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The Two Things Your Business Must Have to Grow

When I graduated from college way back when (can a little more than a decade be considered way back when?) I decided that I didn’t want to just get a job and go work for “the man.” Instead, I would follow in my father’s very big footsteps and start my own business. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend my business plan to young and aspiring entrepreneurs.


When I started my company, I had no money, no connections, and no clients! What I discovered in a very short period was that while all of those things matter a lot in business, they don’t really make a business. My business did not fail because of any of those things, in fact, I was fairly good at all three. What I was not good at was building repeatable and scalable systems. I could meet people, make connections and generate income with the best of them, but that was only able to take my business so far.

Ultimately my inability to build repeatable and scalable systems was the downfall. I’d venture as far as to say that I didn’t really have a business at all, just a series of independent contract jobs.  This is a lesson I have taken to heart, and the reason I believe in marketing automation platforms as the foundation for a marketing organization.

If systems are a key component to building a successful business, then the parts that make up that business should be no different. Marketing is essential to every business, and for too long marketing departments have operated without accountability, insight, and measurement… without systems! Enter marketing automation and the ability for marketing to operate like a business. 

Of all the wonderful features that make marketing automation tools so great, the single most important is the ability to create trackable, measurable, and repeatable systems. I have heard as bold a statement from marketing automation proponents that say, “marketing automation is the window into your business future!” How you ask?    


Marketing automation is nothing without process and metrics. I just said it, but it warrants repeating, business needs process; marketing is no different. Traditional marketing is made up of campaigns and the tactics that support those campaigns.

Marketing automation allows marketers to build a process around how to measure the success of campaigns, the tactics that live within them and create actionable insights and repeatable processes. The result is a systematic approach to marketing that provides insight into what is working, what isn’t, and where your marketing dollars should be invested. That’s right, I said invested… another concept foreign to my first business; but that’s another story for another blog.

Marketing automation is more than just email, more than buyer personas and whitepapers, it’s the window into the soul of your buyers. As marketing has evolved from one to many, to one to one, and rate cards and sales slicks have been replaced by metrics and data, none of it is possible without a scalable and systematic approach.

Don’t be like fresh-out-of-college me, build scalable systems to drive your marketing organization; what you may find is the business you always dreamed of running!

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