Four Marketing Tasks You Should Not Automate

Marketing automation is considered a must-have component of any successful marketing mix in today’s marketing landscape. It comes with its challenges, of course, but when done right automation can give a marketing infrastructure the needed consistency to fully maximize all available marketing channels make an impression on customers and prospects. However, when incorporating marketing automation it’s important to remember that much of a brand’s marketing takes place before the audience is ever engaged. The big question with marketing automation is this: how can brands retain their authority and build trust with their audiences while still being mindful of their resources? It’s all about balance—automated tasks incorporated into a marketing strategy that is built by and delivered with a human touch.

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Unless you are marketing to robots, here are four tasks that marketers should never automate…

Engagement

Real engagement is a vital ingredient to successful marketing through social channels. Nothing can replace the organic connections born out of genuine human interaction. No matter how sophisticated an automation software’s algorithm is, it will never be able to replicate human conversation. The audience will easily be able to pick up that they are speaking with an algorithm and detach, which can harm a brand’s image big time. In short, don’t be a social media wallflower—get out there and make some connections!

Social Selling

Social selling is essentially leveraging the power of social media platforms to grow brand awareness while gaining insights on and connecting with prospects. Social selling, when used as a way of distributing valuable and helpful content, can be an integral part of a brand’s marketing mix. This marketing task should never be automated. Just like audience engagement, social selling is meant to be social, meaning humans talking to humans.

As easy as it would be to send out automated social selling messages, automated versions are easy to detect and will more than likely be disregarded as SPAM. Spamming your audience is not the way to build trust and a positive brand image, so don’t do it.

Generating Social Posts

Modern marketing strategies, while sometimes still incorporating the tools of traditional marketing such as print advertising and direct selling, are mostly about digital content development and distribution. This digital content includes pieces such as eBooks, white papers, webinars, blog posts, reports, etc. which are delivered to audiences through virtual channels such as email, targeted advertising, and social media platforms.

Because social media is such an important part of how modern marketers (and really, much of society) distribute content, when creating social posts it is important to view the posts themselves as an extension of the brand’s content. You wouldn’t automate content for an eBook (not successfully, anyway), so why automate social media posts? The most automated a social post should be is one that was crafted by a human but scheduled to launch at a set time in the future through a program such as Buffer or Hootsuite.

Email Outreach

Email outreach is a great way to increase brand awareness. It gives the marketer a chance to send out a personalized yet succinct message about their brand. The problem is that many marketers automate their email outreach because it is so simple to mass mail out messages and see what comes back, if anything. Hear me on this: Automating email outreach is a wasted opportunity to connect with qualified prospects. They will see this as SPAM and disregard your efforts immediately.

The best way to run an email outreach campaign is to ensure that emails are personalized and written with a more interpersonal approach, keep the message clear, brief, and to the point, and always identify the brand.

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Quin Woodward-Pu

VP-Marketing Audienti. Former Director of PR Brightline Interactive. Former Editor Vocus. Social media guru.

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