The use of automation technologies in marketing processes has been on the rise, and according to recent studies, will only continue to increase in the years to come. When you read the stats and research, it’s only natural to ask if you’re company is keeping up or falling behind when it comes to marketing efficiency, which drives the demand for automation. A quick check of the automation market shows there are many different types of platforms automating many different marketing processes, but the extent of automation companies need should be taken very much on an individual basis. So how do you know what’s going to work for your company and who’s just another “partner” you’re cutting a check to?
Simple vs. Complex
First, let’s try to define “automation” a little better. I would categorize automation technologies/software into two groups: Simple Automation and Complex Automation. Simple automation could be exemplified by an email marketing tool or an auto-responder or something of that nature. You could even throw in some social media applications that automate posting across multiple platforms if you wanted to interpret the term broadly. Complex automation technologies are systems rather than tools or apps. They integrate not just front-end, execution processes, but also manage back-end processes, such as production. Think of these as your marketing resource management (MRM) systems or collaborative creative production management systems.