We all know about the promise of marketing automation: It’s the promise of powerful personalized marketing that aims to enhance the customer experience with brands. But there was initial dislike with the technology as many marketers realized that automation really didn’t produce the results needed to justify the significant investment of time and money it requires to maintain.
Why do so many marketers report problems with marketing automation effectiveness?
While some may argue that the problems with automation were a result of the complex technology itself, the reality is that many marketers haven’t been able to reap the full benefits of automation because their software, program or system existed in a stand-alone fashion. It is a leading reason why many businesses wonder if the investment of marketing automation will deliver on the promise of developing more meaningful customer relationships and subsequent ROI.
Siloed technology architecture is never beneficial especially as businesses come under increasing pressures to unify data and departments. Specifically, stand-alone marketing applications can cause significant challenges that can hinder desirable business growth. Here is a summary of the main issues that can be avoided by using a properly integrated system.
Low productivity due to process inefficiencies
The most common cause of wasted time during the workday is inefficient processes and duplicated efforts. When marketers are bogged down with inefficient and disjointed processes, it increases the likelihood for errors, reduces beneficial collaboration and takes time away from more important business objectives.
Companies who ignore the need for integrated systems can cause a severe impact not only on customer satisfaction but also employee retention.
Poor decision making capabilities
When software systems are un-integrated, you have multiple overlapping databases and cannot easily get a view of customer profiles. Most marketers will then simply forgo acquiring information because of the amount of time it takes to manually analyze data. For those that do, countless hours are wasted trying to make sense of unrelated or inaccurate information. As a result, businesses either end up making critical decisions poorly, or they make hasty and risky decisions off of gut instinct.
Misunderstanding customer needs
The more you understand your customer, the more targeted and strategic you can be in your communications. Tools provided by marketing automation can capture relevant data pertaining to your target audience – and by integrating this data with your CRM or technology architecture, you give marketing more insight into customers interests, actions and pain points so they can tailor communications more effectively.
Wasting time and money
When a business adopts several disparate applications, IT wastes an enormous amount of time and money on integrating and maintaining these applications. Often times, once new versions are purchased, even more integration and maintenance needs to be performed for all the different versions of software to work together. Consequently, valuable IT time that could be used to make the business more productive is wasted, while maintenance costs skyrocket.
Many of the marketers have mistakenly invested in automation without considering the strategy of a more holistic technology architecture. Disconnected functional systems because process bottlenecks and employee productivity issues – and businesses will continue struggling to keep up with growth while managing costs. Integrated marketing automation systems can transform the way marketing and sales produce positive results, and enable them to take business to the next level of profitable growth.