Glossary: Marketing automation

Marketing automation describes software platforms designed for marketing departments and organizations to automate marketing processes. By speeding up those tasks and customizing processes, businesses can market more strategically.

With the evolution of marketing automation software, businesses can now reach, nurture, segment and personalize interactions with potential and current customers, allowing for highly individualized and targeted messaging.

With limited resources and steep targets, marketers can use this software to make campaigns measurable, account for their costs, and track generated revenues.

Marketing automation

Classic marketing automation is focused on generating more sales-ready leads. If we see the marketing and sales process as a funnel, marketing automation can move contacts through that funnel more efficiently. It allows business to score leads based on profile/behavior and communicate with them accordingly (drip campaigns and event-triggered messages, for example). While “revenue generation” often is used to describe this initial stage, the same type of marketing campaign automation can be used later in the customer lifecycle and even for fulfillment messaging (such as transactional emails).

While much of the information gathering to drive the marketing automation platform is done online, it doesn’t have to be digital only. All sources of information and all marketing channels can be utilized, including direct marketing via print and catalog. The integration of marketing automation with customer relationship management (CRM) is a natural one. Gathering, enhancement and use of customer data (marketing intelligence) are all part of the marketing automation process.

Advanced workflow automation involves internal marketing processes – behind-the-scenes processes not evident to potential and current customers. This part of the marketing automation toolbox includes the marketing calendar, internal collaboration, budgeting, planning, and digital asset creation and management.

More articles on marketing automation:

About Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and Analyst. He is the Founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. Named on of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2016 " by Entrepreneur magazine.

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  • Alex

    Interesting article! I was wondering if you’d rather recommend email marketing for small businesses? I’m trying to choose between email marketing and marketing automation software. I was considering GetResponse with features like landing pages. Marketing automation seems more complex and difficult.