Marketing Automation Unleashed [Book Review]

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Casey Cheshire, with his deep Pardot expertise and infectious personality, is known around the Salesforce ecosystem and the Pardot-sphere. He’s the ideal candidate to write a book on Marketing Automation strategy and implementation.

Marketing Automation Unleashed: The Strategic Path to B2B Growth” has hit the shelves! This book promises to demystify what Marketing Automation is, and how to implement it successfully in any organisation. I was keen to read, and to absorb all that Casey and his 20+ strong team have learned from their Pardot consultancy – here’s what stood out to me.

FYI – I will refer to the book’s title in shorthand: MA Unleashed

Book Aim and Structure

Marketing Automation is a sprawling and ever-evolving topic. Writing a book on technology that changes with the seasons (literally, in the case of Salesforce) could seem too great a challenge. That’s not the aim with MA Unleashed; in fact, MA Unleashed drives home that a framework exists, and there are timeless pillars to Marketing Automation that should be followed.

That’s what we see when we are introduced to the Cheshire Success Index (CSI), created to help marketers gauge where they are in their use of Marketing Automation. Your score is calculated by rating yourself against 10 statements touching on:


  • Audience segmentation
  • Source ROI reporting
  • Data preparedness
  • Gated content marketing
  • Multiple nurture campaigns
  • Sales trained and using
  • Two-dimensional lead rating
  • A/B Testing
  • Advanced dynamic content
  • Multi-touch attribution

The 10 milestones of the CSI are logically ordered, deliberately building the strong foundation, then upwards to more advanced strategies from there.

Self-assess where you fall on the Marketing Automation mastery spectrum with the warm-up quiz (pp. 23). The quiz forms the backbone of the book; each chapter begins with one of the quiz questions.

Who Should Read this Book

This book is a great choice for any organisation moving to a best-of-breed marketing automation platform. I especially recommend it to any one who felt their implementation was rushed. If you’re an ‘Accidental Admin’ of Pardot or similar tools, reading MA Unleashed will give you the confidence to ’talk’ Marketing Automation language.

Or, read this as a refresher, to organise your thoughts, to ensure you have 100% coverage on the fundamentals of Marketing Automation.

As a Marketing Automation Consultant myself, I see organisations dive into a new Marketing Automation Platform, without a foundation – or worse, with misinformation. This is one marketing myth I like to bust (as I did on the Hard Corps Marketing podcast recently), and I will continue to pull this quote out:

“Technology is not the cure-all, it’s the amplification”

It sums up this misconception perfectly!

Casey looking proud, his book being quoted from! Episode #135 of the Hard Corps Marketing Show. 

What This Book is Not

This book is not a manual on Marketing Automation platform configuration – less ‘nuts and bolts’, more on the art of the approach.

It is also not a book that’s only applicable to Pardot users! Although Pardot gets many mentions, the book’s content is certainly transferable to other Marketing Automation Platforms.

Favourite 3 Quotes

Here are my 3 favourite quotes from the book.

1. Tech Whiplash:

“Recent acquisitions, such as those by Salesforce in the space of analytics…highlight the need for grounded strategies amid the ever-evolving tech landscape…[or] experience something like whiplash as capabilities constantly expand”

2. Circles in your own wonderland:

There’s a classic scene in Alice in Wonderland, when Alice meets the Cheshire Cat at a fork in the road.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
Cheshire Cat wisely replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to”
When Alice admits she doesn’t care where, the surly cat replies with “then it doesn’t matter.

The same wisdom applies to just about everything in marketing. You need to know where you’re going in order to make the right steps to go there…[or] it doesn’t matter what you do because you’re just going around in your own wonderland.

– found on pp. 13

3. The 1-10-100 Rule of Dirty Data

There’s a multiplying cost of dirty data. The longer you wait to clean your data, the harder and more expensive it is to deal with. Data scientists actually refer to this as the 1-10-100 rule.

– found on pp. 56

Summary – Headspace

You now know why you should read this book, and who else you should share this book with.

There’s one more thing I would like to add. Personally, I appreciated being able to read about a topic that’s entirely digital from a printed book. This prompted the self-discipline to sit myself down, away from laptops and other digital distractions, and study Marketing Automation with focus and intention. I had the headspace to absorb Casey’s wise words.

How Can YOU Unleash Your Marketing Automation? 

Get your copy by following this link.

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