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Investing in a solution involves a large commitment of time, resources, and new processes. Many people underestimate some of these investments when investigating marketing automation. Most companies adopt new tools rather quickly and fail to notice the fact that marketing automation is as much a new way of thinking as it is a new tool. Marketing automation requires more than just spending money to buy a technology solution. The largest portion of spending happens through your time, effort, and indirect costs.


The following sections outline the indirect investments that are the most often overlooked when preparing for marketing automation. 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 the following items.


Most campaigns involve a form to collect email addresses. With marketing automation, you can generally build a form and use it multiple times. The misjudgment of time comes in when people start adding complexities to their forms. Proper planning will help you identify the appropriate complexity and help you judge the time required to build your forms. Basic forms can