Should Your Marketing Be Automated?

If you’re doing PR/Marketing the right way, you should have a LOT of ongoing questions. Throughout my career, I’ve always found myself asking — WHY are we doing this? WHAT is the desired outcome here?  If you do not ask these questions regularly, you can fall into some serious brand-damaging traps. Marketing automation is one of these.

At first glance, marketing automation (Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools like Marketo, Hubspot, Keap, etc) SOUNDS amazing!  And for you the marketer, it is. You write all of your content, set everything up in a perfect funnel — and your marketing can be on autopilot and “make money while you sleep” as the vernacular goes.  Wow, what are we going to do with all of this free time now?  —Here’s the rub.  

If marketing is about relationships, one of you isn’t really there and that is an odd relationship. So your customers are having a relationship with something, but it isn’t necessarily you. This could be fine—or could be a real disaster.  

Let’s review some rules first. Every single touchpoint counts for or against the brand.  It’s like calories in your diet. You may not WANT to count everything, but EVERYTHING counts. That’s just how it goes. So if everything counts, then everything we send out can either strengthen or weaken — or even END the relationship. And THAT, friends, is a lot of pressure.  

But marketing automation doesn’t see it that way. Because if we don’t know or acknowledge communication is going out (automatically at all hours of the day/night), how can we feel pressure about it?  

The truth is, your hand should be shaking EVERY time you’re about to hit SEND if you really understand what’s about to happen. Your entire marketing relationship is on the line so it had better be amazing. Not enough marketers understand this or even worse, they understand and simply do not care.  

I have NEVER liked marketing automation. I have tolerated it with some clients, but I am always in there trying to get a more human and real approach. And I truly hate the idea of AI doing it. Imagine that – a completely anonymous machine/software trying to develop relationships for you with your human customers.  Really? That’s your plan?  

We can do better. We must BE better. Here are the things I would do to build that relationship WITHOUT any marketing automation involved:

  1. Create a great story about THEM and how what we do can HELP
  2. Make sure that amazing story appears on the website and all collateral materials
  3. Create something of value like a pdf of tips or insights or video that can HELP and offer it in exchange for an email address
  4. Use those emails to deliver even MORE value to them (via monthly or bi-monthly emails) as we help them get closer to the conclusion of THEIR hero stories
  5. Amplify all of that great content via social channels to ATTRACT new audiences without BOTHERING anyone else

This post was written by me with zero help from any other source. You can tell the difference, can’t you? You can FEEL that I wrote it. It sounds like me. That is what we can do that no machine or software can or ever will. We can push thoughts out of our minds and hearts and into other people by writing the words down and the audience reading it. Amazing, right?

Putting your marketing on auto-pilot with automation is a REALLY bad idea if you care about your audience. They deserve better from you. Use your empathy, feel where they are and then create something amazing that helps them. That’s what we are really supposed to do.  

If you share these values and want to do better for your audience, contact me. I can’t work with everyone, but I can guide as many as possible to a better path. I’ll show you what marketing truly can be when it’s creative, fun—and ALL for them.