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First and foremost, marketing automation is the business response to the changing behavior of the modern customer. Whereas sales teams were once the gatekeepers of product information, these days the empowered buyer conducts her own research and speaks to a salesperson only when she is ready. Understanding the selfguided nature of the buyer’s journey is essential to grasping the significance of marketing automation for an entire organization, and it’s imperative that this message be understood from the top. In truth, nothing hinders a marketing automation initiative more than missing executive sponsorship. Without strong leadership, the investment appears inconsequential to many departments, and the necessity for alignment is significantly underplayed.

 

At a time when executive teams are more ROI-focused than ever before, it’s easy for marketing automation to be erroneously dismissed as yet another expense. Consequently, time and effort must be spent presenting the full business case to senior management to secure support and capture the imaginations of the rest of the organization as a result. If someone is not on board or simply does not understand the concept, it’s crucial to address this in the planning stages and highlight the need for operational change in today’s era of the empowered customer. Frankly, without a senior management mindset behind it, alignment will not succeed.

 

When a vendor tells you that one of his product’s features is “ease of use,” it doesn’t mean the same thing as “no time required.” Marketing automation is a platform requiring work to set up and run. Campaigns usually take a lot of time to set up initially and generally consist of multiple moving parts, each requiring differing amounts of time to create and manage. The most common parts of a campaign are forms, landing pages, emails, content, and reports. Here’s some advice to help estimate the time required to set up

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