It’s a blessing – and a curse. Automated marketing is the use of a marketing platform to automate repetitive tasks, like social media publishing. It’s made marketers’ jobs easier for some time, especially with the growth of platforms like HubSpot and Marketo. Found something that works? Clone the content, reschedule, and voilà – your workload is a mere fraction of what it was.
But it’s deeper than social media. Many marketing automation platforms also allow you to clone website pages, blogs, landing pages, emails, etc. – all you have to do is update the content and hit publish. Theoretically speaking, it’s a time saver; realistically, this mechanical practice can severely compromise your marketing efforts.
Here are 3 examples of the danger of automated marketing.
Things Change in Marketing
Just when you think you have everything marketing related figured out, things change. Best practices shift, Google changes their algorithm, a new social media platform explodes, a revolutionary start-up or integration is born … you get the idea.
What works today is not guaranteed to work tomorrow, so putting all your eggs in one basket is a death sentence to your marketing.
You Lose the Element of Cutting Edge
Have you heard the phrase “You were born to stand out”? It cannot apply any more appropriately to anything than it does to marketing. As marketers and businesses, we’re one of thousands marketing similar products and services and producing similar content to support our products and services. When you turn to marketing automation, you become a sheep – it’s a daily, non-automatable effort to push the envelope and dial into what makes your company uniquely different.
Don’t forget basic inbound marketing best practices, of course, but consider pushing the boundaries of what you’ve been doing well to find a way to elevate your success. On the same hand, consider kicking the tasks that are netting you no return on your marketing efforts to the curb – that way, you’ll have more time to concentrate on marketing that works.
It’s a Pain in the Ass to Fix
So, you read a blog and come across a fantastic idea to improve your web presence and marketing automation. You implement the idea across the board, and it’s not until weeks or months later that you discover your conversions have dropped, your traffic is down, and this “improvement” actually hurt your marketing efforts more than it helped. Now, you have to fix this improvement, which sucks valuable time and energy away from implementing the marketing activities that do work.
I’m not saying don’t take risks – quite the opposite, really. Take risks, leap outside the box – but test your ideas in a small pool of your website pages, landing pages, blogs, etc., before you jump in with both feet.
The Solution: The Power of GDD & A/B Testing
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Growth-Driven Design is a game changer. We’ve talked about it in past blogs, but Growth-Driven Design is the practice of making intentional changes to your website based on proven feedback and data from your visitors. Enter another shameless plug for Hotjar, an all-inclusive analytics and feedback tool that offers you the ability to understand your visitors by watching recordings and heat maps of their experiences on your website.
A/B testing is a feature on HubSpot and other marketing automation platforms that allows you to test content based on a split of visitors. You’re able to test ideas, content paths, and verbiage to find out what your buyer personas react to best.
So, instead of making sweeping, brash changes to your website and your marketing automation, make individual tweaks to a small string of landing pages, website pages, social media posts, etc., and let your prospects decide what’s best based on their actions on your website. The biggest pitfall that marketers make is creating a website and marketing presence that makes sense to them while failing to take into consideration the reason you’re creating them in the first place: prospects and buyer personas.