Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the Best Marketing Automation Consulting Firm

May 31, 2024
By Magee Clegg


If you want quick answers on choosing the best marketing automation consulting firm, here’s what you need:

  • Identify your specific needs: Understand what you want to achieve with marketing automation.
  • Check their expertise: Make sure they have a proven track record with the platforms you’re using.
  • Evaluate their approach: Look for firms that align with your business goals and have a custom rather than one-size-fits-all strategy.

Marketing automation is a game-changer for businesses. It saves time, boosts productivity, and drives more qualified leads to your front door. But picking the right consulting firm to guide you through the process can make all the difference.

Think of a marketing automation consulting firm as your navigator. They help you choose the best tools, streamline processes, and maximize your marketing ROI. By leveraging their specialized knowledge, you can avoid common pitfalls and seize opportunities faster.

Getting professional guidance ensures you fully utilize the power of marketing automation, ultimately giving your business an edge in a crowded marketplace.

Key factors to consider when choosing a marketing automation consulting firm - marketing automation consulting firm infographic roadmap-5-steps

Understanding Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a powerful tool that helps businesses streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks. This technology simplifies complex processes, making it easier to manage campaigns, nurture leads, and engage with customers. Let’s break it down.


Marketing automation uses software to automate repetitive marketing activities. This includes email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns. The goal is to improve efficiency and drive more conversions with less manual effort.


The benefits of marketing automation are numerous. Here are some key advantages:

  • Efficiency: Automating repetitive tasks frees up time for your team to focus on strategic activities.
  • Personalization: Tailor messages to individual leads based on their behavior and preferences.
  • Consistency: Ensure consistent communication across all channels.
  • Scalability: Easily scale your marketing efforts as your business grows.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Gain insights from data to make informed marketing decisions.

Lead Conversion

One of the biggest advantages of marketing automation is its impact on lead conversion. By nurturing leads through automated workflows, you can keep them engaged and move them down the sales funnel more efficiently.


For instance, imagine a potential customer visits your website and downloads a whitepaper. With marketing automation, you can automatically send them a series of follow-up emails tailored to their interests. This keeps them engaged and increases the chances of conversion.

User Interaction

Marketing automation also enhances user interaction by delivering personalized content at the right time. This creates a better user experience and builds stronger relationships with your audience.

Case Study

Consider a company using marketing automation to send personalized birthday offers to customers. This not only makes customers feel valued but also encourages repeat purchases. According to a study by Cleartail Marketing, properly executed marketing automation can increase customer retention rates significantly.


Efficiency is another major benefit. Automating routine tasks reduces the workload on your marketing team, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives. This leads to better resource allocation and higher productivity.


A report from Affirma shows that businesses using marketing automation see a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.

In summary, marketing automation is a game-changer for businesses looking to optimize their marketing efforts. It improves lead conversion, enhances user interaction, and boosts overall efficiency. By understanding and leveraging these benefits, you can stay ahead in a competitive market.

Next, we’ll dive into the 4 Pillars of Marketing Automation.

The 4 Pillars of Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a powerful tool, but to harness its full potential, understand its core components. Let’s break down the 4 pillars of marketing automation: platform operations, campaign operations, marketing intelligence, and marketing engineering.

Platform Operations

Platform operations involve the setup, configuration, and maintenance of your marketing automation software. This includes:

  • Choosing the Right Platform: Selecting a platform like HubSpot, Pardot, or Marketo that aligns with your business needs. According to Cleartail Marketing, choosing the right platform can significantly impact your ROI.
  • Integration: Ensuring seamless integration with your existing CRM, ERP, and other tools. For example, integrating Salesforce with your marketing automation platform can streamline data flow and improve efficiency.
  • Configuration: Proper setup and configuration to tailor the platform to your specific requirements. Misconfiguration is a common mistake that can lead to poor performance and wasted resources.

Campaign Operations

Campaign operations focus on the execution and management of marketing campaigns. This includes:

  • Lead Nurturing: Developing automated workflows to nurture leads through personalized messaging. As Walker Sands Digital points out, smart engagement at every step of the buyer journey is crucial.
  • Email Automation: Sending automated email sequences based on user behavior. This can include welcome emails, follow-ups, and promotional offers.
  • Social Media Content Publishing: Scheduling and publishing content across various social media platforms. This ensures consistent engagement and brand visibility.

Marketing Intelligence

Marketing intelligence involves collecting and analyzing data to make informed decisions. This includes:

  • Data Analysis: Tracking key metrics like leads generated, conversion rates, and cost per lead. Cleartail Marketing emphasizes the importance of robust reporting and analytics features in your marketing automation platform.
  • Lead Scoring: Assigning scores to leads based on their behavior to identify sales-ready prospects. High-scoring leads are prioritized for proactive outreach.
  • Campaign Tracking: Monitoring the performance of marketing campaigns to understand what works and what doesn’t. This helps in optimizing future campaigns for better results.

Marketing Engineering

Marketing engineering is the technical backbone that supports marketing automation. This includes:

  • Customization: Developing custom solutions to meet unique business needs. This could involve creating custom integrations or developing unique workflows.
  • Optimization: Continuously optimizing the system to improve performance. This involves regular testing, tweaking, and refining strategies based on data insights.
  • Support: Providing ongoing technical support to address any issues and ensure smooth operation. This is crucial for maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing automation efforts.

By understanding and leveraging these 4 pillars of marketing automation, you can create a robust system that drives results and maximizes ROI. Next, we’ll explore the key services offered by marketing automation consulting firms.

Key Services Offered by Marketing Automation Consulting Firms

Marketing automation consulting firms offer a range of services designed to help businesses maximize their marketing efforts. Here are some key services you can expect:

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is crucial for converting prospects into customers. Consulting firms use advanced marketing automation to create tailored, one-to-one conversations with leads. This involves setting up automated email sequences, engaging content, and timely follow-ups. For example, U.S. Bank saw a significant increase in sales-ready lead conversion rates after launching their first-ever automated lead nurture program using Adobe Marketo Engage .

Personalized Messaging

Personalized messaging can make or break a marketing campaign. Using marketing automation, consultants can help you deliver customized content to your audience based on their behavior, preferences, and stage in the buyer journey. This increases engagement and conversion rates. According to a Forbes article, video emails, for instance, can drastically improve engagement when paired with email marketing.

Platform Integration

Integrating your marketing automation platform with other tools like your CRM (e.g., Salesforce) is essential for seamless operations. A well-integrated system ensures that data flows smoothly between different platforms, enabling better decision-making and more effective campaigns. According to PwC, U.S. Bank benefited immensely from integrating Adobe Marketo Engage with their existing systems, enhancing their B2B marketing capabilities source.

Campaign Management

Effective campaign management involves planning, executing, and monitoring marketing campaigns to meet specific business goals. Marketing automation consultants can manage your campaigns end-to-end, from initial setup to performance analysis. This ensures that your campaigns are not only well-executed but also continuously optimized for better results.

Data Analysis

Data is the backbone of any successful marketing strategy. Marketing automation consultants help you gather, analyze, and interpret data to make informed decisions. They can set up dashboards and reports that provide real-time insights into your marketing performance. This enables you to adjust your strategies quickly and effectively. For example, PwC helped U.S. Bank create a central repository for real-time data and insights, significantly improving their marketing operations source.

By leveraging these key services, businesses can significantly enhance their marketing efforts and achieve better ROI. Next, we’ll look at the top marketing automation platforms to consider for your business.

Top Marketing Automation Platforms

Choosing the right marketing automation platform is crucial for your business. Here are some of the top platforms to consider:


HubSpot is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. Known for its user-friendly interface and extensive features, HubSpot offers tools for email marketing, social media management, and lead nurturing.


Pardot, a Salesforce product, is ideal for B2B marketing. It integrates seamlessly with Salesforce, making it easier to manage leads and track ROI.

Marketing Cloud

Marketing Cloud by Salesforce offers a comprehensive suite of tools for email marketing, social media advertising, and customer journey management. Its robust analytics and AI capabilities make it a powerful choice for data-driven marketers.


Marketo is another strong contender, especially for large enterprises. It provides advanced features for lead management, email marketing, and analytics.


ActiveCampaign combines email marketing, automation, and CRM tools into one platform. It’s particularly well-suited for small to medium-sized businesses that need an all-in-one solution.


Autopilot is known for its visual marketing automation builder, which makes it easy to design and automate customer journeys. It’s a great choice for businesses looking for a simple yet effective automation tool.


Formerly known as Infusionsoft, Keap is designed for small businesses. It offers CRM, marketing automation, and e-commerce tools to help businesses streamline their operations and grow.


SharpSpring provides robust marketing automation features at a more affordable price point. It’s a good option for agencies and businesses looking for a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality.


Ontraport is a comprehensive business automation software. It offers CRM, marketing automation, and e-commerce capabilities, making it ideal for businesses looking to manage all their operations from one platform.

These platforms each have unique features and benefits. The right choice for your business will depend on your specific needs and goals.

How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Consulting Firm

Choosing the right marketing automation consulting firm can be the difference between a successful campaign and a wasted investment. Here’s what to look for:


Experience is crucial. Look for a firm that has a proven track record with marketing automation.

Technical Skills

Your consulting firm should have strong technical skills. This includes familiarity with various platforms like HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot.


Certifications can be a good indicator of expertise. Look for firms that are certified in the platforms you use.


A strong portfolio can provide insight into the firm’s capabilities. Check if they have case studies or examples of past work. This shows they have successfully implemented marketing automation strategies before.

Client Reviews

Client reviews can offer valuable insights. Look for testimonials and reviews from previous clients to gauge the firm’s reliability and effectiveness.

Industry Expertise

Industry expertise is another important factor. A firm that understands your industry will be better equipped to tailor their strategies to your specific needs.

By considering these factors, you can choose a marketing automation consulting firm that will help you achieve your goals.

Step-by-Step Process to Implement Marketing Automation

Strategy Development

Before diving into the technical aspects, it’s crucial to develop a solid strategy. This involves realigning marketing automation execution with your business strategy and top marketing goals. At Cleartail Marketing, we start with a comprehensive kickoff discussion to understand your objectives and pain points.

strategy development - marketing automation consulting firm

Tool Selection

Choosing the right tool is the next step. Platforms like HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketo each have their strengths. Affirma highlights how choosing the right platform can make a big difference. They guide you through this process based on your specific needs and even help make the business case for new systems.


Once you have selected the tools, it’s time to integrate them with your existing systems. This may include your CRM, ERP, and other martech assets. Integration ensures that all your marketing data flows seamlessly, providing a unified view of customer interactions. Cleartail Marketing emphasizes the importance of smooth integration, especially with platforms like Salesforce.


Testing is a critical phase. It involves running pilot campaigns and checking if all components are working as expected. Weekly video calls during this phase ensure everything is on track. This minimizes the risk of errors and ensures a smooth launch.


Optimization is an ongoing process. If your marketing automation isn’t getting better each month, you’re lagging behind. Continuous optimization involves tweaking your campaigns based on analytics and feedback. Walker Sands focuses on improving results with less effort and pain, making sure your system evolves with your needs.

Ongoing Support

After implementation, ongoing support is essential. Cleartail Marketing offers customer support channels for any technical questions and monthly check-ins to discuss new features and strategies. This ensures you stay updated and continue to get the most out of your marketing automation system.

By following these steps, you can implement a robust marketing automation system that aligns with your business goals. Next, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions about marketing automation consulting firms.

Frequently Asked Questions about Marketing Automation Consulting Firms

What does a marketing automation consultant do?

A marketing automation consultant helps businesses automate their marketing processes. They focus on lead conversion, user interaction, and deal closing. Here’s what they usually do:

  • Lead Conversion: They set up systems to capture and convert leads into customers. This often involves creating automated email campaigns and landing pages.
  • User Interaction: They design personalized experiences for users. This includes automated messages based on user behavior.
  • Deal Closing: They ensure that the leads are not just captured but also nurtured until they become paying customers.

How do I become a marketing automation consultant?

Becoming a marketing automation consultant involves several steps:

  1. Learn the Basics: Start by understanding what marketing automation is and why it’s important.
  2. Gain Technical Skills: Learn how to use popular marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Pardot, or Marketo.
  3. Get Certified: Many platforms offer certification programs. For example, HubSpot offers a free certification course.
  4. Build a Portfolio: Start by working on small projects or internships to build a portfolio.
  5. Gain Experience: The more you work, the better you get. Aim to work on diverse projects to gain a range of experiences.
  6. Network: Join industry groups and attend conferences to meet other professionals and potential clients.

What are the benefits of hiring a marketing automation consulting firm?

Hiring a marketing automation consulting firm can offer several benefits:

  • Efficiency: Automation saves time by handling repetitive tasks, allowing your team to focus on more strategic activities.
  • Personalized Experience: Automated systems can deliver personalized content to users, improving engagement and satisfaction.
  • ROI: Properly implemented automation can increase your return on investment by improving lead conversion rates and sales efficiency.
  • Focus on Core Business: With automation handling the marketing tasks, your team can focus on what they do best—running the business.

A good consulting firm will help you maximize these benefits, ensuring that your marketing automation efforts are effective and aligned with your business goals.

Now that we’ve covered the frequently asked questions, let’s move on to the next section where we will discuss the conclusion and the expertise of Cleartail Marketing.


At Cleartail Marketing, we bring a wealth of expertise and proven results to the table. Our team is dedicated to helping businesses across the US and Canada achieve their marketing automation goals.

Why Choose Cleartail Marketing?

  • Expertise: We are a Platinum SharpSpring Partner, recognized for our deep knowledge and successful implementations. Our team is well-versed in various platforms, including HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketo.

  • Proven Results: Our clients have seen significant improvements in lead conversion rates and sales efficiency. For example, our collaboration with U.S. Bank on their Adobe Marketo Engage implementation led to better campaign automation and improved lead management.

  • Client Relationships: We pride ourselves on excellent communication, support, and training. Our goal is to understand your marketing objectives as if we were an in-house team member, ensuring a smooth and successful journey.

  • Comprehensive Services: From strategy development to ongoing support, our full-service digital marketing agency can handle all your marketing needs. Whether it’s content development, PPC, SEO, or social media management, we have the expertise to elevate your campaigns.

Marketing Automation Expert - marketing automation consulting firm

By choosing Cleartail Marketing, you’re not just hiring a consultant; you’re gaining a partner committed to your success. Ready to grow your business with marketing automation? Get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help.

With our proven track record and dedication to client success, Cleartail Marketing is the best choice for businesses looking to maximize their marketing automation efforts. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals and drive your business forward.

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