According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the market for marketing automation technology will expand from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $4.8 billion in 2015. It’s not surprising given that this technology can automate all the routine aspects of sales lead generation, lead nurturing, lead scoring, customer retention, testing, measuring, and optimizing marketing campaigns.
As amazing as it is, there’s one critical element that’s missing—human beings. That’s right—technology just can’t do everything. Marketing automation is best used for repeat tasks that require no judgment; steps in a process that need to happen like clockwork.
People, of course, have qualities that technology cannot duplicate. They can develop one-on-one relationships with your prospects and customers, ferret out the information you need to qualify leads, and add the judgment required to go beyond lead scoring, which is based only on a sales lead’s actions, and determine whether a lead meets your qualification criteria.
So how do you decide which marketing processes to automate and where you should be using people? Simply follow these two rules.