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Five Quick Tips for Marketing Automation Success

by Kim Ann King  |  
July 17, 2014

Marketing automation is amazing. It lets you create marketing campaigns and automate processes more quickly and easily than you could ever imagine. That is, after you set everything up!

The setting-up process itself is one of the most important factors determining marketing automation success, because it's your first and best opportunity to get everything right. I know, because I recently implemented marketing automation software at SiteSpect, where I head up the marketing department.

Having just completed a 60-day marketing automation implementation process, I want to share some lessons learned. So, before implementation...

1. Clean up your CRM

Make sure you clean up your CRM (customer relationship management) database. A clean CRM is important, because your marketing automation software will synch with your CRM, and if you have a lot of duplicates on the lists you import, you'll have a mess on your hands.

Imagine that someone has come to your site and registered for an e-book, and you've converted the lead to a contact. Without marketing automation, when they come back to your site, they have to register again (and again and again), which means the same contact could be in your database, as both a lead and a contact, several times.

Make sure you convert all leads to contacts as appropriate, delete duplicate records, associate contacts with accounts, and clean up all your account names. For example, contacts from FedEx might be in your database as Fed Ex, Federal Express, FedExpress—but they are all the same account.

Merge, purge, delete, convert—do whatever you have to do so that the list you are importing into your marketing automation software is as clean as possible.

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Kim Ann King is the CMO of Web and mobile optimization firm SiteSpect. A B2B software marketer for nearly three decades, she is the author of The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing: New Tactics, Tools, and Techniques to Compete in the Digital Economy (May 2015).

Twitter: @kimannking

LinkedIn: Kim Ann King

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  • by suzanne Thu Jul 17, 2014 via web

    who do you recommend for email append/verification?

  • by Derek Slayton Thu Jul 17, 2014 via web

    Great article, Kim. Couldn't agree more on the 5 items you outlined. As a company that just went through a MAP switch, we can certainly relate.
    @Suzanne - if you want to contact me directly, I can give you the rundown for how we cleansed SFDC and our MKTO database prior to turning the lights-on with the new system (dslayton at netprospex dot com).

  • by Peter Altschuler Thu Jul 17, 2014 via web

    These are all essential, but they're all mechanics. Without first devising a strategy for automation-driven campaigns, a clear set of objectives that need to be reached, the essential components that have to be included/available, and a method for interpreting and acting on the metrics that are tracked, marketing automation is transformed from being an efficient and rapid system for interacting with and converting potential customers into being an assembly line for inappropriate parts that can't be combined to create anything useful.

  • by Cara McDonald Thu Jul 17, 2014 via web

    Thanks Kim, very timely. I'm just about to head down this road. I appreciate your tips. Going to get to work on my Salesforce data asap!

  • by David Collins Fri Jul 18, 2014 via web

    Thanks Kim. We've just started our journey. What initial results have you seen?

  • by Mahes Wed Jul 23, 2014 via web

    Thanks Kim, Great article !!

  • by Ari Messer Tue Sep 9, 2014 via web

    Thanks for sharing these are great tips, Kim. I work with Agile CRM and as the first CRM to include a complete, integrated marketing automation feature set, we're always looking for ways to help our beta users deploy these powerful tools in the most efficient way possible. Will share these tips with our users, especially cleaning house and committing to continual education.

  • by Vardha M Tue Dec 30, 2014 via web

    Thanks for the great tips Kim. My 2 cents would be identification and scalability, considerations that must be accounted for before jumping into automation. Found a similar whitepaper that elucidated similar thoughts as yours and a couple more Cheers!

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