Marketing automation is very popular among financial marketers nowadays. This is because it simplifies various routine and basic tasks that normally consume a lot of time. As per a research report by Venture Harbour, marketing automation is being used by 79% of high-performing companies for three or more years. But is marketing automation an all-in-one solution for a marketer’s marketing woes? Are there any major drawbacks?
Here are some reasons why marketing automation could be limiting your digital expansion:
Real-time intelligent segmentation is not possible
Marketing automation allows financial marketers to create segments that automatically sort website visitors according to the rules set by them. However, the automation system isn’t intelligent enough to sort visitors as per their varying digital activity. For example, a cold lead’s renewed interest on a website page may not be adequately acknowledged by the system. And the lead may still be put in a cold segment instead of a different segment. Marketers should go for an intelligent system that can segment users in real-time based on their website activity.
Setting up automation rules is difficult
Creating different automation rules is a tough task as you need to be clear as to what each rule can accomplish with respect to a particular goal and objective. The time consumed is also more as each rule needs to created with a proper plan. If the financial services company is a big firm with millions of customers, then setting up detailed rules will not be possible. Financial marketers, in this case, will be forced to set up something basic and generic which completely defeats the purpose of using marketing automation
Targeting different marketing campaigns over different channels with marketing automation is not at all going to resonate well with customers. They would want to be engaged with the same marketing message over every channel instead of different messages. For example, if a customer is targeted with a home loan message over Facebook, the same message should be shown to him/her over SMS, email, and every other digital channel. This isn’t exactly possible with marketing automation systems.
Using marketing automation to deliver messages via various digital channels is a good thing. But it leads to over messaging if marketers reach prospects and customers over every channel available. Customers themselves have certain channel preferences and would like to be engaged by their service providers over these channels. So sending marketing messages over every channel will lead to irritation and fatigue.
Marketing automation isn’t error-free
Marketing automation platforms aren’t wired to produce error-free results. So if financial marketers aren’t careful, the wrong message can go to thousands of customers and it can turn ugly for the company. Therefore, the people handling the system should do their work with the most utmost care and avoid screw-ups.
Last but not least, 1:1 personalization is something that cannot be achieved using a marketing automation system. Marketers can, to an extent, customize messages for each customer segment, but delivering unique personalized messages for each customer isn’t possible.
What is the Perfect Digital Expansion Tool?
To overcome all the shortcomings over marketing automation systems, marketers need tools that help in managing customer data, create unified user profiles, extract actionable insights, integrate with multiple systems, and finally operate at scale. For this to happen, financial marketers need to invest in innovative technologies such as a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
A CDP can ingest data from various sources and unify it under one user profile. So each customer of a financial services company gets a unified user profile. This helps financial marketers to intimately understand each customer. By knowing a customer’s needs and wants, marketers can tailor personalized campaigns and craft a unique user journey on an individual basis. A CDP provides the capability to integrate with multiple systems and channels. Therefore, personalized messages can easily be sent via the CDP to various digital channels that are accessed by customers.
The main benefit of an AI-powered CDP is in the area of segmentation and channel orchestration. With the help of advanced algorithms, AI can help a CDP in intelligent real-time segmentation. So using various industry-specific data variables, AI can segment users automatically and make it easy for financial marketers to target users. Channel orchestration is all about delivering personalized campaigns at scale on preferred customer channels at their chosen times of engagement. AI can deduce when a customer is active and on which channels. This helps marketers to target users only on those preferred channels at their preferred times.
We have covered in detail why financial marketers should opt for Customer Data Platforms over marketing automation systems here.
As seen above, marketing automation has some major drawbacks. The decision is up to a financial marketer. If they need a system that can do much beyond automation, they need to start investing in platforms such as CDP and elevate their marketing efforts to a whole new level.
By Bijoy K.B | Senior Associate Marketing at Lemnisk