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Ten Ways for Marketing Automation to Be Better

I've been a marketing automation user since 2008 and have deployed it across multiple companies in multiple verticals. Here are some of the challenges that I've seen, particularly in the SMB space. At the enterprise level, it's always possible to pay someone to customize things, but what about everyone else?

    1. No preloaded activities

    100% of my clients will want to set up a form that triggers an autoresponder and does *something* with the lead, yet when I get hired, I have to build it from scratch. Every. Single. Time. You would think there'd be a file format you could input, but nope.

    2. No best practices baked into the machine

    Not only CAN'T you load common activities, there's no best practices, eg.... "Here's a proven email subject line." This data exists, yet no one is puts it in front of you at the right time.

    3. Too much ABM talk, too few features

    In B2B, we know we have multiple buyers. The large marketing automation platforms do a better job of account segmentation. The small ones don't. Understanding when you have multiple people in an org looking at your offering is critical for B2B sellers of all sizes.

    4. Limited use of available data

    One of the features that doesn't get a lot of buzz is MailChimp's ability to deliver emails when they suspect the likelihood of open rates is higher. I haven't used it enough to have an opinion on it, but it sure sounds like it makes sense. So why doesn't everyone have that? You know what times I've sent emails to the prospect and you know if they've opened them. Optimize for it.

    5. Reporting

    Marketing automation companies have two options for reporting: build out an amazing reporting portal OR open up your platform (affordably) to awesome reporting tools. Instead, most offer OK reporting OR a closed system.

    6. Campaign summary emails

    Pardot does a nice job of sending a daily email about who's been on the website, but why not an email to marketers the day after a campaign launches telling them key Day 1 metrics so they can quickly adapt if needed?

    7. Compare nurture engagement program cadences with opportunity time periods

    Most CRMs can tell you how long a prospect has been in a stage. Likewise, your nurture programs have a cadence that should align with this. And yet, there's no easy to pull this data.

    8. Multi channel for most marketing automation programs stink

    Pardot's solution for sending SMS is to create a SF task that triggers other SF SMS software. I guess that's a clever work-around for execution, but what about the reporting? Similar results happen when the SF task is encouraging LinkedIn outreach.

    9. Trying to be everything to everyone

    Some marketing automation platforms (Hubspot) have the flexibility to be built for most business models, but not all of them do. If you're better at a given vertical, just say so.

    10. No comparison between my data and others

    Why can't companies opt to share their data with the platform, so that we can compare what we're doing to others? eg... "Yesterday, your average email open rate was 23%. Across our platform, the average was 20%."

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