Forms of Marketing Automation

a computer monitor on the table

Marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate marketing efforts. The use of marketing automation streamlines marketing workflows, allowing enterprises to save time and to further focus on strategic tasks.

Not only does marketing automation save time, but it also drives more sales and reduces marketing costs. Studies show that marketing automation improves sales by up to 14.5% and reduces marketing overheads by 12.2%.

Below are the forms of marketing automation that are commonly used by most organizations.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Automation

As the name suggests, customer relationship management allows you to manage relations with current and potential customers effectively.  

Today’s CRM software often uses artificial intelligence (AI) to integrate customer data, allowing a marketing team to access it in one place. This includes contact information, location, gender, age, and other forms of data (such as psychographics) that can be used for marketing purposes.

CRM automation also allows an organization to target customers based on their stage in the customer journey. For example, if someone is in the consideration stage, you can tell them why they should choose your product to solve their problem.

Not only does CRM automation allow effective customer handling, but it also makes communication easier within the organisation and across functions.  

Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing is often the most effective digital marketing strategy in terms of return on investment (ROI). However, it can often take more time to drive profitable action from the leads compared to other forms of marketing.

Email marketing automation is when you let a program send pre-scheduled emails corresponding to the stage of a subscriber.

Automation can be used easily to personalise email marketing. These emails are triggered and sent to the prospects automatically when they take certain actions.

For example, when someone signs up for the newsletter of an organisation, a welcome email is sent to their inbox. Or, an email is pre-designed to be sent out to the prospects on their birthdays offering them a discount.

Social Media Marketing Automation

The fact that almost half of the world’s population uses social media presents a great opportunity to organizations trying to reach new prospects.

In the absence of social media marketing automation, this would have required more manpower and resources to cater to different social media marketing channels.

However, social media automation software can handle content posting, customer responses (chatbots), and tracking (analytics) across all social media channels. This allows organizations to focus on strategic brainstorming rather than getting involved in repetitive tasks.

Marketing Analytics Automation

Marketing analytics allows enterprises to garner the data of their marketing campaigns and eliminate shortcomings.

Marketing analytics automation software is used to track different types of marketing campaigns e.g. emails, ads, webpage, social media, and more, allowing an organization to analyze and improve its marketing performance.


Automation is leading the way in almost every industry. Marketing automation saves time and maximizes customer acquisition. And, it is only going to improve in the future. This was a short insight into forms of marketing automation.

  • To learn about Robot Process Automation, click here.
  • Here is an in-depth course from HubSpot on email marketing automation.
  • And, here is an insight into how you can automate customer service.

Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, E. (2016) Digital marketing: strategy, implementation, and practice. 6th ed. New York: Pearson.

Chaffey, D. and Smith, P. R. (2017) Digital marketing excellence: Planning, optimizing and integrating online marketing. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Ryan, D. (2020) Understanding digital marketing: marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation. Kogan Page Publishers.


Järvinen, J. and Taiminen, H. (2016) Harnessing marketing automation for B2B content marketing. Industrial Marketing Management, 54, pp.164-175.

Wood, C. (2015) Marketing automation: Lessons learnt so far…. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 16(4), pp.251-254.

Published by Dr John Bustard

I am currently a Lecturer in Digital Transformation within Ulster University Business School, specifically within the school's largest department: Management, Leadership and Marketing. Previously, as a researcher, lecturer and doctoral candidate I focused on digital events and delivered classes to MSc & BSc level. My duties have included coordinating and guest lecturing on Marketing Communications, Enterprise & New Venture Creation, e-Business Strategy, Research Methods. My particular passion is through exploring Digital Marketing approaches which enhance student awareness and appreciation of the impact of digital and an enquiring mind to understand future technology applications. *All views are my own*

Leave a Reply