Start with a process that works, and then automate it. That’s the very simple 1, 2 punch that leads to successful marketing automation, reporting and dashboarding.
Very often, teams will attempt to introduce an entirely new workflow or process in order to utilize some cool new technology (“What, we can automate emails? Here’s what I have always wanted to do…”). But this is very similar to using a calculator while learning algebra — chances are, you can get the output you want, but if you don’t fully understand WHY things work the way they do throughout a given workflow, you will be limiting yourself and the potential of your work. By learning to “show your work” in the beginning (By that, I mean learning to map out an entire process, and execute it manually), you prove not only that you know your stuff, but also that the process actually works, and there is value in automating it.
So my advice is to always design and execute your processes manually before you ever think about automating them. That way, you’ll know exactly how it’s supposed to work, and will be set up for success when it comes time to translate your workflow requirements for automation.
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