One prerequisite before signing the dotted line and purchasing a marketing automation system is making sure that your data quality is perfect. But, generally that's not the order of how things actually go. You purchase the marketing automation platform (MAP), and then realize that you're stuck with something you can only use as a simple email execution tool, due to the quality of your data.
Most marketers measure the effectiveness of each fundraising channel with cost per dollar raised or income per name. Guess What? These metrics are wrong. They are not inaccurate due to lack of trying. In fact, many spend considerable effort ensuring these metrics are extremely precise. Unfortunately, precision is not the same as thing as accuracy.