Marketing automation tools are some of the most game-changing tools to come along for marketers in a number of years. Designed to solve the most troubling marketing problems, these comprehensive product suites have the ability to change just about everything about your marketing. However, the success of these tools still depends on one thing: You.

In a survey conducted last year by marketing automation provider Loopfuse, many marketing automation users reported that they only use a fraction of the features available to them through these products.

We all know that marketers have a lot on their plates. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to learn everything there is to know about your automation solution. At Pardot, we do what we can to help by providing a comprehensive setup process and unlimited ongoing training through our Pardot Now program.

But if you only have time to learn three tools (you can learn the rest later!), these are the three you should focus on:

Lead Scoring and Grading
The days of investing time and resources in leads that ultimately aren’t the best fit are finally behind you. Marketing automation solutions allow you to preset your criteria for your ideal candidate and automatically grade incoming leads based on this criteria. Scoring leads based on their activity after they have entered into your funnel allows you to focus your time and attention on the leads that are most likely to buy.

Benefit: Save time and resources while maximizing efficiency.

Lead Nurturing
So what about those leads that aren’t ready to buy yet? Do you invest time and resources into moving them to a sales-ready state? No need — lead nurturing programs can do that for you. Comprehensive drip programs will nurture leads through the funnel with relevant and timely content based on a prospect’s actions or stage in the buying cycle.

Benefit: Save time and resources while increasing opportunities.

Campaign Reporting
Although the ability to accurately track the effectiveness of campaigns and confidently calculate ROI has eluded marketers in the past, those days are finally over. This is one of the standout features of marketing automation. With closed-loop reporting, each deal you close can be traced back to the marketing initiative where the lead originated. This helps to paint a picture of how each of your campaigns are performing and how you can adjust and adapt your marketing mix going forward.

Benefit: Demonstrate value and optimize your marketing efforts.

If you’re currently using a marketing automation solution and are skipping over any of the three tools listed above, you probably aren’t getting everything you can out of your automation solution.

Please feel free to check out our calendar of continued training webinars if you are a Pardot user and would like to learn more about any of the features listed above.

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