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6 Reasons why marketing automation implementations fail

Automation is beneficial when it pushes to enhance established processes and helps organizations be more efficient. At minimum ‘automation’ must expedite and simplify the process, and marketing automation is no different. 

That being said, we have seen a number of failed marketing automation implementations, and here are the six biggest factors why they fail: 

1. Purchasing Software Before You Solidified Your Idea And Goals 

Your business goals and objectives always come before the tool. In other words, tools are there to support your goals, not to drive them. Having the tool drive your idea is the quickest way to make your customer experience gimmicky and ordinary.  

2. Implementing Too Early

It is very common to implement marketing automation in parallel with a website redesign. This usually makes sense because you are trying to streamline your implementation. However, your data is very limited at this point so you should prepare for some rework. After you launch your new website and have had time to accumulate/learn from your data, you will need to make some changes. When redesigning a website, our typical advice is to discuss marketing automation early, but not to solidify all decisions until after launch – when you’ve had a chance to collect some meaningful data.

3. Trying To Turn Marketing Automation Software Into A Lead Generation Tool

Before you invest in sophisticated marketing automation software, make sure your lead generation process is nailed down; your new marketing automation software will not make your poor email list better.

4. WYSINWYG (What You See Is Not What You Get)

Software vendors often downplay implementation complexities, and unplanned development work can put a severe dent in your budget. Therefore, ask a lot of questions during the evaluation process, and if possible request a test environment to play with. Ideally, with only out-of-the-box features.

5. Insufficient Budget

All software implementations require careful budgeting, and more importantly, some level of contingency for unexpected events and tasks, so make sure to plan accordingly. Running out of funds is the quickest way to failure.

6. Over-Customizing  

In the long run, your marketing automation software will fail you, by over-customizing, you lose the ability to upgrade, collect & analyze data, and generate useful reports.  

Marketing automation has its place in business, but you cannot assume that it will cover all your marketing needs. Also, it’s essential to understand that although it can save time and expedite the process, marketing automation is not a replacement for creative talent, only a tool to elevate it.


As we mentioned earlier in the post, your marketing automation software will not turn bad leads into good leads. However, if implemented correctly, marketing automation software will make your existing (and established) processes a lot more efficient – saving you time, money, and resources. 

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