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Executive Perspective: 5 Marketing Automation Myths — Busted

Like with any powerful technology, there are myths and mysteries surrounding marketing automation — from the tool’s capabilities to the resources required to make it run. But you can’t believe everything you hear, which is why we’re here to debunk some of the most common marketing automation myths. Take a look at the five myths below see which marketing automation rumors you shouldn’t believe, and which you should.

Myth 1. Marketing automation is plug-and-play.

The Reality: Marketing automation is a tool that allows marketers to be smart about their campaigns, and sales to jump on any qualified leads. It helps sales and marketing teams align themselves using the common language of pipeline, bookings, and qualification criteria. While there are a lot of great marketing automation tools out there that can quickly and easily integrate with CRM solutions, it’s important to note that there is a fair amount of work required to put programs and campaigns in place. This becomes easier as you sync with your CRM and replicate existing programs, like webinars, but the strategy needs to come first for the tool to be successful.

Myth 2. The lead with the top lead score is your best lead.

The Reality: While a high lead score means that a lead is very engaged with your brand (i.e. downloading a lot of your content, clicking tracked links, and more), it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a great lead. The distinction comes from their lead grade. A lead grade determines how good of a fit a lead is for your company, and takes criteria like company size, job title, industry, and revenue into account. The best fit should be a combination of high interest (a high lead score) and a high grade. One of Pardot’s own sales reps said it very eloquently: “A score shows how interested the prospect is in your company, and a grade shows how interested you, the sales rep, are in that lead.”

Myth 3. Every marketing lead is gold.

The Reality: Marketing automation allows you to send “high score + high grade” leads directly to your sales team, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every prospect is ready to buy. Not all leads are created equal. Even if you have high quality leads based on scores and grades, it still matters whether or not it’s the right time for the prospect to buy. Did the lead fill out a Contact Us form or fill out a demo request? This is a great indication that the lead should be sent directly to sales. However, if the lead is still evaluating and hasn’t taken any of these high-value actions, apply high-touch nurturing practices instead to get them to self-qualify.

61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. (MarketingSherpa) tweetbutton

Myth 4. Nurturing is set-and-forget.

The Reality: Nurturing is a powerful tool for both sales and marketing, but is often underused by sales. While nurturing allows you to stay in front of your prospects, it is not a “set and forget” practice. From a marketing perspective, it’s about enabling meaningful interactions with your prospects that can help them move from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. As a salesperson, you can become a watchdog of your prospects’ activities by identifying positive triggers based on their interactions with your nurturing programs and marketing campaigns. If you see interest levels start going up, try calling on your prospects to talk about something they might be interested in based on their activities. Remember: don’t interrupt — disrupt!

Myth 5. Marketing automation is impersonal.

The Reality: Marketing automation isn’t impersonal just because it automates many of your marketing processes. In fact, marketing automation gives you the opportunity to add more personal touches to your campaigns, like personalized and targeted emails that come directly from specific members of your sales team, or dynamic content on your website that changes based on what you know about your website visitors. By automating many of these tedious tasks, you free up time to interact with your prospects and clients on a more 1:1 level.

What other marketing automation myths can you think of? Let us know in the comments!

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