November 6, 2023

Marketing Automation: Balancing the Risks and Rewards of the Machine.

Optimizing Marketing Automation:

Balancing the Rewards and Risks of the Machine.

As marketing continues its constant, lighting fast, almost real-time evolution in front of our eyes and becoming more increasingly a practice of science than an art, even more so in B2B performance marketing, we are more so than ever relying on automation in our work and practice.

There are a number of reasons for this, including the need to increase the precision in how we reach and engage audiences at scale, the importance of personalization in the content and messaging we’re crafting, and the critical necessity to track results and optimize our investments more effectively among many others.

However, as a point of discussion and debate, there is a slippery slope we’re on as it relates to our growing “automation addiction” that could lead to us marketers becoming less Thinkers and more just Doers. When we rely too heavily on automation, we can lose sight of the human element of marketing. We can forget that our goal is to connect with living real people who have feelings, aspirations, dreams and not just to send out a stream of AI-generated messages.

So how can we take advantage of automation smartly and avoid the alluring ease of letting the machine take over? We do so by mitigating some of these risks that come from depending too much on it, such as...

Loss of the human touch:

Automation can help you save time and scale your marketing efforts, but it can also lead to a loss of the human touch. When you automate your marketing, you're essentially taking a step back from the process and letting the machine do the work. This can make it difficult to build relationships with potential customers and create a personal connection.

Inability to adapt to change:

Automation is great for tasks that are repetitive and predictable. However, it can be less agile when things change quickly. For example, if you're using automation to send out email marketing campaigns, you'll need to update your campaigns regularly to reflect changes in your target audience or industry. If you don't, your campaigns may become less effective.

Increased risk of errors:

Automation can help you avoid human errors, but it can also introduce new ones. For example, if you're using automation to create landing pages, you need to make sure that the pages are error-free. If not, you could end up sending potential customers to pages that don't work properly.

Overdependence on technology:

Automation can be a valuable tool, but it's important to remember that it's just a tool. If you become too dependent on automation, you could be in trouble if the technology fails. For example, if your email marketing platform goes down, you won't be able to send out your campaigns.

How to Use Automation Wisely

Clearly, intelligently designed automation is an essential and valuable tool for modern B2B marketing. However, it's important to use it wisely and avoid the dependence that can creep up on you and your teams as it becomes the de facto mode in which to execute your campaigns. By understanding the risks of “automation addiction”, you can use it to your advantage without sacrificing the subtlety, deftness, charm, humor and connection that is essential for building meaningful relationships that drive meaningful results.

So – given that the automating of basic and not-so-basic marketing functions is the default going forward, here are some suggestions to get the best out of the machine while still maintaining our connection to what motivates us humans.

Use automation to augment your marketing efforts, not replace them. Automation can be a great way to free up your time so that you can focus on more strategic tasks. But it shouldn't be the only thing you do. Make sure you still have time to connect with people on a personal level.

Personalize your messages as much as possible.

Even if you're using automation, you can still personalize your messages to make them feel more relevant to the recipient. This could involve using their name, referring to their company, or using language that is specific to their industry.

Track your results and make adjustments as needed.

Automation can help you track your results more effectively, which can help you improve your campaigns over time. But don't just track the number of clicks or opens. Look at the qualitative data as well, such as how people are responding to your messages.

Be prepared for change.

Automation can be a great way to save time and scale your marketing efforts. However, it's important to be prepared for change. Things in the marketing world are constantly changing, so you'll need to be able to adapt your automation strategies accordingly.

Don't forget the human touch.

Automation can be a powerful tool, but it's important to remember that it's just a tool. Don't forget the importance of human interaction in B2B marketing. Make sure you're still connecting with people on a personal level and building relationships.

Ultimately, it's important to remember that automation is a tool. It's not a replacement for human creativity and intelligence. When used correctly, automation can be a powerful force for good in marketing. But when used incorrectly, it can lead to a loss of the human touch that is essential for building strong and lasting brand relationships and driving business results.

Use it wisely!

Roland Deal, Co-Founder & President