Marketing is all about relationships

No matter how much technology a company uses in its marketing, its chances of success or failure are likely to come down to the organization’s ability to build relationships. That’s usually what effective sales and marketing efforts are all about. You want to build some sort of positive relationship with the prospect or customer, so she’ll begin to or continue to do business with you.

Whether your business depends upon marketing automation or good-old-fashioned direct sales, it still comes down to those relationships. When you see a company that’s making great use of marketing automation, usually there’s a solid underlying understanding that the technology facilitates and maintains relationships — not that it replaces them.

As you evaluate automation or channels, ask yourself how their use will allow you to create or deepen relationships with your stakeholders. If they won’t — or if the only benefit they’ll provide is to save you some time or money — they’re probably not a good idea. But if what you’re considering will make it possible to do a better job of what you’re doing for others, it’s probably a wise investment.