Marketing automation systems are a hot topic these days. Companies are trying to automate everything, and it shows as people are starting marketing automation blogs and centering themes around it for conferences, webinars, podcasts, and social. I wouldn’t be surprised if people were even sending Snapchats offering free marketing automation software (no really, please don’t do that).

The reality that a marketing automation blog won’t tell you is…

Everything is not marketing automation. I know – shocking! But there is more to marketing automation than sending an email and publishing it to Facebook. It’s more than lead scoring or content marketing, and a true marketing automation system should include more than just web data.

A complete marketing automation system should be equipped with all of these features, not just a subset of them. The benefit of marketing automation is that it pulls all of these tools together in one place so that the marketer can look at reports with all of the context of the entire campaign and make smart decisions about how to deliver revenue. Social media marketing automation can’t give a picture of web data and lead scoring software can’t tell you how your email campaign performed compared to last month’s.

In order to really make an impact on the quality and quantity of the leads marketing is delivering to sales, a marketer needs a complete marketing automation package. Gone should be the days of  solutions trying to jump on the automation bandwagon, unless they are truly able to help the marketing and sales teams deliver revenue.