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August 08, 2019     Daily Post

The Problem With “Marketing Automation”

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?