Marketing Automation - What it is?
Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier. " - Hubspot
Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks" - Wikipedia
Marketing automation is a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster - marketo
Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration, and campaign management. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would have otherwise been performed manually much more efficient, and makes new processes possible. Marketing automation is an integral component of customer relationship management. - SearchCRM
"Marketing" "Tasks" "Automated" are the 3 words which are common in most of the "Marketing Automation" definitions provided by Marketing automation product companies or crowd-writers. IMHO - these 3 words defines what marketing automation is - beyond that what ever is said are the benefits which this automation brings to table.
Most of the software product companies in this space actually seems to be niche products. Implementing Marketing Automation requires configuration of a software ecosystem(collection of software) which allows you to achieve the goal - "Automation to impact Top line"
Lets understand this with an example - say we wish to automate existing "Customer Segmentation". In order to have automated management of customer segmentation in place so that these segments can be targeted automatically, the required components are -
- A Data Store for Customer info - this may require Integration of various sources (SAP, Sales,Call center) of Customer Info into One store of Customer info with all attributes - This typically is a Multidimensional DB - or so called Data warehouse
- Behavior capturing - Various Analytics tool like Web Analytics, Click Analytics, In-page Analytics, Survey Analytics to capture user interaction on website and store behavior
- A Rule engine to configure rules for the definition of segments - I need customers who have visited my site in Jan 2016 within age group 30 - 40 , males, who have bought from me last year.
So one can see why it is only a fraction of marketers interested in marketing automation implementation since the projects requires - a complex IT ecosystem. This ecosystem has a pre-requisite of requirement definition, which in itself requires complete end to end point of view of end state. This is too much to ask from a Marketer, practically.
Marketing Automation is not an option but the only choice Brands have to
remain competitive in this “Digital” world. To put Marketing Automation to use
- Technology, and Time seems to be must along-with all other aspects like
Content, Rules, Data et.al.