting emails, specifically the one about events. He doesn’t realize that he has now unsubscribed from all of their communication.
Unfortunately, in this circumstance Joe should be receiving emails about certain products but since the marketing department wasn’t able to use a targeted email strategy, they’ve lost another customer who is supposed to receive their communications. The point of the example is that while marketing automation is supposed to make jobs easier for marketing folks and sales folks, it is essentially making it harder and costlier.
Those software packages are not cheap and do you really need it at your organization? I’m not sure. If your marketing department is creating targeted lists then you have a shot at using the powerful tools presented to you that will make your sales staff successful. The term they like to use is inbound marketing, just make sure your marketing department understand what targeted marketing is. If they don’t you risk losing prospects and customers who are receiving too many emails.
Just remember when passing those triggers on to your sales people make sure those lists are targeted. If they aren’t then your sales people are just making cold calls and in some cases they may have never even clicked on that email. My advice to those marketing professionals:

  1. Organize your lists
  2. Target your lists based on what engages that customer (NOT EVERYONE WANTS EVERY PRODUCT)
  3. Don’t be lazy

Is your organization using a product that provides marketing automation? Let us know.