…if you expect it to solve all of your problems for you.

If you’ve been researching marketing automation solutions, you have likely been bombarded with messaging that would lead you to believe marketing automation is going to solve all your problems – and solve them now.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love marketing automation. I think it is a critical tool in any modern marketing department. Just don’t think that you will flip a switch and, all of a sudden, your marketing woes have vanished!

It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in the hype: “Marketing automation proves revenue contribution by marketing! Marketing is sending super-qualified leads to sales and sales now kisses the very ground the marketing department walks on!”

Marketing automation certainly allows you to achieve some lofty goals. What it doesn’t do is achieve those goals for you. No matter how good the marketing automation system, it can’t fix broken processes.

So, before you take the leap into marketing automation, do some analysis of your department and your processes:

  • Do you have the staff to effectively operate marketing automation? If not, do you have an agency you trust to help?
  • What are the main sources of tension between marketing and sales? What can you do to improve that relationship and get everyone on the same page?
  • What is your approach to email marketing (and other channels)? Are you prepared to change to achieve better results?
  • What is your sales model? Do you know what it takes for a lead to be ‘qualified’?
  • Are you and your organization ready for change? What can you do to ease the transition towards a new marketing model? (Check out Evan Whitenight’s recent post here for some great ideas in this area)

Starting to think about some of these basic questions concerning how your business operates will put you on the right track for marketing automation success. By recognizing that marketing automation is a (powerful) tool, you can avoid the disillusionment that is sure to come when you view it as the solution to all your problems.