10 mistakes to avoid in a marketing automation platform

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Automating some of your marketing processes can have significant benefits...

  • Improve efficiency
  • Save time
  • Faster sign-off from Compliance and the business
  • Improve brand consistency
  • Fewer regulatory breaches
  • Better MI
  • A more joined-up approach between your Marketing, Sales and Compliance teams

The tangible benefits mean an increasing number of businesses are investing in marketing automation solutions.

But with so many solutions available, how can you know you are choosing the right one?

Read our ‘10 mistakes to avoid when selecting a platform’ to make sure you make the right decision.

1.  Choosing an overly-complex marketing automation platform     

Investing in automation should make your life easier. If it doesn’t, step away. It should be intuitive and user-friendly. If it’s over-complicated, you won’t get the buy-in you need to make sure it’s adopted. 

2.  Not checking out its project management abilities

Your chosen solution should make project management simple. Whether it’s online agency briefing, getting fast approval from your compliance team or MI that enables you to refine your approach – a good automated workflow will make it easier for you to juggle all your projects.  

3.  Not asking about support and training

When you implement your platform, you will need support, no matter how user-friendly it is. Can the team help you to customise it to meet your requirements? Is there full training, with simple user guides and training videos? Ongoing, is tech support available 24/7? How good are they at delivering ‘plain English’ advice?  

4.  Not comparing costs

The prices for automation solutions can vary hugely. Work out what you want – don’t pay for added extras you’re never going to use. Are fees transparent – do you know what’s included and what you have to pay extra for? And are they scalable, making it cost-effective to roll out across your whole business?  

5.  Picking a system that doesn't allow you to collaborate easily

If your firm is regional or international, collaborating across offices on financial promotions is vital. Ask how many teams can use the platform. Are there likely to be any restrictions or unexpected costs in terms of access and licences?  

6.  Forgetting about brand compliance

When you’re trying to get financial promotions out, brand compliance is probably second to regulatory compliance as a potential obstacle.  Does the platform you’re considering help with this? Make sure it offers document and slide libraries that can ‘lock down’ branded content, imagery or logos and you will avoid future brand slip-ups.  

7.  Not considering how it can benefit other parts of the business

A good automation tool won’t just help you. It can have huge benefits for Sales, Compliance and other teams. Getting business-wide support can help with budget and buy-in and help you to build your business case 

8.  Not asking about a compliant audit trail

Robust record-keeping is essential for FCA compliance. The way you archive your financial promotions – including proof of Compliance team sign-off – is as important as their content.  

Will the system you’re considering store your printed and electronic promotions? Remember that records for social media and online promotions need to be kept to the same standards as printed materials.  

9.  Forgetting the importance of management information

There has never been more data available to marketers. You can use this information to refine and optimise your activity – but only if it’s easy to access, understand and interrogate.  

A good platform will give you the MI you need to make your activity more efficient and improve ROI. Investigate what you can learn from the system you’re looking at.

10.  Ignoring data security

Your marketing data contains very valuable information. Client and customer details; information on new product launches, USPs and planned activity. Ask what accreditation your platform’s host has – they should be accredited to standards like PCI DSS, ISO27001 and ISAE 3402 Type II.


Marketing automation can have a huge impact on your efficiency, effectiveness and ability to comply with regulatory requirements. Choosing the right solution can have massive benefits. Make sure you avoid these common pitfalls and you will be on the way to reaping the rewards.

To read more about the benefits of a good automation system, you can download our short case study.

It shows how the Nottingham Building Society:

  • Saved their Marketing and Compliance teams 1500 hours a month by reducing the approval process from 3 days to 1 day per promotion
  • Slashed the time spent on administration by 80%
  • Improved project management, enabling business growth and increased promotional activity without the need to increase staff levels
  • Reduced their risk of breaching internal rules and external regulations
  • Saved £1,800 on internal printing costs in the first 6 months of going paperless  

You can download a free copy here.

Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.

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