What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation (MA) is the use of technology to manage and automate the process of nurturing prospects based on their interests until they are ready to buy, then passing the most qualified leads over to sales. Marketing automation streamlines sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions. Marketing automation solutions create sophisticated and engaging campaigns that automatically respond to prospect/customer behaviours and lifecycle segments. This technology typically works in connection with CRM systems like Salesforce, and is most effective when integrated with a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy. A simple analogy would be to think of marketing automation software as an all-in-one integrated solution (integrated marketing) for automating and managing marketing campaigns and processes. Marketing automation brings together all of your online marketing channels into one execution platform with centralized reporting and analytics (email, website analytics, web forms/landing pages, document downlads, webinars, etc.) It if offered by software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers such as Eloqua, Marketo, Aprimo and HubSpot.