The only thing marketing automation can't automate

There is a lot of hype around marketing automation. And rightly so. Marketing automation aims to take the guesswork out of marketing by using data to tell you when and where to connect with your prospects. It can even suggest what kind of content would be the most engaging.

What it can’t do is automate the creation of that content.

How to decide how to create

The subject of your content depends on where in the customer journey you are connecting with your prospect. For example, if it is early in the journey, you may want to offer some great education on how your type of product or service can help them solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity in their lives. You’ll notice I said, “Your type of product or service.” This is not the time to compare and contrast your product to the competitors'. This is the time to show your prospects how your type of product or service can help them. Later in their journey, they will want to know the difference in the options available to them. That’s when you can serve up that specific piece of content.

Form follows the same line of thinking

What type of content should you create? Well, in the early stage of the journey, your prospects probably isn’t ready for an in-depth white paper. Think about the questions your prospects have at each stage of their journey. It can help you then decide on when to deliver a checklist versus a ebook.

Ultimately, it’s about being useful and engaging

Give me some helpful information or a great tool. Or, tell me a story that illustrates how I can apply this solution to my life. A lot can be automated. But it still takes a human to deliver something compelling that speaks to specific human needs and desires.

It comes down to this. We can (and should ) automate the delivery of information. But that should not overshadow the most important part of what we offer. Information is valuable. Inspiration is invaluable.