Are they? Boy, are they.
Most businesses with an existing marketing automation implementation are using it like a glorified emailer.
And for some of those businesses, that’s actually fine. But for most, it’s a complete waste of money.
The reason for this tendency to “just email”, in my experience, is because they chose to implement a new tool before thinking about strategy.
As I wrote here onthis is the #1 thing that will make your marketing automation implementation fail.
Instead, before you implement, make sure have a plan of how you’ll utilize your new tool. How you’ll train your users, so they know what functionality to use and in which use cases.
Create buyer personas and buyer journeys. Chart the channels your prospects prefer. Create relevant content. Distribute that content and engage with your prospects.
Marketing automation platforms are complex and have steep learning curves. If you don’t have a strategy that forces you to actually use all that functionality, you simply won’t. I’ve seen it time and again.
I first answered this question on Quora: