When Automation Goes Wrong

One of the top buzz words circulating in our conversations is: Automation. Everyone is looking to automate – across all channels possible – in order to provide the most relevant and targeted materials to their customer base. While automation is contributing to countless wins for so many companies and we look to it every day and breathe its success stories, there are times when we have to take a step back and take some caution.

Automation sounds so simple and yet, when it’s not looked after and cared for by experts – it can go wrong. Very wrong.

Here is a perfect example of an automation failure. It is an example, where the company was not timely with their messaging. They should have been performing more of an automation review periodically. Since they eliminated some of the process and reviewing, this scenario took place for a friend of mine:

Recently, a mother of twins (boy and girl) sent me an email she received from a company which she used to frequent and shop at online. The email received was for potty seats that she might be interested in for her kids based off of other products she had been purchasing via the website. The email was automated to target her for these seats in blue and pink. This automation might have worked about 4 years ago. However, now her children are grown.


It was 4 years off of the mark. Her twins are now 6 year olds and very much past the potty training stages. She opened the email and laughed to herself at how long it had been since she has had seats like this in her home. She was receiving baby offers now for her kids as they were growing up. She explained that she found it cool for the first year – but now a little silly in the years following as they are so far past this stage in life & no longer needing baby products.

Without the proper platforms and people behind them, it becomes common for marketing fails to present themselves. It is critical that databases are maintained, updated efficiently, and that you are confident in the information and people supplying the data.

Automation can deliver greater efficiency and success, but only with the proper care and strategy. At Hallmark, we advise considering all touch points and mapping them out in a strategic session – preferably on a white board – in order to get the entire picture before they are moved into production. In looking at your current automation plan as well as reviewing new ones, you can ensure timeliness and future success.


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