More Marketers Seek Automation For Digital Campaigns — But Not for Social

While marketing automation is growing, high profile 'fails' have resulted in companies shying away from automated social media campaigns.

Marketing automation software can be a powerful tool, but too much automation can lead to disastrous results. While only the top 15 percent of top marketers are currently using automation software, but some believe marketing automation will be big this year. A new report from Software Advice examines how buyers are approaching the automation software market.

98 percent of prospective software buyers in the Software Advice study group were seeking a dedicated marketing automation software for the first time. 47 percent of this group was still using manual methods to manage their campaigns, but some were already using software.

Their solutions ranged from industry specific software, to email marketing and customer relationship management — or CRM — software. Only two percent were currently using marketing automation software and nine percent were using nothing at all.

However, many were evaluating new solutions because their current methods weren’t performing optimally. 27 percent wanted to improve lead management, 15 percent were unhappy with their current system, 13 percent needed more or better features, and eight percent needed to automate their processes.

Interestingly, very few want automation software to improve their social media campaigns. 74 percent wanted better contact management, 55 percent wanted email marketing, and 43 percent want lead tracking. Only four percent of marketers want new software for social media automation.

The report suggests two reasons for this possible under representation. First, marketers may already be approaching social media marketing holistically. Buyers may already have tools that perform well, or they assume that social tools will be included in automation software, as social marketing has become so ingrained in online marketing. Secondly, companies may fear social automation.

According to Angela Hausman, owner of digital media marketing company Hausman and Associates:

Asking for social media marketing, specifically, might be taking a step back from where they currently are in their thinking […] There’s been an awful lot written about the negatives of social media marketing, and some famous social media ‘fails’ [have] made some companies look insensitive. Companies grew fearful of social media automation.

It seems for social media, that personalization is key. Many companies want to avoid the mishaps that automation can bring. Any company considering automation software should carefully consider which offerings that they wish to automate.

Do you use automation for your digital marketing campaigns?