Top 10 most common marketing automation problems organizations face

by | Jan 18, 2023 | Blog, Business cases, Data management, Featured, HubSpot, Pardot (MCAE)

Date last updated: 2023-01-19

We’ve worked with clients like you, and have seen your problems before

We’ve been in Marketing Automation for about 10 years, and have focused on Pardot Consulting for 7 of those years. So we’ve worked with a lot of clients and have seen several of the same struggles that are common to almost all organizations with regard to their marketing automation and CRM platforms.

Below is a list of the Top 10 most common marketing automation problems that we see, along with some of the contributing factors towards each problem, and some of the positive results in overcoming those problems that our clients often experience when working with us. See if some or all of the problems below resonate with you.

You are likely experiencing some of the most common marketing automation problems that many organizations face...the good news is we've seen it before, and we can help.

① Lack of platform ROI
Contributors to this problem:
  • lack of experience, knowledge, support, and resources to fully utilize platforms
  • not keeping up with important platform updates and required configuration changes
  • lack of knowledge, training, and adoption of platform features and capabilities
  • disjointed platform development/configuration improvement roadmap and marketing projects/initiatives
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • highly improved platform ROI
  • well planned platform development/configuration improvement roadmap and marketing projects/initiatives
  • keeping well advised of important platform updates and required configuration changes
  • reducing number of mailable prospects to remain within permissible allotted count
  • cohesion between digital and traditional campaigns (i.e. trade shows, physical mailings, etc.)
  • knowledge of integration options with other tools and services
  • productive email template creation process for streamlined email production
  • reduced email deliverability issues
② Not aware or taking advantage of all of the features of Marketing Automation & CRM platforms
Contributors to this problem:
  • lack of awareness, knowledge, training, and adoption of Marketing Automation & CRM platform features and capabilities
  • not taking advantage of all of the features of Marketing Automation & CRM platforms
  • not aware of or using best practices
  • not keeping up with all of the many platform updates that get released several times per year
  • permissions or roles limiting access to important platform features needed for user's role
  • not being properly trained to be a power user of Marketing Automation & CRM platforms
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • full partner support with consultative advice and benefit of many years of experience, knowledge, and partner resources to fully utilize platforms
  • good knowledge, well trained, and improved adoption of platform features and capabilities
  • adoption of best practices for consistency, productivity, scalability, and best results
  • aware of platform updates and what matters most
  • proper permissions and roles that don't limit access to important platform features needed for user's role
  • useful campaign hierarchy structure and use of campaigns
  • automated opt-in/opt-out process
  • well organized and useful segmentation list management
  • proper set up of scoring and prospect qualification process
  • automated email preference center management
  • well crafted email templates, scalable from a clean and useful master template
  • use of dynamic personalized content within email templates, forms, landing pages
  • landing pages that convert well
  • automated new customer onboarding process
  • adhering to permission based marketing standards
  • suppressing competitors and not marketing to disqualified prospects
③ Integration issues with data between Pardot or HubSpot and Salesforce
Contributors to this problem:
  • connector configuration
  • field level sync behavior settings
  • filtering rules
  • permissions
  • field data mismatch
  • not resolving sync errors
  • lack of optimizing prospect assignment timing
  • automation rules on either platform
  • systems not properly documented
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • properly syncing data with Salesforce, reduced and resolved sync errors
  • better understanding and documentation of system architecture
④ Lacking comprehensive strategy for scoring/grading model for MQL/SQL and proper MQL triggers
Contributors to this problem:
  • bad or lacking lead qualification process or lead management
  • inconsistent lead qualification strategy
  • poor or non-existent qualification or disqualification process
  • poor or non-existent scoring, grading, and profiling models
  • too many or too few MQL triggers causing either missing leads or sending too many unqualified leads to sales
  • disconnect between marketing and sales for what MQL/SQL should be
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • alignment between marketing and sales for what MQL/SQL should be
  • proper MQL triggers sending only qualified leads to sales at just the right time
  • proper sales hand-off process with no dropped or missing leads between marketing and sales
  • comprehensive strategy for scoring, grading, and profiling models for MQL/SQL
  • strong, well planned, and consistent lead qualification (and disqualification) process and lead management process
  • optimization of prospect assignment timing and options for syncing with Salesforce
  • cohesive and sequenced automations and processes that work well together
⑤ No coherent system for passing highly qualified marketing leads to sales at just the right time
Contributors to this problem:
  • not properly qualifying marketing leads before sending to sales
  • disconnect between marketing and sales process for lead hand-off
  • lack of awareness by sales of high value marketing engagement or buying signals
  • no definitive lead follow up process
  • lack of prospect follow up before and after events/webinars
  • orphaned prospect ownership in Salesforce
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • good lead qualification process and lead management
  • proper MQL triggers based on recent prospect engagement with high value marketing assets
  • connected and agreed upon process between marketing and sales for lead hand-off and lead acceptance by sales
  • consistent lead assignment rules
  • good prospect follow up before and after events/webinars
  • awareness by Sales of high value marketing engagement
⑥ Poor and inconsistent data collection, marketing engagement attribution (Lead Source/UTMs), and revenue attribution from marketing efforts
Contributors to this problem:
  • inconsistent tracking of marketing engagement using Lead Source and UTM data capture
  • difficult to use or unusable unstructured data
  • no coherent system between automated and manual Lead Source assignment
  • not following best practices for campaign hierarchy, naming conventions, and campaign assignment
  • not mapping out the full Buyer's Journey to visualize all of the lead and customer touch points
  • multi-touch attribution models and analytics for marketing engagement attribution and revenue attribution don't accurately reflect the full Buyer's Journey
  • inconsistent use of Contact Roles in Salesforce required for revenue attribution
  • poor lead, campaign, and marketing attribution reporting/dashboards
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • highly improved and consistent data collection for marketing engagement and revenue attribution using Lead Source and UTM data capture
  • set up or more usable and scalable structured data
  • more consistent alignment between automated and manual Lead Source assignment
  • establishing best practices for campaign hierarchy, naming conventions, and campaign assignment
  • mapping out the full Buyer's Journey to visualize all of the lead and customer touch points
  • mapping data capture to significant touch points within the Buyer's Journey
  • set up of multi-touch attribution models including First Touch/Last Touch and UTM data capture, reports/dashboards
  • establishing best options for more consistent use of Contact Roles within Salesforce required for revenue attribution
  • good lead, campaign, and marketing attribution reporting/dashboards
⑦ Lack of identifying Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and marketing Personas for personalized messaging
Contributors to this problem:
  • not properly identifying Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) based on demographics/firmographics
  • not identifying various marketing Personas that an organization interacts with
  • not tailoring content messaging based on IPC and buyer personas
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • identifying Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
  • identifying marketing Personas for personalized messaging
  • targeted content messaging based on IPC and buyer personas
⑧ No centralized form management with too many forms making it unmanageable and not scalable for updating
Contributors to this problem:
  • lack of form standardization and customization related to fields, notifications, and automations
  • too many forms making it unmanageable and not scalable for updating
  • often cloning non-conforming forms that exacerbates the problem
  • many unnecessary and non-scalable form autoresponders
  • too many spam form submissions and not able to identify or manage spam
  • difficult to brand forms or unbranded forms (and landing pages)
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • centralized form processing and prospect management
  • form consolidation with number of forms reduced by 90%
  • scalable forms, easy to update
  • consistent form notifications and prospect assignments
  • consistent form data collection and use of progressive profiling
  • identifying high value form engagement
  • scalable form autoresponders including Universal Download Autoresponder (single download autoresponder for multiple downloads)
  • reduced spam form submissions and able to identify and properly manage spam
  • branded forms and landing pages that match your website and brand
⑨ Incoherent legacy systems burdened with heavy technical debt
Contributors to this problem:
  • disjointed automations, systems and processes that aren't integrated and don't work well together
  • redundant and unnecessary custom fields, lists, and forms
  • lack of system and process documentation
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • cleaned up legacy systems with much reduced technical debt
  • connected and cohesive systems and integrations
  • cleaned up and documented custom fields and lists with list hygiene processes
  • manual steps replaced with automated systems and processes
  • more usable structured data
  • comprehensive system and process documentation
  • improved asset naming conventions for finding things faster and understanding their purpose
⑩ Lack of prospect lifecycle management with no mapping of Buyer's Journey across all prospects between platforms
Contributors to this problem:
  • no mapped out or clearly defined Buyer's Journey
  • no lifecycle for Salesforce Contacts once converted from a Lead
  • no lifecycle management for Accounts/Companies
  • not suppressing competitors from receiving valuable download content
  • marketing to disqualified prospects
  • no prospect lifecycle management so similar messaging to all prospects
Results our clients often experience when working with us:
  • mapped Buyer's Journey across all Pardot prospects, Salesforce Leads, and Salesforce Contacts between Pardot and Salesforce platforms
  • lifecycle management for Salesforce Contacts once converted from a Lead
  • lifecycle management for Accounts/Companies
  • lifecycle alignment between platforms and between marketing and sales teams
  • provisioning for automated and manual lifecycle management to work together
  • suppressing competitors from receiving valuable download content
  • not wasting marketing bandwidth and skewing reports by not marketing to disqualified prospects
  • prospect lifecycle management with unique messaging to prospects based on lifecycle stage
  • identifying Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and marketing Personas for personalized messaging
  • reduction of orphaned prospect ownership in Salesforce

Every lost lead and missed sales opportunity is costing you $$$ by not optimizing.

What is the cost of not addressing and fixing some of your problems? Somewhere at least in the thousands of dollars per month, maybe more.

Not fixing the related problems or optimizing your marketing automation platform, CRM, and marketing and sales processes can result in severe and long term costs.

Costs can be in the form of lost revenue, wasted time, and wasted and burned out human resources.

The cost and risk of engaging with the wrong agency, consultant, or contractor can mean:

  • lost revenue
  • spending too much (i.e., paying too much for a consultant)
  • needing to hire one or more internal full time staff (when otherwise you might not need to)
  • locking into an unnecessarily long term engagement via annual contract
  • not using the latest best practices
  • not meeting your goals
  • bad or missing data
  • lack of accurate reporting
  • risk a lot of time wasted
  • dragging out your goal timeline
  • overworking and burning out staff
  • hiring several entities when one could do the job

Let us know about some of the problems you are facing so we can see how we can help.

Author | Jeff Kemp

Founder and Principal Consultant

With 30 years of marketing experience I'm a Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant, HubSpot Expert. I've been in Marketing Automation for about 10 years, and have focused on Pardot Consulting for 7 of those years. So I've worked with a lot of clients and have seen several of the same struggles that are common to almost all organizations. I particularly enjoy helping companies solve problems and set up effective lead management systems using best practices and proven methodologies. I also love dogs :0)

My growing team and I at Optimal Business Consulting (OBC) help organizations to implement, optimize, and maintain their existing or new Pardot or HubSpot platform. OBC is proud to be a Salesforce and HubSpot Partner.

Follow/Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn
Follow and connect with Jeff on LinkedIn

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