In its purest sense the idea of marketing automation is a good thing. The more you can automate a process to help achieve a desired result the better. Boiling marketing and sales down to repeatable and scalable events is the dream of all marketers because we all know the pressure to get more from less these days. Automation is supposed to help people do more with less so marketers are flocking to it.
As with most theories, however, the reality of the situation soon comes to life and the chinks in the marketing automation armor can be exposed as quickly as they can be celebrated. The trouble is that while it’s easy to sit back and say “if person X does Y then we give them Z to complete the sales process” those pesky people aren’t as similar as is required for a process to be repeatable AND successful over and over again.