August 7, 2018

4.6 : Marketing automation

4.6 : Marketing automation

Dr. Aleksej Heinze, Associate Professor at KEDGE Business School (France), Visiting Lecturer, Salford Business School, UK

The beauty of marketing of automation software is that again, depending on the budget of your organization, you can go from something that is fully integrated ecommerce website that gives you an opportunity to create content, listen to the customers, follow them on the customer journey, and interact with them on individual basis on those points.

Marketing automation software is designed to reduce repetitive tasks

Whilst these tools are great, you have to be aware of their impact on the recipient of the automated interaction

But there are also some very simple marketing automation tools that give you an opportunity to increase your email database, so for example a free email subscription would be MailChimp and you could have, if you were to use something that’s called WordPress, you can have a WordPress plugin that gives you an option for people to subscribe from your website directly into your email database. In the same way that MailChimp gives you an option to automatically create mailing lists, it also helps you to amplify your content through social media, and there are a number of tools that you might be able to use, for example for creating your content online by specifying certain key words and the tools will provide you some suggestions for the content you might want to look into.

So again, marketing automation is great but it’s also very important for you to bear in mind that it’s a human being who has to interact with those communications. It is useful to send automatic tweets to somebody who followed you but it might annoy others. So you have to review that and see how the automation is performing before you invest in more of those kind of activities.

Colin Telford, Managing Partner, The Candidate Ltd, UK

In terms of marketing automation tools, we would use some scheduling tools that exist for Twitter, for example, where you can schedule tweets in advance on Twitter or you could use Tweet Deck which sits over the top of Twitter to be able to automate the different tweets and information that goes out.

Examples of marketing automation tools:

Tweet scheduling to show the business is active 24/7

That way you can be seen to be a 24/7 business, one that is speaking and engaging with its customers through the night or at the weekends, which, for us, is important. We find that many of our candidates do research on a Sunday when they know that the week is ahead of them in terms of work and, therefore, we send out tweets that may be relevant to how to find the perfect job or are you being paid the right amount in terms of your salary band. So it’s a great way to be able to automate things and constantly be in touch with your online buyer persona.

Alex Charalambidis, Digital Marketing Strategist, MONKS, Greece

Yes, for example, for the sales campaigns, Google is giving us the AdWords Editor where you can optimize bulk key words or themes and there are some other tools where you can cross-combine different platforms. Let’s say you can have, in one platform, your Facebook advertising, Twitter advertising. You have better control.

Examples of marketing automation tools:

Bulk keywords editor for Google AdWords campaigns

Combining multiple platforms in a single scheduling tool


What tool works for you?

Review some of the tools suggested in the Additional Material section of this unit. Have you used any of these or do you know of a tool that really makes your marketing activities easy?

Please share below the one marketing automation tool that you feel all digital marketers should try out and say why it is better than its competitors.

Before posting your comments below, see if the same point has been made by others and if so reply to their comment. Once you have posted your contribution, comment on at least three contributions of your peers.

Additonal materials

Marketing automation

Within digital marketing there are a number of marketing automation tools, some are specific to a particular activity such as social media platforms management, others integrate the full digital marketing campaign flow. Please see below some of the tools.

Social Media Automation

Hootsuite – scheduling of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social platforms all in one place, as well as reporting and dashboards. Multi-team member management of tools – Free for basic use.

Tweetdeck – scheduling messages and monitoring through multiple Twitter accounts by multiple team members. Free to use.

SproutSocial – similar to Hootsuite offers multiple social platform management options – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and reporting for instagram – Free demo account.

Organic SEO Automation:

MOZ – detailed monthly SEO audits for your profiles and reports suggesting improvements – paid and free link comparison tools open site explorer and Twitter comparison – followerwonk

SEMRush – reporting on traffic and competitor analysis

RioSEO – Local SEO for Multi-Location Brands

Inbound marketing automation tools

WordPress – a free platform that is highly customisable and extendible for most small businesses – you can either download and customise your own installation or use the version – which limits your functionality

Hubspot – integrated marketing automation that combines analytics, with social and SEO activities

Salesforce Pardot Marketing Automation – integrated campaigns planning and monitoring tool

If you would like to see reviews in this area of marketing automation vsit


Digital Marketing & Analytics: Five Deadly Myths De-mythified!…

Automation tools…

Guide of automation tools…

Marketing automation solutions…

Sheth, J. N., & Sisodia, R. S. (2015). Does marketing need reform?: Fresh perspectives on the future. Routledge.…

For other sections of chapter 4 follow these links:

4. 0 How campaigns fit into a wider implementation of the overall organisation strategy
4.1 Example company campaign plan
4.2 Key elements of campaign management – Gantt chart
4.3 Risk management
4.4 Digital project management tools and techniques
4.5 Project plan monitoring and review
4.7 PPC campaign planning