Marketing automation: strategy, practice, evolutions and vendors
Marketing automation originally referred to software developed to automate so-called repetitive tasks and was often seen as a subset of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) enabling marketing divisions to increase efficiency. There is a strong link between marketing automation, content marketing, content management and other platforms.
Marketing automation has shifted away from the pure automation aspect to an integrated marketing approach whereby automated workflows, pre-defined scenarios and various customer-driven triggers are set up in a connected and omnichannel way. A single customer view is essential as is a connected approach, also regarding other systems (CRM, content management, content marketing, social media tools,…), that often however start getting integrated in the offerings of some vendors.
While most marketing automation software is rooted in the CRM and/or email marketing industry, and email marketing de facto is still the main channel used for automated marketing workflows, an increasing number of channels and touchpoints is being added constantly.