Marketing Automation – How much is too much?

Let me establish something right off the bat.

I love marketing automation

.

I don’t believe it to be impersonal, cold or heartless. And I certainly don’t buy into the smoke that is being blown around the need to “engage” and “join the conversation” which goes contrary to automation. Most of the serious people that I know that have been in business for awhile just laugh when those phrases are mentioned. The usual response is “Oh… you mean do my job?”.

I believe that in the internet world there is so much going on that automation is essential for the small to medium business to stay afloat and compete. Over the years I’ve used various levels of marketing automation to share my messages. I’ve received comments from the lovers and haters so I constantly re-balance how much marketing automation I use so I can keep my friends yet still have a legitimate voice on the internet. But depending on how far you want to go down the rabbit hole you can automate the majority of your business online.

How much marketing automation is out there?

You can automate:

I have not dabbled in most of these marketing automation techniques but I keep up on what can be done. Some of these get into the dark art of “Black Hat” internet marketing. Most of these items are considered taboo by me and several others. But the people using these are able to get their message out, get found, generate interest, build a following, and generate recurring revenue easier than those not using these tools.

Marketing automation (when done correctly) can contribute and support your one-on-one networking and relationship building. If you have not done so and are finding online marketing a daunting task that you are having trouble keeping up, considering dabbling in the grey area of some of the automation tools I have mentions.

What do you think? How much automation do you use?

 

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhukill Ryan Hukill

    So what are your thoughts on those who use automation to follow and build a following on Twitter? Any specific services you think are better than others?

  • http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

    Sure thing Kevin. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

    I have no problem with it at all. Tweetattacks seems to be the most popular one out there. 

    I see a constant battle between the new age twitter gods telling people “It’s all about the quality, not the numbers” and the people (myself included) that know it is ALL about the numbers. Marketing and branding work because of the exposure. Assuming that 20% of my online reacts to what I say I don’t want 20 “quality followers” out of 200. I want 20% and I want my numbers to be as big as possible. So if you can use automation to gain Facebook or other followers and you strive to make sure a good chunk are human and reactive then by all means blow that account up. 

    I have yet to see anybody that is specifically on a social network for business have a low number of followers and say “It is not about the numbers, it is about the quality of the followers”. The only people you usually see saying that have a lot followers that they can constantly sell (overt or covert) and market to. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/rhukill Ryan Hukill

      Totally agree. As much as I believe that it IS about quality over quantity, you have to have the quantity to build your number of quality followers. Thanks for the feedback, I’m going to check out Tweetattacks.

  • http://www.smallbizsurvival.com Becky McCray

    I disagree about automating to build a following on Twitter. I have had my Twitter followers count go from around 9,000 to over 24,000 in less than one month because I was featured on the Twitter.com homepage. Impressive, right? But what does this mean for my results? Very little, actually. My clickthroughs show only about a 4% increase. 

    Seeking massive follower increases to get more results only works if you get followers who *listen*. I’ll wager that most of the people you’ll gain through follower services are not listening at all; they are broadcasting. That said, I do agree that more exposure to people is better than less. The way to get that is to connect with more real people who are listening as well as talking. 

    • http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

      Wow. Quite an honor to have Becky stop by :)

      Your numbers increased as did your click through rate. That sounds like the perfect set of results right there.

      There is always a challenge (in any media) of getting a mass amount of exposure to the right reactive audience. Ideally everybody would have some sort of interest information and rating (i.e. Klout number) tied to their Twitter ID. You could then instantly know whether someone is reactive, and if they are reactive in your market. I believe “Interests” and “Ratings” are features we’ll see from Twitter in the future. We need more than numbers to judge whether or not someone is worthy of our time to follow – whether we are doing it manually or via an automated tool.

      • http://www.smallbizsurvival.com Becky McCray

        I need to come by more often so you won’t have to think of it as an honor. :) 

  • Charlie Goulding

    My daughter and I have been working on our “Web Driven MLM” for 9 days now and you know what, the personal identity touch of the person you are interacting with is on the whole has gone. What we are seeing is automated responses to most posts etc, be these on social media or Blog responses. Surely this is taking the personal touch out of what we are all striving for? It has become too focused on driving the occasional click through to some affiliated account where you gain a small buck? Ok, lot’s of small bucks make a big buck, but how long will people accept this form of interaction and sliding them through to some other site. We are in danger of killing the whole customer base with automated overload!Our real bug bear is you click on a link url that after about 5 seconds of being open kicks up a form asking for your details. I mean really did we learn nothing about earning the right to ask such questions, very basic sales. i.e you don’t ask the the customer “what is your budget” before you have earned the right to, else you are likely to come a cropper and alienate the customer. This method is exactly the same, YOU have not earned the right to ask those questions.Why is it when we have taken the personal touch we then receive none personal responses with a whole load of pre-crafted tweets and emails that have no relevance to what we have communicated. If we treat people like mushrooms they will stay in the dark. Automated systems will only work if there is sound logic and reasoning behind what they should respond with and not the “oh we got someone let’s send them a link so they will spend some money.” It comes down to the fact of “do we have a solution for what the customer wants” and we can only know that if they have passed certain criteria.We need automated systems that score people on what they have looked at or down loaded, i.e. their roadmap through our sales pitch, be this links, downloads etc. Like the acTon system my daughter and I are using. There are two big advantages to this:-

  • Chasgoulding

    Follow on from last post.
    We score prospects on what they are looking at and downloading, then once they meet certain criteria we communicated with them in a personal nature with a call or a personal email so we are not in their face.
    We are not wasting bandwidth and muddying our waters with none relevant prospects.I am not pumping acTon as we get nothing for it and we are sure there are other systems out there that do similar and if you click on the link you will see there is no affiliate. But let me share this with you, the system we use knows about multiple registrations and as such will not send out duplicate info to one address. Just basics in our opinion, as we are now receiving duplicates from one of the supposed top Internet Marketing Organisations.So there you have it, I am sure this could get a lot of negative press, but only from the people who can’t see the light on where this is going and what we need to do about it.

    • http://stopdoingnothing.com Patrick Allmond

      Chas, 

      Thanks for taking the time to type all of this out. This is one of the longer comments I’ve had, which shows that you feel very passionate about the topic. 

      I can’t say that I disagree with anything you mentioned. And for your field I can definitely see the need for 1-1 interaction. But I do think there are some area where more automation is OK. One case might be the selling of an online class. If you can automate the process of sharing information and showing the value of your product then that frees up the seller to create more products, or improve existing products. As a small business owner I only have so many hours in the day and fingers on my hand. The right automation can ensure that I am not ignoring people, and that they are getting timely information about my services/products.

      Patrick