How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Marketing Automation Success

Even the most successful B2B organizations face tough marketing challenges.

This is abundantly clear in Marketing Automation Trends for Success, an April 2016 report from Three Deep and Ascend2. The data in the study comes exclusively from companies that describe their marketing automation strategy as “very successful” — and the results are telling. 94% of best-in-class companies say marketing automation is “very important” to their marketing success. However, even these exceptional marketing teams face roadblocks when it comes to accomplishing their marketing automation goals.

The chart below shows the seven most significant barriers to success. Some are trickier to overcome than others (lack of budget, for example), but I was surprised to find that the top barriers are actually some of the most avoidable.

The Most Significant Barriers to Marketing Automation Success

Let’s take a look at three of these challenges and how marketers can overcome them.

Barrier #1: Lack of an Effective Marketing Automation Strategy

It’s near impossible to automate your marketing if you don’t have an effective strategy in place. Unfortunately, this is the case for 58% of the most successful survey respondents.

First things first, you’ll want to map out a general plan for success. Even if you’re already using marketing automation, it doesn’t hurt to sit down and rethink your strategy. To help you through this process, we’ve created a Marketing Automation Success Plan Template you can download, customize, and use to guide your strategy. It includes everything from setting marketing goals to planning your quarterly campaigns.


Click here to download your free, customizable planning template.

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Barrier #2: Poor Sales-Marketing Alignment

If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you know that alignment between sales and marketing is one of our favorite things to talk about. As social selling evangelist Jill Rowley says, “Marketing needs to know more about sales, sales needs to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.” It’s really that simple.

The first step to achieving sales-marketing alignment is to open up the lines of communication between the two teams. Read through our blog post 6 Steps to a Better Sales-Marketing Strategy to learn best practice tips for initiating and nurturing a closer sales-marketing relationship. Your marketers, sales reps, and customers will all reap the benefits.

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Barrier #3: Inadequate Contact Data Quality

I’m willing to bet you have at least one “John Doe” and one “First Last” in your database — and don’t even get me started on phony phone numbers (pun intended, sorry). Last spring, Spear Marketing Group reported a disheartening statistic: 54% of B2B companies estimated that at least quarter of their marketing database was comprised of old, inaccurate, unusable, or duplicate leads. Fortunately, there are two simple ways to deal with incorrect or inadequate data.

First, you can use a data cleansing tool like Clean. This will help keep your database accurate, complete, and up-to-date. It does this by automatically matching, appending, and enriching your prospect records in your CRM, which you can then sync with your marketing automation platform.

Second, you can ensure that you collect more accurate data in the future. The best way to do this with marketing automation is through progressive profiling. Progressive profiling allows you to gradually collect information about a lead over time. Instead of requiring your website visitors to fill out a long, detail-intensive form — which will likely result in inaccurate data — you can ask for a couple pieces of new information each time they fill out a form. (Bonus: Shorter forms also increase conversion rates!)

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Overcoming These Obstacles

Armed with these resources, you’re ready to start knocking down those roadblocks and dominating your marketing automation strategy. For more guidance, download our five-step guide to marketing automation success by clicking the banner below.

Download the Marketing Automation Success Kit now!