Marketing Automation is not about re-inventing the wheel. It's just transforming a misshapen, awkward wheel that takes three people to push into a sleek, new one which turns itself.

Wheel analogies aside, the first thing I advise all my customers to do when devising a marketing automation strategy is to identify current processes that could be automated. Often this is something simple like building self-refreshing newsletter lists or automating event follow-up emails. This frees up a huge amount of time for busy marketers to focus their hard-earned skills on more profitable campaigns. 

Without reducing the amount of repetitive, manual process that marketers are doing, there's no way they can devote the time and creativity needed to develop smart, targeted and innovative campaigns.

To sum up: start with the quick wins and spend the time you save on more profitable endeavours.