Marketing Automation Definition & Meaning

Marketing automation uses technology and software to automate detailed manual marketing processes. Manual data analysis, social media posting, and emails take a great deal of time, and in a highly technical market, companies can’t keep up if they do every task individually. Marketing automation allows businesses to create workflows and automate those processes with technological tools.

Marketing automation is not specifically a CRM system, but it has many of the same elements. While a CRM solution functions as the go-to platform for sales departments, marketing automation is designed to build and scale personalized and focused marketing efforts. Marketing automation builds customer relationships through specifically targeted campaigns and streamlines all aspects of company marketing:

  • Analytics
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Sales
  • Advertising
  • Phone call data analysis

Marketing automation requires a specific, focused design and implementation before launching. Marketers can’t install software and immediately expect results; companies need a solid base of leads before successfully using marketing automation. Marketing automation software is most successful when businesses have sufficient leads and specific workflow plans. Software should allow marketers to do the following tasks at minimum:

  • Send mass emails
  • Automate emails based on customer response
  • Display emails properly on mobile devices
  • Automate social media posts
  • Schedule emails and posts for appropriate times
  • Integrate with existing company analytics software
  • Generate lead insights

Marketing automation vendors

Popular vendors for marketing automation include:

  • Hubspot
  • Marketo
  • Eloqua
  • Salesfusion
  • Silverpop
  • Pardot

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