The High Cost Of Marketing Automation (And Other Forms of Disconnection)

Ad costs are skyrocketing.

Funnels aren’t working like they used to.

Click rates are plummeting.

Launches are struggling.

What’s an online entrepreneur to do?

Look, the facts are simple: if you’re in the “online business” space, it’s getting harder and more expensive to reach new clients.

And we can point to all kinds of hard facts and data about why that is:

More competition for ad spaces, more sophistication within an increasingly jaded market …

But underneath it all, there’s something bigger and more significant going on.

Rising Costs Are A Symptom, Not The Cause

Industry-wide, the use and intended purpose of emails and ads and all of that has shifted.

Originally, these were tools we used to facilitate and enhance connection with the people we serve.

But now, it is all being used in service of disconnection.

Think about even the concept of automation, which has been so glorified by the online business gurus.

What is it’s purpose?

To remove the human interconnection. To take the human — the people — out of the process.

Seeking Freedom In All The Wrong Places

More and more we are seeing the entrepreneurs in this space who have, as their priority, disconnecting from their business and their customers.

The message is insidious and rarely stated overtly, but it’s there all the same: that clients, customers, the way you serve them — even the business itself — is getting in the way of your ability to live your life, do what you love, etc.

And, of course in some ways this is true.

Because as the industry has grown, and the businesses within it have flourished and blossomed, we as founders have run into very real constraints.

Namely, constraints around where our time goes.

In an industry that was built on the promise of “be your own boss, work from anywhere, make money online!” — it’s only natural that we have pushed back on the pressures that come from having a growing, successful business.

We resist the notion that we should “work all the time”. We look for ways to “take a break” from our business. We commiserate about the time we have to spend doing the things that are “necessary”.

So we look for a solution to this problem:

A way to grow our business, our income, our impact … and increase our freedom while we do it.

Enter Disconnection.

The solution we’ve been presented with is one of disconnection.

Disconnect from the business. From the clients. From the prospects.

Hold all of these things increasingly at arms length.

Free yourself from them, and put other “things” (team, technologies, systems, etc.) in their place.

This is the prevailing culture right now in the online marketing and online business world.

A culture that teaches us that the solution to all our problems is “leads” (not people, but generic masses of leads), and moreover that we shouldn’t want or need to have to engage with them to get it…

So is it any wonder that we are now seeing the consequences on an industry-wide level?

When We Disconnect From Our Clients And Our Business, Our Prospects Disconnect From Us

And so, as we see the rising costs, the funnels failing, the click-throughs plummeting and launches failing …

I would like to propose a different path:

That, rather than holding the intention to disconnect — from our businesses, our clients, the day-to-day of our genius and our work — that we use it as an opportunity to re-connect instead.

Because this is the simple truth:

When the primary goal is to take ourselves and our business out of human relation and connection to our clients — because of a misplaced value on automation, on funnels, on “getting leads” instead of “reaching individual humans” …

Our prospective (and actual, current) clients become harder to reach, as they begin to disconnect from us.

At the end of the day, this is the question that we must all confront:

What message do we send when we glorify disconnection … and at what cost?