The bottom line is that you really need an in-depth understanding of the various potential customer journeys for your business, both before and after sale, to make sure that the marketing automation processes you have in place are right for your business.
Marketing automation strategies can be as simple or as detailed as the business plan, sales forecast and related strategy requires. At the most basic level, for many B2B organisations, significant benefits to the sales pipeline process can be made by putting in place a structure that sends out systematic and sustained emails to prospects on their customer relationship management (CRM) system with links to relevant content at regular intervals. This is likely to reduce churn and increase conversion, as long as you gauge the frequency correctly and have a high-quality content strategy in place.
More sophisticated business models, especially in the B2C marketplace, with high volume eCommerce business models, need to create more complex marketing automation solutions that will lead to higher levels of conversion, followed by regular opportunities for repeat purchase, cross-selling, up-selling, referrals, feedback, recommendations, and so on.