marketing automation challenges roundup 2018

Marketing Automation Challenges Roundup 2018

The marketing automation world is growing at a large scale. More and more people use some type of automation for repetitive marketing activities to increase productivity and consequently revenue.

However, even as technology changes and evolves, people working with marketing autautomizy-roundup-box-author-imageomation have almost the same challenges as they did 5 years ago. I wanted to find out precisely what challenges marketing automation users have and share our findings with the world in the form of this roundup and this epic 59-page report filled with stats about marketing automation challenges and advice.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

MA Challenges Report 2018 white

My colleague, Viktor created a survey with some questions. The purpose of the first question was to segment the respondents so that we could follow it up with relevant questions about marketing automation: “Do you use some kind of marketing automation software?”.

The respondents who replied with “Yes.” got these questions:

  1. “What is your number 1 challenge when you use marketing automation?”
  2. “What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should she/he pay attention to?”

The respondents who replied with “Not yet.” got these questions:

  1. “Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?”
  2. “If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?”

marketing automation challenges roundup 2018

The survey also contained questions about the name and industry of the respondent’s company, how many employees the company has and what’s the position of the respondent in the company, and what’s the position of the respondent in the company. This let us put all the challenges into context and create this epic 59-page report filled with stats about marketing automation challenges and advice.

I reached out to hundreds of people through relevant Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn messages asking if they’d like to take part. 133 people filled out the survey. 114 (85%) of the respondents use some type of marketing and 19 (15%) don’t.

Main Marketing Automation Challenges

In our survey, 85% of respondents use some kind of marketing automation.

The most common challenge people face with marketing automation is creating quality automations, with 16% of respondent mentioning it.

Based on our data, integrations (14%) are another critical challenge users face with marketing automation technology.

Marketing automation requires lots of content. No wonder, that creating content came in third place, with 10%.

Engagement (8%) is another major challenge and is closely related to content. Automation requires top-notch quality content to drive engagement.

Segmentation, data management, and optimization are mentioned by 6% of the participants as a marketing automation challenge.

Finding tools (5%), personalization (5%), lead scoring (5%), analytics (4%), reporting (3%), and deliverability (1%) were all mentioned as a challenge by some of the surveyed professionals.

Download the full report to get even more marketing automation stats, advice, actionable insights and characteristic challengers based on research.

main marketing automation challenges

Coming up you can read the responses to the two main questions of all the people who submitted the survey. I’ll start with the respondents who automate and finish it off with the participants who don’t. Let’s dive in!

Use the Quick Access below to see the full list of respondents and jump between!

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Respondents Who Automate

In our survey, 85% of respondents use some kind of marketing automation.

This section contains answers from influencers and expert like Ed Fry, Aaron Krall, Alex Rangevik, Jon Buchan, Sampath, Chris von Wilpert, Gilles DC, Trevor Hatfield, Justin Wu, Hailey Friedman, Jason Quach, Jonathan Aufray, Yam Regev, Sam Hurley, Louis Grenier.

Participants came from high-growing SaaS companies like Sumo, Hotjar, HireVue, and Hootsuite. As well as lots of early-stage startups and large corporations like Nokia and GE.

Ed Fry (Hull)

Ed Fry
Growth @ Hull
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Managing complexity of data and content. Rarely does all the data and content you need start all in one place.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

The advice that was given to me when I started.

Start simple. Keep it manageable. Get something small working (and push it out into the wild) rather than architect something “clever” and delay actually getting results.And don’t fear pressing “GO!”. Even when it’s enrolling tens of thousands of contacts 😉

Youness Bermime (WritersDo)

Youness Bermime
Owner @ WritersDo
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
My number one challenge is making sure that my subscribers’ list interacts positively with the content of the emails they will receive.
I have to make that both the content is just as high quality as the list of people I will be sending it out to.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

They should pay more attention to content and contact quality rather than quantity.

Sending one email a day to thousands of people who will just be irritated after three days is not a good strategy.

Instead, one email per week, highly customized will get more leads and keep your contact interested in what you are offering.

Lauren Eubanks (TechnologyAdvice)

Lauren Eubanks
Email Marketing Manager @ TechnologyAdvice
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Making sure that your message aligns with the prospects that are being targeted. It’s easy to set up a marketing automation program and think you have all the criteria/segmenting details to target your audience, but sometimes you can miss the mark and create an unwanted experience for your target customers.

For example, if your prospect downloads a beginner-level guide…don’t assume that means they’re ready to buy your product. Send them content/messaging related to what they downloaded and then if they engage, take them through the next steps gradually. You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on a first date, so don’t expect your prospects to either.

What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Map out the journey you want your prospects to take using a visual flow chart like draw.io or Gliffy before building the process in your marketing automation tool.

This helps visualize the path you want your prospects to take and identify any gaps or holes that might be missing.

When drawing out the process, make sure you have an “exit step” of what’s going to happen at the end of your automation flow…is Sales going to follow-up? Are these prospects going to go down another automation track? Identify the end goal and make sure there are next steps.

Aaron Krall

Aaron Krall
Head Honcho @ SaaS Growth Hacks
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Being able to add recipients to a specific list by sending an email.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Make sure it’s a right fit for what you’re looking for.

There’s a lot of software out there, so try a few and find one that solves the biggest challenges you have.

Douglas Karr (DK New Media)

Douglas Karr
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Mapping internal processes to the technology. While platforms are quite robust, they often miss elements that impede implementation and success.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Pay attention to the sales process and your customers’ journeys.

It’s essential to map your sales processes and leverage technology to assist and optimize those processes. Without buy-in, enablement, and goal success, a marketing automation implementation may be a real challenge.

Rick Kuwahara (Paubox)

Rick Kuwahara
CMO @ Paubox
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Proper segmentation and a customized enough flow based off event triggers and actions to the emails itself (ex: if opened do A, if not opened do B).
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Don’t try to do everything at once and just get started with one or two flows.

One of the hardest things is people try to be too perfect. Perfect isn’t important as long as you have a system to improve over time.

David Attard (CollectiveRay)

David Attard
Founder @ CollectiveRay
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Knowing what tone of voice to use, the right length of emails to send and when to send specific emails to ensure a great trial/onboarding experience.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Ensure you’ve implemented the right triggers to know what to send based on what actions the user had taken, and/or which actions you’d like them to take.

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Pat Ahern (Junto)

Pat Ahern
Founder @ Junto
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Setting up integrations between various platforms, primarily with lead scoring.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Start with the manual implementation of every element, and then work to slowly automate each individual element of the process over time.

Udit Goenka (GoPBN)

Udit Goenka
Founder @ GoPBN
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
As of now, I have no challenges. The tools I use work amazingly well. Though I wish there were one tool that did everything instead of managing multiple tools.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Pay attention to the lead nurturing cycle.

Do not pitch to soon, and do no delay the pitch. Build a good relationship with the automation and try to solve people’s question.

Luka Zuparic (Silos)

Luka Zuparic
Program Manager @ Silos
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Integration with other services.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Hidden pricings, technical issues and quality of support.

Ryan Bonnici (G2 Crowd)

Ryan Bonnici
CMO @ G2 Crowd
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The #1 challenge I see with using most marketing automation tools is they are one-trick-pony systems.

For a marketing automation to be seriously powerful, it should be deeply integrated (if not one and the same) with your CMS/website, CRM, email marketing tool, social media tools, and your digital ad tools.

That way you can personalize content across every digital channel, create a much more personalized customer experience, and drive the right conversion for the right person at the right time.

What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

If you’re just getting started, I’d say focus less on long term nurture email series / tracks, as they never work that well. And instead, build out behaviourally driven email comms (just one email can be enough, if triggered when a prospect/customer does a certain behaviour).

Gabor Papp (The Pitch)

Gabor Papp
Founder @ The Pitch
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The technical implementation of automation is not that hard anymore. But getting the strategy, the messaging and the workflow right is still a challenge. You have to think and plan a lot to figure what to send, to who and when.

What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Have a small plan and execute it. And do it manually!

Automate only if you really know what you are doing. I always start every automation process with manual work, then move to half-automation, and only set up fully automated workflows when I understand how the process really works.

Bad automation can be worse than no automation. But once you figure out the process and what to automate, it can do magic!

Apolline Adiju (Simple Social)

Apolline Adiju
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Ease. I like when they have videos to help me through the process of using the software.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Start with the tools that are easy to use and stick with them.

Alastair Smith (Ringspo)

Alastair Smith
Owner @ Ringspo
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Email delivery – avoiding the promo inbox.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Planning out and documenting the automation journey before jumping into the tool itself. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get confused.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Shaun Lee Wei Rong (Sales Climax)

Shaun Lee Wei Rong
Owner @ Sales Climax
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Content Development for the automation.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Have absolute clarity of the strategy before diving into automation tactics.

Jubayer Hossain (Layer Media)

Jubayer Hossain
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
API Integration.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Implementing one task after little instruction.

Abhik Shome (The Starting Idea)

Abhik Shome
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Ease of integration and learning curve.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Integration and data analysis.

Sampath S (SaaS Mantra)

Sampath S
Founder @ SaaS Mantra
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Complete Automation.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Personalization.

You don’t want your customers/list to know that they are just being served by robots. They trust you when signing up; you gotta build that one.

Jeff Lambert (Jeffinko.Guru)

Jeff Lambert
Founder @ Jeffinko.Guru
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Keeping it truly personal and like a conversation.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Segment your audience and personalize everything to the max!

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Jon Buchan (Charm Offensive)

Jon Buchan
Director @ Charm Offensive
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Usability.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Do you enjoy using it?

Chris Von Wilpert (Sumo)

Chris Von Wilpert
Copy Chief @ Sumo
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Not being able to change stuff account wide (e.g.: change “reply to” address account-wide).
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Set up an initial 10 email sequence and use gamification to reward people for opening and clicking every email you send.

Gilles De Clerck (TheGrowthRevolution)

Gilles De Clerck
Head of Growth @ TheGrowthRevolution
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Initial lead qualification to achieve higher ROI.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

To try and match the right value to their audience.

Luke Fitzpatrick (Ghacklabs)

Luke Fitzpatrick
Founder @ Ghacklabs
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Setting it up / planning / time.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Be more human.

Automation works if it’s genuine and provides value to people (what you’re actually sending / what you’re sharing on social).

So, as an example. Typically every blog ” emails” every blog post to their subscribers. We don’t. We only email the best of the best.

Nix Eniego (Sprout Solutions)

Nix Eniego
Head of Marketing @ Sprout Solutions
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Seamless synergy with sales pipeline.
Basically, I want a pure experience of just having marketing automation for leads that we lost.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

You should focus on finding the low hanging fruit.

Are you getting the right leads?

Are you attracting the exact kind of audience you want?

Don’t get too hung up on the analytics at the start, better look at the basics and the overall framework before you jump into more complicated stuff.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Attila Peringer (PANOVERSE)

Attila Peringer
CEO @ PANOVERSE
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
To find the best audience that can be turned into customers.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Don’t overdo the amount of any marketing tools (too much newsletters etc.)

Shubham Vyas (Factale)

Shubham Vyas
Founder @ Factale
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Initially, it was difficult to decide which software to use and on what basis.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Focus on the analysis of marketing campaigns and an appropriate way to customer data organization and storage.

Timi Garai (Antavo)

Timi Garai
Marketing Manager @ Antavo
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Finding the time for putting together the marketing automation flow and then writing the content for it.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

The most important thing to keep in mind: is your goal.

What action would you like to push a prospect to make after reading your emails?

AND, find the right balance between being engaging, credible (with providing real value to email readers) and pushy, but not too pushy.

Bendegúz Nagy (CME Hungary)

Bendegúz Nagy
Account Manager @ CME Hungary
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Reaching higher CTR.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Communicate through at least 3-4 channels.

Trevor Hatfield (Inturact)

Trevor Hatfield
Founder @ Inturact
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Keeping automation as human as possible.
With multiple and more complex multi-part workflows making sure they stay organized, easily understood and there is not any overlap.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Keep workflows as simple as possible.

It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole that can lead to problems. It’s often better to have 5 short automation workflows that are easy to follow and pull leads in and out of them with specific purposes, rather than one extremely long complex one that caters to everything.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Emil Lamprecht (Growth Mechanics)

Emil Lamprecht
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Easy/quick set up and management of funnels and triggers for complex user behaviors.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

To think, investigate and test the logic through from the user perspective first.

If you’re implementing solely from a disinterest in manual work, or because you want your business to feel/run “lean”, you’re likely missing out on key decision influences from the user perspective that enable your automation to have it’s desired effect.

Justin Wu (Growthly)

Justin Wu
Founder @ Growthly
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Thinking about the specific email templates in the drip series/automation series.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Create the initial user journey, and reverse engineer other businesses within your space. Copy their automation first and then build off of that.

Aniel Bhaga (Ungapped)

Aniel Bhaga
Head of Growth @ Ungapped
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Segmentation and people falling into the right segments.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

100% understand the journey that you want your customers to take in the flow.

We can set any type of funnel or marketing automation flow, but one thing that can be forgotten when starting out is not to think about the whole flow and mindset of the customer going into the flow and also what they will do and how they will be when they exit.

What will be your trigger points be? How will you guide your reader to do what you want?

That is right you are the guide, you are not the strict teacher telling them what to do, that doesn’t work in this day and age. You have to use words, imagery, a bit of humor and knowledge of your customer to get them to trust you and do things.

Be consistent in everything that you do, know your brand, know your brand voice and look at every campaign as a whole to make sure your language and flow make sense.

Syed Irfan Ajmal (Ridester)

Syed Irfan Ajmal
Growth Marketing Manager @ Ridester
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The issue of having to use a variety of tools for doing different tasks and lack of integration.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

I think one has to start with the basics and prioritize the use of marketing automation accordingly.

In this regard, it won’t make sense to learn a software which helps with increasing retention if you are a new business and are in the acquisition stage.

There are also tons of case studies and books available which can be of help.

More than that, irrespective of what the industry standard is for a particular strategy or tactic, it is important that you test your own data. For instance, to use a simple example, many new business owners are wondering what the best time to tweet would be. Now, this is something which the business owner should analyze based on their own audience’s activity level.

Constant experimentation, data analysis is the key. In this regard, as Sean Ellis says in his recently released book Hacking Growth, one has to adopt the philosophy of MVT (Minimum Viable Testing) to make the best use of one’s resources and build on that experience and the lessons it provides.

Robin Singh (ProProfs)

Robin Singh
Technical Author @ ProProfs
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Gathering leads in large numbers.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Application of the tool is really important.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

MA Challenges Report 2018 white

Andrei Zinkevich (Getleado)

Andrei Zinkevich
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Integration between different SaaS when Zapier can’t help. 🙂
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

First of all – your goals. What do you want to automate and why?

2. KPI. Everything you do in marketing must have it’s own KPI so you’d be able to track it.

3. Personalization and humanization. Always remember that people buy from people, not from companies (or robots 🙂 ).

Kalle Saunamäki (Applixure)

Kalle Saunamäki
CTO @ Applixure
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Don’t know if number 1 as such, but currently synchronizing contacts’ information state (active, unsubscribe, etc.) between MA system and all other systems (product internal DB, CRM, etc.)
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

If the product is flexible enough to support different workflows and integration with outside world, decent content editor for emails is a must as well.

Guillaume Moubeche (LeadGuru.io)

Guillaume Moubeche
Co-Founder & Head of Growth @ LeadGuru.io
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Building the right funnel.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Find resources online.

Then set-up an actionable plan with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that are easily measurable.

Finally, test and learn based on the metrics you’ve measured!

Alex Rangevik

Alex Rangevik
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Finding a good price point for startups.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Integrations with other tools, how good the API is for instance.

Deanna Aaron (Vonazon)

Deanna Aaron
Marketing Automation Specialist @ Vonazon
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Building an effective strategy.
Not just blasting emails, but using the automation features to reach an audience in a way that’s relevant to them.
Knowing which segmentations to pull, and what types of behavioral logic to sort by when leads take action.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Making sure the SPF & DKIM is set up to ensure their email deliverability is strong.

Also, setting up lead scoring, & the unsubscribe page with options for people to opt-out of.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

MA Challenges Report 2018 white

Andrea Kilin (GE Healthcare)

Andrea Kilin
Social Media Specialist @ GE Healthcare
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Leads conversion metrics from social media instances.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Integrations with other BI tools and communication channels/tools, etc.

Marketing Automation makes more sense when seen holistically.

Miklós Emődy (LevelUP)

Miklós Emődy
CEO @ LevelUP
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Update contacts, make a habit of using these tools.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Make sure you invest enough time on something you buy.

As far as I know, a lot of these tools remain unused over time.

Krisz Fazekas (Nokia)

Krisz Fazekas
Lead Management @ Nokia
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Data consistency.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Take time on setting up the right data model and rather streamline your process to accommodate the tool you use than vice versa.

Ferenc Hamori (RisingStack)

Ferenc Hamori
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
I don’t know how to use it better.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Doing it right from the beginning. Know the best practices.

Haim Pekel (Press on It)

Haim Pekel
Co-Founder & CEO @ Press on It
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Identifying performance issues.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Make sure that you control all customer lifecycle operations, segmentation options and track even the most trivial events.

Test the customer journey regularly and research persona and customer specific events/actions to become more relevant and increase engagement.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

MA Challenges Report 2018 white

Nebojsa Damjanovich (Senpai Consulting)

Nebojsa Damjanovich
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
UI of MA platform.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Start with small setups/campaigns and continue with the complex.

Kata Györke Szász (Nokia)

Kata Györke Szász
Campaign Manager & Automation Specialist @ Nokia
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Sync with SFDC.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Learn as much as possible :), especially lead scoring system, building lead nurturing campaigns.

Ling Koay (Oneflow)

Ling Koay
CMO @ Oneflow
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Producing relevant content.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

The tool is the easy part. Know what you want to achieve is the difficult part.

Dr. Peter Kadas (7Digits)

Dr. Peter Kadas
Owner @ 7Digits
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Smooth integration with other tools and platforms.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Defining the processes upon raw data, instead of designing the workflow upon the gut feeling.

Also, analyzing the steps and polishing them to perfection.

Stefan Gaasbeek (Telfie)

Stefan Gaasbeek
Founder & CEO @ Telfie
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Can’t scale fast enough.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

It all depends on what you want to achieve.

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Judit Sandor (Bond&Peel Marketing)

Judit Sandor
General Manager @ Bond&Peel Marketing
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Learning to use the software as fast as possible.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Read US marketing blogs on this subject on a daily basis, and at the same time, follow the “learning by doing” rule.

Konstantine Gegeshidze (Chamaileon.io)

Konstantine Gegeshidze
Growth Marketer @ Chamaileon.io
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Keeping emails as tailored as possible.

Easy to set up funnels for complex user behaviors and integrations with other tools that we use for the list management & segmentation.

What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Make sure if it’s a right fit for what you are looking for. (inc. Features & Integrations)

Matouš Roskovec (Avocode)

Matouš Roskovec
Creative Lead & Content Strategist @ Avocode
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Syncing email databases and lists.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Create a structured system for your mailing list, tagging users, signup source and whatever other properties that you might find useful based on your email marketing strategy.

Do it before you start with automation, you’ll thank me later on – especially if you plan on sending e-mails and notifications from multiple places (your backend, Mailchimp, Mixpanel, Appcues…)

Juan Quintero (Rootivo)

Juan Quintero
CMO @ Rootivo
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Way too many options.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Focus on the goal.

Jim Sterne (eMetrics Summit)

Jim Sterne
President @ eMetrics Summit
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Integrating disparate tools into one workflow and resulting data into one analytics engine.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Just getting started? Aim at one point-solution at a time.

Conquer email, then move on to CRM or social or landing page optimization or testing.

Do NOT try to implement a massive, all-purpose marketing platform as your first step.

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Jørgen Riiser (Auka)

Jørgen Riiser
Head of Marketing & PR @ Auka
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
To compose targeted content.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Have a clear understanding of what topics your target personas need.

Sebastian Matoso (Social Seeder)

Sebastian Matoso
Co-CEO @ Social Seeder
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Get it up and running quickly with high impact.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Understand your customer journey.

Vas Musca (Cliently)

Vas Musca
Growth Marketer @ Cliently
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Finding the time to actually create content (social or owned).
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Build a stack of tools that work well together and complement each other.

Don’t focus on individual tasks – think in terms of flows.

Thomas Qvist Krüger (Production Hero)

Thomas Qvist Krüger
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Don’t know.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

The CAC.

Janja Jovanovic (Platformax)

Janja Jovanovic
Marketing Manager @ Platformax
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Achieving open and response rates.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

They should try not to be too spammy.

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Sebastian Hammer (TimeLog)

Sebastian Hammer
Inbound Marketing Manager @ TimeLog
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Complexity and as a result of that, a lack of focus on what actually matters.
Marketing automation tools today can do so much and enable marketing professionals to work across channels with less friction than ever before. But if you have no strategy before you begin and just try a bit of everything, you end up with a dozen irrelevant personas, hundreds of mail flows with only a few leads in each, way too many reports, and a ton of different landing pages.
Managing all of this ends up taking more time when the marketing automation tool was actually supposed to give you more time by cutting administration. So make sure you go systematically into the implementation of your tool.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Scale with your leads.

If you are just starting out and have less than a 100 customers, there is no reason to do lead scoring, mail flows for 6 different personas, and schedule a ton of content.

You will end up spending so much time setting it all up and administering it instead of doing what actually matters at this stage: get more customers.

So start simple, one persona [decision-maker], one mail flow [generic], one really good piece of content [promote the shit out of it].

Kenneth Swedlund (scoutedby)

Kenneth Swedlund
Product Manager @ scoutedby
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
To know what will work or not.
It feels you just do a lot of guessing and then you have to wait for data to correct your guesses.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Just get started, it’s better to have something and over time improve it then wait until the end and try to make everything perfect at once.

Jimmy Hagelfors (Swedish Quality)

Jimmy Hagelfors
CEO & CMO @ Swedish Quality
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Optimizing existing loops/processes.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Segment, prioritize and find what’s good enough.

Automation can easily get out of hand if you forget to say what is good enough, put your target groups into segments and prioritize your actions.

Tomek Duda (Growth Engine)

Tomek Duda
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Tracking the user interactions and if the automations are working properly.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Level of support from the product, ease of setup, the level of analytics they provide.

Trip Sirna (Skycrest Photography)

Trip Sirna
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Adding a personal touch to your content to appear as humanly and non-automated as possible.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

That automation should just be a “supplement” to your marketing efforts.

It should simply be a tool that helps you save time and manage the tedious tasks.

The best way to reach out to people is to make them feel like they are special and unique, and that you are interested in them. This, unfortunately, automation alone cannot do.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

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Martin Junker (Spiir)

Martin Junker
Growth Hacker @ Spiir
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
It’s to optimize it. It takes quite a lot time to change the automation etc.
We are always looking to optimize; therefore it can be a challenge to always have a developer at hand.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

That you should be careful and always have an alert when things don’t go as planned, otherwise the automation will just continue without you noticing.

Be careful and set up a secure process.

Matt Campbell (My Wedding Songs)

Matt Campbell
Founder & Manager @ My Wedding Songs
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Getting engagement.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Do it.  It saves a ton of time for SMBs.

Watch best times to post and what posts are actively getting attention, comments, and likes so you can do more of it.

Scott Valentine (Default Inc)

Scott Valentine
Founder @ Default Inc
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Measurement, optimization, and testing.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Focus on the results you want and find a way to measure it while you are planning.

Don’t wait for the execution phase. And never do things in phases.

Hailey Friedman (Growth Marketing Pro)

Hailey Friedman
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Customer Journey Mapping.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Think about the customer’s experience.

You want the conversation to feel as human and genuine as possible.

No one wants to be sold to or read a long, wordy sales email. Keep it short and to the point as if you’re talking to a friend.

Bryan McAnulty (Keiro Consulting)

Bryan McAnulty
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Making sure that all messaging is always relevant to the customer and creates a feeling of authenticity and excitement.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

The key is paying attention to what feelings your customer might have at each step of their journey.

Your goal should be to remove concerns and build excitement and confidence around your product and story.

The worst thing you can do with marketing automation is send automated messages to someone that aren’t relevant to them.

MA Challenges Report 2018 white

Marcus Lindblad (Pension)

Marcus Lindblad
Growth & Sales Operator @ Pension
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
To get it 100% automated and not having to press one single button to make it work.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Test it out on yourself first so it works flawlessly towards your customers/leads without smaller issues that can ruin your potential customers.

Alexis Martial (internetVista)

Alexis Martial
Marketer @ internetVista
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Not messing up with automation (the set-up).
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Test it before going live.

Steven Picanza (The Creative Hustler)

Steven Picanza
Founder / Chief Creative Hustler @ The Creative Hustler
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Platforms rate of change can often prove to be difficult.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Having a marketing and sales background will help you navigate your automation more efficiently and effectively.

Renate Ceipiniece (Market Me Good)

Renate Ceipiniece
Co-Founder @ Market Me Good
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The biggest challenge when automating email outreach is trying to improve the conversion rates and avoiding spam filters.
Conversion rates are far better when personalizing each email, but that can get you into sending emails all day long.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

You have built your brand image for a long time, but you can destroy it in a blink of an eye.

So don’t spam, spend time preparing for everything you want to automate!

Filter your email lists, collect recipient names wherever it is possible, and use automation tools that offer maximum personalizing options.

It is also probably best to start slow and do some testing of subject lines and content, and only automate when you feel that you are ready.

Daniel Daines-Hutt (Inbound Ascension)

Daniel Daines-Hutt
Chief Retargeting Nerd @ Inbound Ascension
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Usually, the biggest issue is the setup of a new campaign.
Everything else is easy, but it’s the setup or migration that can be the largest task.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Start simple.

Automate processes that you repeat but don’t need a human touch (welcome sequences, nurture campaigns, etc., sales campaigns).

Start simple and get it up and running – later you can improve and complicate to your hearts extent. 😉

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Nicole Frisbee (HireVue)

Nicole Frisbee
Social Media Manager @ HireVue
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Can be tedious and time-consuming to queue up posts.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Be sure to add images, great titles, and UTM-sourced links!

Rupert Morris (The Munro Agency)

Rupert Morris
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Creating highly personalized campaigns.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Pay attention to data!

Segment your data as much as possible and monitor how they respond to messaging.

People say content is king, but we think that is always outranked by relevancy.

Craig Hewitt (PodcastMotor)

Craig Hewitt
Founder @ PodcastMotor
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Setting up a trackable automation workflow where I can see the ROI of different customer acquisition channels through the workflow.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Building something that is trackable.

Tim Smalley

Tim Smalley
Owner @ Tim Smalley
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced when I’ve deployed automation platforms in multiple businesses is bringing existing company data into the marketing automation platform, and connecting that to other company systems, so it stays relevant.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Take your time. Plan meticulously, but don’t be afraid to test.

Without these three facets, the successful deployment of a marketing automation platform will be inhibited.

You must also be wary of sending customers or prospects too much content through overly complex workflows or sequences that cross-over.

You need to have a way of managing which contacts receive what information, when… and ultimately, why they are receiving it.

Nuno Sancha (SendX)

Nuno Sancha
Marketer @ SendX
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Focus. Sometimes it’s too overwhelming, and you want to try every feature instead of focus on what you really need at that moment.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Put some effort in producing great content upfront, that will make your list growing easier.

Or you can do outbound later to feed the funnel. I guarantee you will not going to like.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Melanie Brouste (SAMDesk)

Melanie Brouste
Business & Success Development Executive @ SAMDesk
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The lack of personalization.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Studying your audience is mandatory, understanding their needs and pain points should be the first thing you’re working on!

Bruno Etchepare (Adyen)

Bruno Etchepare
Growth Marketer @ Adyen
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Good segmentation.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

To be careful in order to don’t overload the users with too many emails in a short amount of time.

Jayden Maharaj (Axis Marketing)

Jayden Maharaj
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Can be intricate to set up, depending on the type of software.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Email Marketing and FB Messenger Bots will allow you to dramatically increase the amount of sales you can generate with your business.

Dave Collins (SoftwarePromotions)

Dave Collins
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Complexity.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Start simple.

James Steadman (JC Steadman Marketing)

James Steadman
Senior BTL Copywriter @ JC Steadman Marketing
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Making sure that I’m using it to its full potential, especially in terms of integrations.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

I would recommend to someone just getting into marketing automation to really understand what they’re trying to get out of it.

Without some form of goal post to look for, it’s going to be very hard to use any software properly – let alone well.

Having an end goal, whether that be lead nurturing or auto-segmenting, whatever, it’s much easier to implement something useful if you can relate it back to how it helps you as a business.

Then you can step back and look at the process as a whole and see how marketing automation can be used most effectively to help you save time and stop letting things fall through the crack (like follow up).

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

David Craig White

David Craig White
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Integration with CRM and email marketing software.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Sit down and brainstorm your objectives and all the billion paths your customers could take to reach them.

Bruno Pešec (PBSC)

Bruno Pešec
Owner @ PBSC
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Setting up different streams.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Clarity of documentation.

Sharon Mascarenhas

Sharon Mascarenhas
Sole Proprietor @ Sharon Mascarenhas
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The biggest problem with marketing automation is ensuring subscribers are segmented accurately and effectively.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

For someone who is new to marketing automation, I would recommend making sure that all their tech plays nicely together.

Check that your tools will integrate well together so that you aren’t stuck when setting everything up.

Matt Davison (Traveltractions)

Matt Davison
Founder @ Traveltractions
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Tracking and reporting.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Testing.

Shathyan Raja (ForeverShop)

Shathyan Raja
Head of Marketing @ ForeverShop
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Initial Setup with a deep strategy to automate the whole process.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Focus on what you need as a result & work towards in optimizing it with automation tools.

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Will Laurenson (UTMLY)

Will Laurenson
CEO / Marketing @ UTMLY
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Setting up clear behaviour based funnels using combinations of data, timing, and interaction with previous emails.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Start off simple, A/B test when you can put a minimum of 250 emails into each version, less then that and it’s just not worth it.

If you have the data you can still create simple flows if you don’t have data plugged in (so you only have an email for example), you can only really trigger emails based on timing, so bear in mind a user may complete an action before they receive an email.

Eleanor Goold (Kreativ Copywriting)

Eleanor Goold
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
That what I am sending out will be relevant.
For example, when planning ahead, I don’t want my marketing message to be sent to the wrong people at the wrong time (think scandal in the press, and your message is in some way unintentionally insensitive).
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

That your message is relevant to your target market.

Don’t be afraid to automate, but also be aware that if you are marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no one.

Christina Holthuis (Social Media Success)

Christina Holthuis
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Different requirements on different SM channels.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Automated sending out at most active times, automatic queues.

Lukas Rogvall (SiteGainer)

Lukas Rogvall
Partner and Key Account Manager @ SiteGainer
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Judging when to automate and when not to for different clients that require different actions.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Before getting started, make sure to do proper research on what your needs are and what you will need further down the line before picking a tool.

Jason Quach (Hootsuite)

Jason Quach
Demand Generation & Marketing Automation @ Hootsuite
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Analytics.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Building processes that are repeatable and scalable.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

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Adam Gould (Digital Growth Hackers)

Adam Gould
Growth Hacker @ Digital Growth Hackers
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Keeping up with the amount of leads!
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Ensure you hit the correct target audience.

Jonathan Aufray (Growth Hackers)

Jonathan Aufray
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
The number 1 challenge when using marketing automation is to actually choose the right tools for my needs.
There are so many choices around, and it’s not always easy to find the perfect fit.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Before using marketing automation, that person needs to make sure he/she needs it. Not all tasks need to be automated.

Indeed, I work with clients who want to automate everything, but in fact, they don’t need to automate something that doesn’t give results.

Eddy Bautista (Webtris Digital)

Eddy Bautista
Marketing Director @ Webtris Digital
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Understanding how to connect the dots and connect other services to make it work to the best it can be.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Understand the market.

There’s a lot of programs that help you automate processes, some are really useful, and others seem like a total waste of time.

I would really recommend also to have beta users. Don’t have friends that will say just nice things about it but really ask them, “what are we doing wrong?” There’s always room for potential.

Denisse Schnabel Soker (K Logic)

Denisse Schnabel Soker
CSM @ K Logic
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Integrating platforms.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

No idea.

Yam Regev (Zest.is)

Yam Regev
Co-Founder & CMO @ Zest.is
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Integrations, without a doubt.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Well synch your tools, activities and don’t forget that personal, F2F connections are 10x times better than any automated solution.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

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Fabien Ghys (BMS)

Fabien Ghys
Director @ BMS
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Master a tool in the shortest possible timeframe.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Try, test, analyse results and persist!

Bret van Putten (Dutch Internet Marketing)

Bret van Putten
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Getting enough replies.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Prospect identification – Are you trying to reach the right person?

Emmanuel Aremu (BlackCurve)

Emmanuel Aremu
Growth Lead @ BlackCurve
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Updating workflows.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Align goals and ensure you are flexible to business changes.

Boglarka Dobi (Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group)

Boglarka Dobi
Web Content Team Leader @ Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
To gather insightful stats.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Try to see the full customer journey and target the emails fitting to the correct audience.

Fahad Mohammed (Influencer Viral)

Fahad Mohammed
Vice President of Sales @ Influencer Viral
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Making sure I stay authentic without it seeming robotic.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Pay attention to the strategy you have in place using marketing automation and understand that streamlining your marketing efforts doesn’t allow you to stop your other marketing strategies around content.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Sam Hurley (OPTIM-EYEZ)

Sam Hurley
Founder & Managing Director @ OPTIM-EYEZ
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Getting fully accustomed with the tech itself / Utilizing all features!
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Definitely plan ahead — Don’t expect to just make the purchase and get started!

This stuff takes time to master. Be sure to lean on the vendor to support you all the way through, especially during onboarding.

You will probably need assistance from a web developer, too…

ALWAYS expect the unexpected: Extra coding, issues with tech you’re currently using / ability to integrate and longer timelines.

HOWEVER: It’s all worth it in the end!

Monnel Espiritu (Lennom Digital Marketing Solutions)

Monnel Espiritu
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
With the level of competition that we have now in digital marketing, building your marketing automation machine is a must. Even small brands who think that marketing automation is just for the big boys should invest in their own automation if they really want to grow and become one of the dominating players in their industry.
I guess the real challenge in marketing automation is working with clients who already have a system in place that doesn’t work or deliver. There’s a big difference in working with clients in tabula rasa state and clients with their heads full of “automation hacks”.
For clients who are just starting in marketing automation, I often hear them asking “what am I going to do with my list?”, “I have a big following, but I don’t know what to do with it”, “I’m not making money from my tribe even if they’re consistently engaged with me.” So once I hear these kinds of sentiments, I know that my job in convincing these people to invest in marketing automation will be a lot easier. I prefer working with this type of client because they are a lot easier to work with and I can help them in building their sales funnels and automation from scratch. They don’t have biases when it comes to marketing automation, and they won’t insist on using “fads techniques” from gurus they follow. They would easily see and appreciate the changes that you bring to the table thus making it easier to work with them and deliver the result you promised.
The real challenge is working with people who already have their marketing automation that doesn’t work. When this type of clients insist on using the “system” from their guru, I know that they would be hard to work with and I will need to adjust a lot of cogs to build their marketing automation machine. Why would they have me onboard if they’re guru’s automation works, right?
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Imagine your marketing automation as a machine.

It has different parts, levers, and cogs. Your goal in building your machine should focus on seamlessly integrating your marketing channels to continuously push and nurture your audience down to your conversion funnel.

You have to be meticulous and plan out everything before you start building your machine. You can’t just build as you go. That’s a recipe for disaster.

While you can easily start from scratch, you shouldn’t build the bridge as you walk on it. Marketing automation requires planning – a blueprint.

You have to anticipate different circumstances and examine and adjust your value ladder (whenever needed) to match your retention strategy.

Once you all have this figure out, you can just let it work for you and focus on other aspects of your marketing campaign so you can keep feeding your machine and keep converting people into a sale.

Ben Bradbury (Schema Growth)

Ben Bradbury
Sales Director @ Schema Growth
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Emails looking as personalised as possible.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

It’s not about the tool for the sake of a tool; it’s about using tools to solve problems.

Marketing automation should save you time/money.

Ana Grasic (KickAssGrowth)

Ana Grasic
Project Manager @ KickAssGrowth
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Converting cold leads into users.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Workflow construction is something I find very important.

You should try to deliver very personalized and relevant messages and keep your focus on that matter,  so the tool’s construction must be easy to use.

Furthermore, the way you build and manage your lists can have a huge impact on how well you are able to connect with your contacts. That’s why it is very important that your chosen tool lets you customize your lists as much as possible.

The next thing  I would advise you to keep in mind is: your sales funnel. Whom are you speaking to? What information do they need from you? Can you measure their responses right?

If your tool can help you with these issues, then it should still be “in the game”.

In addition, in nowadays advanced technology you shouldn’t be satisfied with a tool that can’t serve multiple channels, and that can be useful for various departments.

And one last thing: the pricing packages are also one of the facts to consider. Be well informed about the market prices and if there is no free trial option – request a free demo. After all, you should test if the tool has the above-mentioned functionalities.

Louis Grenier (Hotjar)

Louis Grenier
Content Marketing Strategist @ Hotjar & Founder @ everyonehatesmarketers
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Actually building the right flows and creating the content for each step!
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

You need to start small and think about the people you’re contacting first.

They are not just a number in your flow; they are actual people.

Don’t overwhelm them with useless information, don’t lie to them, be honest and thoughtful.

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Csaba Zajdo (OptiMonk)

Csaba Zajdo
Founder @ OptiMonk
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Data management is definitely the #1 challenge. The flood of data can be overwhelming, especially if it’s not accurate.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Make sure to find properly skilled and trained marketers who have experience in marketing automation.

Yonatan Snir (CliClap)

Yonatan Snir
CEO @ CliClap
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Operate it.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

That they justified the investment.

Emily Chisholm (FE International)

Emily Chisholm
Analyst & Marketing @ FE International
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Finding a platform that does it all. Sometimes if we come up with a new idea, our current platforms can’t fulfill it.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Since it’s automated, there’s a lot of data available to you.

Keep track of the data and make sure you’re using it to optimize your campaigns.

Karl Kangur (MRR Media)

Karl Kangur
CEP @ MRR Media
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Tracking the entire funnel from visits to leads, leads to customers, and getting the actual business metrics from that data.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Marketing automation is extremely powerful at the advanced levels.

I’d recommend beginners keeping the big picture in mind and planning out a long-term strategy instead of just setting things up with what they have.

This will also help you plan your content marketing efforts and other aspects of your marketing plan.

Erik Bullen (MageMail)

Erik Bullen
CEO @ MageMail
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
We have more than one system/app in use, so the challenge is keeping a system of record and deciding which to use for what.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Make sure that you understand the needs of your audience.

Segment your prospects and customers based on their needs as well as yours.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Eric Holtzclaw (Laddering Works)

Eric Holtzclaw
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Implementing the lead scoring or connecting to outside systems.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Starting with the end in mind – building proper automation requires a strategy.

David Connors (Automately)

David Connors
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Connecting to different systems we use (e.g. CRM + lead capture forms).
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Segmenting your content for different users.

Kristen Berman (MADE)

Kristen Berman
Owner/CEO @ MADE
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
Creating content and scheduling.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Make sure you find something that you’re going to stick to and actually use.

Marketing automation is NOT a set-it-and-forget-it type of tool.

Relationships still need to be nurtured. Remember, you’re still working with humans – it’s how you get the message to them that’s automated.

You’ll stand out in a world of automation with excellent customer service… sometimes that means human connection.

Ovi Negrean (SocialBee.io)

Ovi Negrean
Chief Executive @ SocialBee.io
What’s your #1 challenge when you use marketing automation?
People know when an email is automated, so the engage rates are small.
What would you say to a person who just got started with marketing automation? What should he or she pay attention to?

Find a (scalable) system to reach out to each subscriber in a way that it does not look automated.

Respondents Who Don’t Automate

In our survey, 15% of respondents don’t automate their marketing yet at all. Coming up you can read about the reasons why companies don’t use marketing automation.

Djahill Zouaoui (Link Hustler)

Djahill Zouaoui
Founder @ Link Hustler
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
I use automation in terms of monitoring or pulling out info from the web but not in terms of actually automating a “publication” task.
I guess I’m not yet at a scale where I really need it.
Also, I have a “bad” opinion about automation software transgressing TOS of some platforms like Massplanner with Instagram.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Scaling up my activities.

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Naveen Dhanapal (EON Creative)

Naveen Dhanapal
Graphic Designer @ EON Creative
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
I am new and just starting out.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Time saver.

Tarun Chhauda (incrediblewriter.com)

Tarun Chhauda
Freelance Writer @ incrediblewriter.com
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
I am not confident of it. I don’t have much readership/list. I don’t wanna lose my prospect by untidy automation.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Inability to manage it myself.

Peter Afoke Oniovosa (BrandPeak Marketing)

Peter Afoke Oniovosa
Managing Director @ BrandPeak Marketing
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Haven’t found a good one yet.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Reliability.

Neeraj Joshi (PushStart)

Neeraj Joshi
Founder @ PushStart
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Don’t feel the need of using it.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Will reduce time and effort.

Jai Acharya

Jai Acharya
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
I am new to the digital marketing field, so first I want to learn skills myself, and then manually I want to implement and get experience so that it will polish my skills as well as help me.
So at starting phase, I don’t want to depend on something which automates my tasks, but when I will explore other things and don’t find time to spend on manual tasks, then I may think for automation tools (but not fully).
Because automation kills people’s job at large extent and also force them to learn new things so that they can sustain in life.
For younger ones, it is easy to learn things, but for already settled people it becomes bitter and tough (recent example layoffs in IT sector).
But since marketing also needs creativity, so I believe companies won’t tell AI to do this job too else it will be like they are hitting axe on their legs only.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Only in emergency.

MA Challenges Report 2018 white

Rohith Darisa (Startup Grind)

Rohith Darisa
Co-Director of Bangalore Chapter @ Startup Grind
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Couldn’t find something which gives human touch.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Save time and automating stuff based on rule-based tasks.

Jesse Bastide (Goodwill Copywriting)

Jesse Bastide
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Don’t need the ability to automate marketing at scale.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Scaling business.

Stephen Clarke (RTG Group Inc.)

Stephen Clarke
CEO & CMO @ RTG Group Inc.
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Our Business Model isn’t ideal for that.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Attraction.

Cyndi Lemke (Lemke’s Leverage)

Cyndi Lemke
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Overwhelming.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Follow up and connection.

Hugo Svärd

Hugo Svärd
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Haven’t got the knowledge and skills for it yet, will do as soon as my business gets going.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Sales, presence, reach customers.

MA Challenges Report 2018 white

Kieran George

Kieran George
Founder @ Kieran George
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Started this idea 3 weeks ago, so it’s not prioritised yet as I’m scaling slowly and gradually.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Ease of posting content.

Nenad Papic (Scorrers)

Nenad Papic
CTO & Head of Design @ Scorrers
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
I’m not familiar with those tools. Need more info.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Growth.

Georgia Kokkini (QallOut)

Georgia Kokkini
Founder & COO @ QallOut
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
1) Too small – limited user base
2) Limited start-up budget
3) Still trying a number of different marketing methods.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Save time and increase effectiveness, i.e. conversion.

Gaurav Singh (Innovatexpress)

Gaurav Singh
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Not feeling this is necessary for me.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Software should automate almost all things minimum work should be done by me.

Jerome Syed (smart dad.)

Jerome Syed
Customer Service @ smart dad.
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Don’t see the need for one in my business yet.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Save me time and money.

How about a report with even more insights and tons of data gather during our research? Get it for FREE!

Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018

Viktor Zöld (DCMN)

Viktor Zöld
Offline Marketing Manager Trainee @ DCMN
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
For my personal life, I don’t use any automation software.
At work, the sales department uses direct emails with highly personalized content.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

To be more efficient: to work faster and have things under control.

Per Sjofors (Sales4Profit)

Per Sjofors
Owner & CEO @ Sales4Profit
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Don’t have the people to manage it and to create ongoing content.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Get more leads.

Yoel Israel (WadiDigital)

Yoel Israel
Founder & CEO @ WadiDigital
Why don’t you use some kind of automation software?
Timely to setup, Need a tutorial.
If you would use a marketing automation tool, what would be the number one reason?

Get better PPC results for my clients. I have tried, but they sometimes work.

Summary and Acknowledgments

This roundup provides a thorough picture of the challenges marketers have with automation.

However, if you’d like to dive even deeper I suggest you download the Marketing Automation Challenges Report 2018 filled with data, insight, and cross-examination of the topic throughout different company sizes, industries and positions.

As you could see the main concerns and challenges marketers have with marketing automation are creating automations, integrations, and complexity.

That’s the reason why we at Automizy focus on providing a seamless experience for our users with an easy-to-use interface and visually recognizable patterns.

Easy Email Automation trial reg

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to creating this roundup in any way shape or form. I’m sending my highest level of appreciation to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. Without the contribution of all you amazing people, this report couldn’t have turned out this great. Thank you so much!

I’d like to close this roundup off with some kind words from my good friend Liam Neeson. Just to let you know…

marketing automation challenges roundup 2018

I’m a Growth Marketer & Community Specialist @ Automizy.
I started out in the startup world right after graduation and since that it’s been a blast to navigate in these waters.
After work, I love playing basketball and traveling.

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