Your Marketing Department has bodies.  Able bodies.  Smart bodies.  Eager bodies… but can they handle the strategic vision and technical execution of Marketing Automation?  All the while executing their other tasks?  You may need to bring in some outside expertise, added horsepower or sounding boards.

Depending on your selections, that grand total could be $30,000 on the lower end, $150,000 in the middle or closer to $500,000+ on the high end for a one year period.

You have options when it comes to the type of service provider you select:

Independent Consultant and Small Shop: This includes 1 or 2 people working on your account, who likely have experience from the Consulting world.  You’ll get well rounded individuals with a wide range of expertise along with personal service.  Expect a more relaxed build with your internal team being very hands on.

Mid Size Agency: This includes 3-5 people working on your account. You will get a more regimented plan and specific experts in each topic, such as Search Engine Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Content Strategy, etc.  Prices are a little higher because you’re paying for more bodies and their associated knowledge.

Consulting Partner: You’re essentially paying for perfection and you will get it. The big consulting companies have smart and sometimes endless bodies you will have access in any topic you can think of.  You will get a turnkey solution setup and running from day one that WILL yield results.  Expect intensity.  Training doesn’t come until after the build and could last a little longer.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $10,000 – $50,000
  • Consulting Partner: $50,001 +

Why you need it: Most Marketing Automation processes fail because the organization as a whole doesn’t understand it’s benefits.  Define what this will do for your organization.  Chart out Objectives, Foundational Activities that identify the people/processes/technologies needed for success, chart out Quick Wins and what Full Maturity looks like.  The company’s that are most successful get buy in on this road map from their Executive Team and communicate it through their entire organization…and that last part can be fun.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $5,000 – $20,000
  • Consulting Partner: $20,001 +

Why you need it: All of the platforms are trained to sell hard.  An independent party will give you their unbiased opinion on what is best for your organization and can coordinate demo’s and feature/benefit presentations from vendors.

PLATFORM COST: $2,000 – $30,000 +

What are you goals?  Are you just sending a newsletter to 100 people?  MailChimp will do that at a low cost.  Are you planning to connect social media, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing and personalizing websites based on personas to generate brand awareness that can be tied to ROI?  You’ll need a bigger, more expensive platform like Pardot, Marketo or name just a few.  Another determining factor is the size of your contact database.  If you’re going to have over 10,000 contacts right off the bat, add on another one or two dollars per additional contact.

Why you need it: True Marketing Automation is just that…automated.  You need a platform that can do that with ease.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $10,000 – $20,000
  • Consulting Partner: $20,001 +

Why you need it: Once the platform has been selected, they all come with a checklist that includes things like IP address warming, web integrations, basic asset (email & landing page templates), security preferences. Keep momentum.  The hard part isn’t setting up the platform, it’s using it.  Protect your Administrator’s time and energy.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $10,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $10,000 – $30,000
  • Consulting Partner: $30,001 +

This is the most critical step.  As soon as the platform is setup, pivot to creating campaigns as outlined in the Quick Win section of the roadmap.  Company’s that use the platform right away have a better chance at realizing true Marketing Automation…and professional branding, content strategy and technical execution gaurentee this.  One’s that wait or putz around with sending out a newsletter four times a year lose momentum.

Why you need it: Added Horsepower.  Your Administrator’s will become directly involved, but you need immediate results to keep credibility in your organization.  Pay for the execution to ensure momentum.


  • Independent Consultant or Small Shop: $5,000
  • Mid Size Agency: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Consulting Partner: $10,000 +

Why you need it:   The first year should largely see the process implemented and executed by a third party with expertise and experience in doing so.  As the year progress..the process is handed over to the internal team with training and documentation.  Sometimes an administrator needs a like minded individual to use as a sounding board.

As with anything, you get what you pay for.

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