Definition: What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation can generally be defined as the type of software, web-based services and tactics that automate, streamline, and manage marketing workflows and tasks to enable businesses to increase their efficiency in operations and consequently grow their revenue faster.

Separating Fact from Myth

Marketing automation is often confused with email marketing. Marketing automation combines multiple consumer retention and acquisition channels (including email marketing) to conform to the conversion funnel of your company.

Myth: Marketing automation is inhuman, cold, and impersonal.

Fact: With marketing automation, you can easily send personalized and targeted messages to your customers. It’s a strong communication channel that adds a personal touch to your campaigns.

Myth: Marketing automation just another way of trying to spam people

Fact: No way! It’s a very user-friendly marketing method, as it’s designed around personalized user experience.

What Marketing Automation Entails

Marketing automation is largely about about combining content with software but the goal of the marketing department should be growing your following and email list significantly. It can be quite easy and straightforward to manage a list of 5 people. But what about 100? Remember that many companies deal with lists of more than 10,000 sometimes even 10 million.

Different platforms for marketing automation are formulated for different kinds of companies, and it’s therefore vital to research about the available options. Some of them include, MailChimp, Act-On, Marketo, GetResponse, Eloqua, Hubspot, etc. You need to determine which of them are best suited for your company. Since most have free trials, be sure to take advantage of this to get the experience before you buy.


  • Marketing automation is not impersonal. Actually, software will help your company enhance personal relationships with customers.
  • The heart of marketing is human relationships, which can be quite difficult to maintain at scale. You can bridge this gap through marketing automation.
  • When it’s well executed, your company can build strong relationships with prospects, to generate very valuable leads depending on your business model.
  • Marketing automation is ideal for companies of all sizes. Additionally, you won’t need to break your bank to get started. The idea is building the foundations early enough so that your company can grow.
  • The next article in our Marketing Automation series will help you find out exactly what you should automate, how to create personalized human-to-human relationships, and put more emphasis on email marketing and the conversion funnels.

Jeremiah Johnson is the Founder and Chief Modern Marketing Strategist at Touchline Marketing.   He built a social media site before Facebook, a cloud-based CRM system before Salesforce, and a website content management system before HubSpot.  Somehow he is still working for a living.  You can find Jeremiah on LinkedIn or on Twitter (@sidewebbing).