6 Marketing Automation Fails That Ruin Your Brand’s Authenticity


Brands are trying harder than ever to meet consumers with tailored solutions and products using personalized content and segmentation. The reason is clear: 77 percent of CMOs at top-performing companies indicate their most compelling reason for implementing marketing automation is to drive revenue. But you’ll see reports on social media and the news weekly of another brand failing in their efforts due to poor content management.

Almost every email Target sends me with product recommendations is a far cry from what I have previously purchased. I’ve had my DSW membership for years, but for some reason they began to only send me emails for menswear. On two recent occasions I’ve received emails from a brand containing sensitive information about someone else’s purchase. A majority of you have likely experienced similar.

These automation mistakes not only make your company look bad, but can cost you real, paying, and sometimes truly loyal customers. So the next time you get ready to launch a campaign, make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes.

1. Setting it and forgetting it

For social

Just because you have the option to schedule social media posts for the next 6 months, doesn’t mean you should. The most successful social media strategies are those that have an even balance of automation and manual interaction.

There’s no harm in getting ahead, but it’s vital to continually monitor and share new content. As a rule, I generally schedule out evergreen blogs and resources, such as e-books and quizzes, to post once per month. In addition, I will curate new posts and shareable third-party content weekly. Frontloading a portion of the work will help you free up resources to create more customized experiences on a one-off basis.

Finally, don’t forget to monitor engagement and respond to any comments within a timely manner.

For email

Another common component of marketing automation that businesses tend to forget are their email campaigns. As you send contacts through your nurture program, make sure you’re regularly analyzing the performance and making improvements where necessary.  

2. Being someone you’re not

A strong company culture, in which members agree upon and care intensely about organizational values, can improve business performance by motivating employees and coordinating their behavior toward a shared vision and specific performance goals.

While this arguably could be a whole other blog post, I believe portraying your culture outside the office is equally, if not more, important than portraying it from within. Your customers are smart. They are looking for something to connect with. Something that will help them fulfill a need or a purpose. When your end goal is only about selling, they can sense it.

Instead, focus on telling your brand’s story. What unique challenges did the founder face that ultimately lead them to start the company? Are these same pain points still relevant to your customers today? Use your passions and values to drive unforgettable customer experiences.

3. Not defining a purpose

“Brands with a purpose grow 2x faster than others.”Marketing Dive via Kantar

Long gone are the days where brands could quietly do their business without having some form of a political or social voice. Is your business giving back to your community or a cause that you care about? If you know your customers as well as you should, then chances are, they care about the same causes and would be happy to see that you do, too.

4. Lacking creativity

When companies plan their marketing automation initiatives, they usually tend to stick to on-screen tactics, such as email and social. However, marketing automation can easily be integrated into offline campaigns using beacons, special codes and more.

A few examples of offline marketing campaigns are:

  • In-store promotions: Create a unique coupon code that, when redeemed, can be attributed in your CRM to a specific campaign.
  • Events: Use beacons to track attendee engagement and interact with them in real time.
  • Direct mail: Create a highly personalized experience by sending a tangible item. (In fact, direct mail has the third highest ROI.) This could be a helpful pamphlet or something a little more unique, such as a hologram.
  • Mobile app messages: Send triggered push notifications or in-app messages based on a user’s actions.

5. Not personalizing content enough

Don’t continue thinking the first name token is going to cut it. You need to connect on a deeper level. Get to know your customer’s behavior patterns. Tailor your CTAs and target specifics, such as their industry, job title, or hobbies, whenever possible with relevant content. And most importantly, ensure the tone and voice of your messaging aligns with your brand.

Some stats to support this:

Need I say more?

When an email is not personalized, 52% of customers say they’ll find somewhere else to go. – Salesforce

6. Not segmenting your lists

Finally, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing campaign is if your data isn’t segmented correctly. Ensure your marketing automation system is properly synced with your CRM, your sales funnel is in place, and lead scoring is active. It’s vital to keep a close eye on your leads as they move further down the funnel to ensure the best possible experience.

Tip: Click-through rates are 100.95% higher in segmented email campaigns than in non-segmented campaigns.

What are your tips for authentic marketing automation? Let us know in the comments. And download our Marketing Automation Scorecard and Nurture Campaign Template to help with your next campaign.

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