Don't let the name fool you. Marketing automation is not completely automated.

With the rapid adoption of marketing automation technology, almost 11 times more B2B organizations used marketing automation in 2014 than in 2011, marketers often believe that marketing automation is the be-all, end-all to any marketing problem. Some think that marketing automation will effortlessly bring in a steady stream of leads and automatically move those leads to paying customer status.

Although this funneling process sounds wonderful, the real world doesn't work so effortlessly.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can empower marketers to better understand buyer behavior and to provide the experiences that today's customers demand... but the people behind the tool ultimately unleash that empowerment similarly to how a trampoline increases the apex of a jump.

Moreover, an automated system in the wrong hands can quickly do more harm than good. With the wrong people, marketing automation can enable a poorly thought-out campaign to spread quickly and make it even easier to be lazy and ignore feedback.

However, with the right people, marketing automation helps organizations reach many different channels with the right message at the right time.

Great marketers know to discard the "set it and forget it" mentality.

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Molly Koernke is director of Product Marketing at Upland Software, a provider of cloud-based enterprise work management software.

Twitter: @mollykoernke 

LinkedIn: Molly Koernke