According to Wikipedia, 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.

If you begin to do some research into what marketing automation is, you can quickly get overwhelmed. There are so many tools you can use and there are even more features and processes to try and manage. The term automation can be pretty deceiving when it comes to marketing automation. Yes, it does automate some tasks, but the strategy and tactics needed to get to that phase is anything buy automated. This is why it can be so overwhelming especially to small businesses with limited time.

Just to introduce you a bit to marketing automation, here are a list of features that are often included in marketing automation software solutions:

Central database
– Prediction and scoring
– CRM integration
– Lead management

Engagement tools
– Landing pages
– Campaign management
– Content marketing
– Email marketing
– Social marketing

– Marketing analytics

As you can see from this list, it can get overwhelming, very quickly. When I sat down to write this I really thought I was going to be able to put together a thorough overview of marketing automation, but it quickly became obvious that wasn’t going to happen. There are so many moving parts and for a lot of small businesses it is just too much to tackle at once. One of the most effective areas for small business to introduce marketing automation is to their email marketing. Some of the tools you are using for email marketing already have basic automation tools. For this reason, during June I’m going to introduce a few concepts to you.