So you’ve got a new marketing automation system? Congrats! Not sure what to do next? You’re not alone.

As clients increasingly look to integrate their sales and marketing efforts, marketing automation can be an incomparable tool, allowing you to communicate the right message to the right prospect at the right time – via the right channel – in ways you’ve never even imagined. 

However, as many as 85% of B2B marketers using marketing automation platforms feel that they’re not using them to their full potential.* For many marketers, the system requires a whole new skill set – adding technology to your already full plate.

Believe us, you’ll soon rely on your marketing automation system in the same way you rely on your laptop. But to get you going, here are five quick thoughts:

1. Trust yourself. Remember how complicated your first computer seemed? Your first cell phone? And remember how great they turned out to be? Same thing. Yes, the scale is pretty huge here – and it’s your company’s investment, not yours – but the premise is the same. Before you know it, you’re going to wonder how you ever got anything done without marketing automation. But first, take a deep breath. And take the next step.

2. Realize you’re not alone. Marketing automation is on every B2B marketer’s radar. Take comfort in knowing that you’re taking the same plunge as everyone else. And really, when you think of it, you’re ahead of the curve: Marketing automation is becoming a necessity, not a luxury. Which brings us to Step Three.

3. Realize you don’t have to go it alone. Although this step sounds similar to Two, the point is different. You are not a marketing automation expert. You may be an expert in many marketing things – staying on brand, delivering sales leads, executing campaigns, developing strategies, new product introductions -- but you’re not a marketing automation expert. Or at least, not yet. But just like with IT support or office supplies or hiring, you don’t have to be the expert. You just have to be smart enough to find someone who is.

4. Find someone who is. The experts who built and installed your marketing automation system aren’t always experts in the nuances of your company’s situation and strategies. So – and here’s the little secret no one told you before –to get that system running at the pace your business requires, you have the option of calling in some assistance.

5. Just do it. Just turn the thing on. Play around. See what kind of data you have. See what kind of data you want to have. Figure out what you want it to do. Figure out what you can’t get it to do. And then, work with a pro who can accelerate the process for you, integrating your shiny new system with your dusty old data, and generate some old-fashioned, new-fangled marketing.

May we recommend TKXS?

* SiriusDecisions, Increasing Adoption of Marketing Automation Platforms, 2014.