Imagine marketing automation as your race car, zipping through the fast lanes of your strategy. This year, 60% of business leaders are increasing their budgets in this area, aiming to enhance customer experiences in the high-speed world of eCommerce. But here’s the twist: only 25% of marketers have their customer journeys fully automated, while 44% are cruising with a mix of manual and automated gears.
When implementing automation, marketing teams usually aim to go down the full automation route. But in the end, it doesn’t always become the case. Whether executed intentionally or as a compromise, partial automation can be a roadblock to total marketing efficiency.
Is partial automation a strategic choice or an unexpected speed bump for your business? Let’s explore its implications and what full automation can do for you.
Partial automation in marketing refers to using technology to automate some, but not all, marketing tasks and processes. Marketers blend tech with the human touch, selectively automating tasks and keeping room for human insight. The benefits are improved personalization, campaign control, and a balance in resources.
For some, partial automation may have been implemented with full intention while dipping their toes in the automation pool. Others may have met roadblocks such as budget constraints, lack of talent, incomplete projects, or naivety when attempting to adopt full automation. In these cases, partial automation serves as a viable alternative.
Automation can be tricky, and many stakeholders most likely had high hopes for your implementation and use. But they’re generally unaware of its complexities and what is actually feasible. It’s important to communicate that ‘partial’ implies exactly that—not complete—and that elevating its maturity level needs more than just tools. It demands investment in time, resources, and skilled recruits to fully leverage automation.
Partial automation might seem like a quick fix, but it’s not a long-term solution. This is because your team may end up focusing on less impactful tasks.
On the back end, marketers often face the challenge of working with two different platforms and data sets. Unfortunately, this often requires manual intervention due to the absence of automated processes. This outdated method can be tedious and time-consuming, leading to a lot of distractions and dampening campaign efficiency.
What does this mean for the front end? The combination of automated and manual processes creates confusing experiences for customers. Inconsistent messaging, timing mishaps, and automation blunders can make the customer journey not exactly personalized to their taste.
Going full-throttle with full automation isn’t just about tech; it’s about the right support, such as expert training and advice. But before investing in this transformation, it’s important to know the benefits.
Achieving full automation can help break down data silos. This is essentially what’s partly responsible for overlapping and inconsistent marketing communications.
One effective way to achieve this is by integrating a Customer Data Platform (CDP) with your marketing automation solution, which creates a centralized data hub. This integration consolidates fragmented data sources and gives you data flexibility and accessibility. With this unified data, you can work faster and make better-informed decisions with the help of comprehensive and cohesive insights.
Plus, full automation boosts marketing productivity and operational efficiency. With real-time insights, your team can hone a customer-centric strategy, enhancing the customer experience and building a more responsive, dynamic marketing machine.
Choosing the right marketing software is key for those gearing up for full automation. But it’s not just about how fancy their new AI features are; it’s about practicality – how it fits into your current setup, the training available, and how it aligns with your goals.
Remember, technology is just part of the equation. The human element remains crucial, from regular audits to updates in your automation workflow. This human-driven oversight ensures your marketing doesn’t just run on autopilot but thrives, staying agile and tuned to your customer’s needs.
Stay tuned for our next piece, where we’ll dive deeper into choosing the right marketing software for full automation. In the meantime, here’s an evaluation checklist to help you move forward.