Right now is the best time to deploy a marketing automation platform. Marketing automation is experiencing record adoption, more than any other digital marketing platform, and has seen a 50% increase in growth over the past year. As with any platform, there are best practices to follow and pitfalls to avoid when choosing a provider and implementing a service. Check out the common mistakes below to make sure you get it right.

Mistake: “A new platform will fix all of our problems.”

Even the best platform in the world won’t make up for a lack of internal processes. No platform is magic. If you don’t put effort into your marketing planning and strategy, you can’t get the results you want – it’s that simple. Marketing automation is a tool and it must be used properly by everyone in the chain. Perhaps most importantly, the data in the platform must be quality data. You may be tempted to just go out and buy prospect lists said to be “hot.” This defeats the whole point of generating quality leads yourself. Rather, you must take the time to develop quality campaigns, and then use marketing automation to execute them.

Mistake: “We just need feature x.”

The best features are the features you use regularly. Don’t make a decision to buy a marketing automation solution with thousands of features that sound cool, but aren’t really needed.

Marketing AutomationWhile some features can have a ‘wow’ factor, think about the list of features and functions you need in your day-to-day tasks, ask questions about those that you are unsure about, and focus on the solutions to your regular challenges.

For example, if your email open rates are dwindling and your customers are reporting that they’re being flooded with emails, you’ll need a platform that can tell you which content is converting.

Mistake: “We don’t need buy-in from that team.”

While marketing automation makes things easier for your marketing team, it also empowers the sales team by streamlining the method of funneling sales ready leads to them.

In order to do this successfully, you need to ensure your sales and marketing teams understand the complete marketing automation process, step by step. Keep in mind that your sales members may have a different viewpoint than your marketing team on how automation tools should be used and integrated into daily business.

Create a breakdown of the guidelines centered around how automation will accomplish both teams’ goals and execute on it. You can do this by developing a service level agreement between both teams to help them work toward a common goal. Set up  regular meetings to ensure that the needs of all teams are being met.

Onward and upward

Placing an order for marketing automation platform is not a panacea. You need to get buy-in from all of the teams impacted and focus on the features that are essential to addressing your daily business challenges and driving sales.

For more tips on marketing automation, check out our other articles, or contact us and we’ll be happy to find a customized solution for you.

Mark Brown
Mark is a content writer for SharpSpring inc. With over 4 years of digital and content marketing experience across film, journalism and travel, he offers insights to marketers around the world so that they can get through the digital static of the 21st century.