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You don’t need a marketing automation tool, but it’ll make you a kick-ass marketer

I love the television show Mad Men; the clothes of the era, the complete indifference to smoking and drinking in the office and of course the creative ad copy that was being produced. I am sure back in the 1950s, the mad men of America’s top advertising firms had a hard time coming up with witty, convincing taglines, images and other branding concepts. Though I am sure they couldn’t fathom the variety of channels that today’s marketers have to consider.

20 years ago we saw the shift to the online world, and with it opened what seemed like a pandora’s box of marketing opportunities. Today, the average B2B business has to consider a plethora of touch points such as websites, email campaigns, social media channels, paid keywords and content generation such as blog posts, third party articles or ebooks. This doesn’t even begin to touch upon the offline endeavors.

This is where, for many companies, a marketing automation tool rears it’s fantastical head. Now, you may be envisioning a glorious Marketing Unicorn prancing it’s way in to make all your marketing dreams come true. I have been using marketing automation software for a few years now, and while they are extremely helpful, they are not magical, they still need someone, or ideally a team, of marketing hounds that can be involved in the set up, using it in the more effective way possible and understand it’s abilities, and at times, limitations.

Yes, you can create emails in Dreamweaver and send via a tool such as MailChimp; you can have landing pages created with unbounce; your online customer acquisition forms that feed into your CRM (you have a CRM right?); and don’t forget the half a dozen social media accounts you need updating.

The thing is, that with a marketing automation tool, such as Pardot, all of these task can be centrally located where you can link efforts together, schedule activities and the pièce de résistance, see your successes and report on all the great work you are doing as a marketer.

As the title of this blog post says, you don’t need a marketing automation tool, but if you have hopes of being the rockstar marketer you were meant to be, well, it’s time to start investigating the tools out there that will help get you there!