You may have heard this story before, but before I worked at Infusionsoft I owned a business in Lansing, Michigan installing and servicing draft beer dispense systems.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but a big part of why I ultimately left that business was because it was entirely manual.

In hindsight, automation would have made things a lot easier – but truth be told, I didn’t know tools like Infusionsoft existed.

Even if I had, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference because of some toxic misconceptions I had.

3 Marketing Automation Myths

Here are three marketing automation myths that can easily prevent growing companies from successfully adopting marketing automation technology:

1. The Phrase Itself

The phrase “marketing automation” itself can be a bit misleading. Yes, automation can be an invaluable tool for scaling your marketing efforts, but if that’s all you use Infusionsoft for then you are grossly under-utilizing it.

For more on this, and some creative suggestions for where automation might serve you, check out this post on type cast automation.

So, is automation good for marketing – that’s a resounding yes. And that may be where you start but don’t limit yourself to just using automation in one aspect of your business.

2. Automated ≠ Automatic

I honestly can’t remember where I heard this one first, or I’d happily give that person credit, but a common marketing automation myth is that for something to be ‘automated’ it must ‘automatic’.

Not so.

Using automation doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t manual steps – it might mean you’re using automation to ensure that those steps happen, or that they’re done a certain way.

Too many businesses rule automation out for an entire process just because one piece of it requires a human touch when ideally you’d be able to use automation before and after the step that the human has to do – which would still increase the overall efficiency of the process, and decrease the dependency on manpower to make that process happen.

3. It Isn't a Compromise

Another marketing automation myth, the one that would have prevented me from using automation in my first business, is the notion that automation has to come at the expense of the customer experience.

I understand why people feel this way – I mean, we’ve all felt the cold and robotic nature of bad automation (think about every automated phone tree ever).

But I don’t buy it – automation is only cold and robotic when it’s done poorly.

Sure, using automation to deliver someone’s access to my courses might not be AS personal as if I was hand-writing a note and snail mailing it to each person who signs up – but by using automation I’m able to create a better overall experience.

It may be less personal – but it’s more reliable, it’s more scalable, and the user gets whatever they bought immediately; so in that scenario automation has a net positive effect.

I’ve worked with countless small businesses, and time and time again I’ve seen that how we think about automation is among the most important factors for determining our success with automation.

I know, I know, most people want to roll up their sleeves and jump straight into the implementation part of their marketing technology – but I wanted to make sure we addressed these myths head on because harboring misconceptions about what automation will or won’t do can cost you both time and money.

Marketing Automation 101

I recently launched a free mini course packaging up lessons and insights from twelve interviews I conducted with a variety of folks using marketing automation to grow their businesses. That course is live now – enjoy.