Decorative image

Subscribe to Adam’s Insiders

You’ll receive one email per day, dedicated to sharing ideas, insights and challenges that will help you create and sell what matters, for the betterment of your cause.

GDPR Protected. Privacy Policy.

Contact Us

605: The Problem With “Marketing Automation”

Post thumbnail

Marketing automation has a problem. 

Picture this: you get a letter in the mail

It’s hand-written. It has a hand-written note on a special letter-head from the company. It’s signed with a real signature.

How do you feel? Having received a letter that someone took the time to write just for you, with your name on it etc?

Now let’s add a layer to the story…

On closer inspection, you realize the note wasn’t hand-written, but a font. The signature was printed on the letter-head paper. It knew your first name, but you recall you entered that on a webform a few weeks earlier.

Now how do you feel? Having received a letter that pretended to care, but didn’t?

This is marketing automation in the conventional sense. An exercise in accidental deception as a result of simply trying to show you care.

How can we fix this? By removing the deception, while still showing you care. Ensure the “special” still exists in your letter.

Better marketing automation

What can our morning routine teach us about better marketing automation?

Well… If we care about getting things done in the day, we usually set an alarm to wake up to, don’t we?

That alarm won’t get us up, nor will it brush our teeth. But it introduces some automation: the act of automatically responding to the alarm with manual, intentional action.

Each morning gets an intentional act of care and attention from us. Such is the power of the morning routine: not the steps, but the intent, care and commitment.

We get to approach marketing automation with intent, care and commitment, just like a morning routine. The act of showing up for someone and spending a moment with them is the point. Or, we can treat it as the process of de-personalizing what was formerly done with intent, care and commitment. We can make our work cold, searching for ‘hacks’ to trick people into thinking it’s not.

We love marketing automation. But the kinds that enable us to better show up for those in our world. To get closer to them, not further away.

We could call it, “marketing semi-automation”!

Are your marketing efforts moving you closer to those you wish to serve, or further away?


Adam’s Daily Post

Helping teams doing work that matters, do more of what matters.


Adam’s New Book

Marketing Isn’t About You: The 2 things that matter if you sell things that matter.

The Huffington Post Inc. Amazon
Podcasts TNW Barnes&Noble
The Huffington Post Inc. Amazon Barnes&Noble Podcasts TNW

My blog is dedicated to sharing ideas, insights and challenges that will help you create and sell what matters for the betterment of your cause.

You are creating what matters.

So how can we help you
sell it better & make more impact?

Built For Impact

BuiltForImpact Websites

by Fairhead Creative

BuiltForImpact is a focused one-page online distillation of your message with a concentrated focus on ethical, effective sales.


Mosaic Marketing Optimization

by Fairhead Creative

Mosaic is a marketing optmization platform to give you specific actionable ROI-calculated recommendations rather than just data.

Marketing Isn't About You

Marketing Isn't About You

by Adam Fairhead

Our latest book to help you understand the two things that matters if you sell things that matter. Get 3 chapters free:

Marketing Review

Insights & Creative Marketing Review

by Fairhead Creative

Sharing our journey to discover how to create & quantify the most impactful, long-lasting websites in the world.