What is Marketing Automation?

With Hubspot’s Inbound, Salesforce Dreamforce, and Bizleads Summit upcoming, the topic of marketing automation is all abuzz these days. Marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing technologies out there, according to Forrester’s Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017 to 2023. 

Marketing automation is no longer just nice-to-have; it’s essential.

While initially for large enterprises, marketing automation tools have become more prevalent and scalable for small and mid-sized businesses. Let’s start by discussing marketing automation, its benefits, and how it could work for your business.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation helps with lead generation, nurturing, scoring, and measuring overall ROI on campaigns. The time and cost-saving effects of automation increase as an organization grow in size and complexity. 

Marketing automation is the technology that automatically manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns across multiple channels (Salesforce,n.d.). Common workflows include email marketing, behavioral targeting, lead prioritization, and personalized advertising.

colorful toothed wheels
Photo by Digital Buggu on Pexels.com

From automating the lead qualification process to creating a hub for digital campaign creation, automation is all about simplifying a business world that is growing far too complex and quickly.

Good automation tools help you identify your audience, design the right content, and automatically trigger actions based on schedules and customer behavior. You collect customer data through many interactions: emails, website visits, app usage, social media, etc.

From there, marketing automation does all the work: streamlining segmentation and targeting processes to determine the right audiences quickly and at scale. Deliver timely, relevant content that reaches customers when, where, and how they prefer — converting prospects into lifelong brand advocates (Salesforce, n.d.).

Benefits for Customers

When we look at the common challenges businesses face, we know that generating leads and keeping customers engaged throughout their journey remain top of mind. Along with these goals, businesses face an explosion of collected data but struggle to put it to use. Software can help overcome these challenges by putting data to work by streamlining our workflows. 

Marketing automation isn’t just about what it can do for your business. By using the data you’re already collecting, automation allows you to highlight the most pertinent content at the right time. Marketing automation can reduce this friction by connecting teams, gathering data in a usable format, and prioritizing behind-the-scenes tasks (Hubspot, n.d.).


With marketing automation software, businesses can use customer data points across multiple channels to deeply understand their customers’ needs and deliver the right content at the right time. With the customer at the center, businesses can continue to engage customers with personalized workflows that lead to loyal, repeat customers who refer their friends and family. 

Seamless, omnichannel experiences

Effective automation eliminates the need for complicated hand-off procedures, everything is automatically saved in your central data storage. Internal workflows can help you prioritize tasks as needed. With automation, customers get the same experience no matter their contact channel.

Integrated analytics

Each of your prospects’ actions is an added data point for your marketing strategy, instantly telling you what customers are looking for. Data is collected, stored, and used in your marketing software to offer your customers a personalized experience like pre-filled forms, targeted emails that meet their needs, and customer service that feels as familiar as the store down the street. As helpful as this information is, manually tracking these behaviors is impossible.


Get Started with Marketing Automation

Start by focusing on the customer journey rather than on the needs of your business. Identify potential touchpoints that could benefit from marketing automation and build processes that ease the customer from touchpoint to touchpoint.

Organize contacts using a CRM that integrates with your marketing automation software, so every action the customer takes is tracks as another data point. A great marketing strategy syncs your teams by prioritizing tasks and making hand-offs a breeze.

How do I choose?

Sound marketing automation systems scale alongside your business. When considering an automation solution, don’t focus on the individual features — focus on the business results and the long-term partnership. 

Here are additional resources to help you make your informed decision:

Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely my own and are not representative of any current or previous employer. Any similarity to any actual company, organization, or individual is purely coincidental. This blog post is written to provide general information and does not intend to violate any non-disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement.


HubSpot. (n.d.). Hubspot Marketing: What is marketing automation? HubSpot. Retrieved September 6, 2022, from https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/marketing-automation-information

What is marketing automation? How does it work? Salesforce.com. (n.d.). Retrieved September 6, 2022, from https://www.salesforce.com/products/marketing-cloud/what-is-marketing-automation/

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