How to Use Automation to Uncover Marketing Workflow Bottlenecks

By Mathew Sweezey

In order for your marketing automation implementation to dig further into the value of efficiency gained through marketing automation, consider where automation is most likely to impact the bottlenecks in your marketing workflow. Bottlenecks are places in your marketing operations where an inefficient process causes a fast operation to slow down.

Your implementation should focus on the specific places where automation will help you gain efficiency by eliminating bottlenecks. To identify your bottlenecks, follow these simple steps:

  1. Whiteboard your current marketing world.

    Start by drawing your full marketing universe. Include every lead-generation channel, marketing channel, and tool that you use to execute these. Draw them on a whiteboard so that you can make sure you understand the flow of data and the processes you currently use.

  2. Circle your pain points.

    With a different color, circle your pain points. Bottlenecks often happen one step before or after a pain point.

  3. Make a list of the bottlenecks that cause your pain points.

    Prioritize the list by identifying which of your bottlenecks will have the largest impact on your main marketing goals when eliminated.

  4. Circle your pain points.

If you can identify your largest bottleneck, and work just to solve that one issue during your first year of using a marketing automation tool, you will derive significant value from your purchase. Move on to smaller bottlenecks later. Identifying these bottlenecks before you purchase a solution also helps you to select the correct tool.