Marketing automation used to refer to software that was designed to automate repetitive tasks. Often seen as part of CRM, it enabled marketing departments to become more efficient. The only relevant channel was often email. As are result, the term email automation became synonymous with marketing automation.
Today, marketing automation is much more than that. It is an integrated marketing approach that combines workflows, processes, channels and customer-oriented triggers. Marketing automation today includes a variety of systems, databases and tools (CRM, DAM, CMS, CDP, DMP, Social Listening Tools, etc.).
Nowadays, marketing automation gives businesses a structured view of data, allows them to produce content in a scalable and efficient manner, and automate personalised customer communications across multiple channels and customer journeys. Businesses can focus on channel-, customer- and company-specific goals.
That’s the theory anyway. In practice, however, many companies are still miles away from achieving scalable marketing automation. We have often identified the reasons for this in our Marketing Automation Audit. They are a strategy that focuses too strongly on the system, data clutter, a lack of content guidelines and strategies, as well as channel-specific processes. Together these factors often put the brakes on sustainable marketing automation.