What is Marketing Automation (& Why It Should Be A Priority)

Marketing automation is a valuable resource for businesses looking to streamline their processes and improve their client journey.
by Tamryn Mounier · April 2022


    So, you’ve heard the term marketing automation be tossed around, but why is it important? And more importantly… Why does it benefit your marketing operations?

    In today’s article, we will go over everything you need to know about marketing automation, and answer the following questions:

    • What is marketing automation?
    • What can marketing automation actually do?
    • The benefits of automation
    • The effect automation has on your client relationships (After all, maintaining a human touch is important for relationship building).
    • How to start automating your marketing

    In a world where technology is advancing at the speed of light, learning how to make digital tools and apps work for you, is a valuable asset.

    As such, it is no surprise that technology is a huge tool for business development and growth. Why? Because technology disrupts routine and repetitive tasks, bypassing manual labor and using technology to speed up the process.

    In terms of marketing automation, the benefits go far beyond saving time (and boredom) on the same repetitive tasks. In fact, using automation can scale marketing with tools that do the heavy-lifting for you.

    Marketing meeting with whiteboard and computer

    What is marketing automation?

    In short: Marketing automation is the process of using software to automate marketing tasks.

    In more detail: Marketing automation is defined as a process whereby software “talk” to one another and sends information to trigger a set of processes.  As such, marketers can leverage technology to replace manual posting of social media posts, email marketing, and provide a customer journey tailored to each individual.

    Essentially, marketing automation helps companies save time by automating processes by using software to fill in marketing tasks.

    The automation processes can be used for promotional activities, product integrations, and throughout the entire buyer’s journey.

    Man writing a workflow on a whiteboard

    Any growing organization that is looking to generate higher revenue requires alignment between resources, time, processes, and responsibilities. Automation is valuable to streamline processes and improve the workflow of business goals.

    What can marketing automation do?

    Marketing automation is a tool to help companies streamline their marketing processes and strengthen client relationships. The main goal is to simplify multistep processes in a rapid, cost-effective way without the need for routine tasks.

    Overall, the goal of business is to generate leads and retain customers. Moreover, the amount of data companies have stored can be overwhelming, and if not leveraged - wasted.

    The amount of data a company has ranges from form submissions, page views, interaction, and average time to close a deal. In essence, with marketing automation data can be used to create personalized workflows.

    With that being said, what can you actually do with marketing automation?  Here are some examples for inspiration.

    1.Automate the client journey

    Creating a client journey that is tailored to their customer’s needs should be the priority of every business. Not only does it generate an increase in sales, but it also nurtures lifetime customers and brand advocates (every marketer’s dream).

    However, time can be an issue. After all, you can’t send out personalized emails and content to every potential prospect. Or… can you? With marketing automation, you can create workflows that function with if/then statements. Simply put, you can automatically direct content that fits the customer based on a set of triggers and options.

    In this case, the customer has the steering wheel, with their data and history of interactions dictating the next move of the workflow.

    Therefore, you relieve the time dedication, task allocation, and siloed communication between the sales and marketing teams, and instead replace it with a beautifully tailored client journey.

    employees working on a workflow whiteboard

    Looking for a concrete example? Here’s how to add personalized images to your Mailchimp email campaigns.

    2. Automate social media promotion

    Social media marketing is a key to building brand awareness, community engagement, and product promotion. However, posting new blog promotions and products can be a monotonous and repetitive task. Moreover, it requires continuous image creation and promotion for each platform.

    Save time by automating social media promotion with technology. Additionally, the content gets updated on time and frequently, eliminating the manual upload process.

    Different types of Twitter cards for social media

    Sound too good to be true? We’ve created a tutorial for you to learn How to Automate Social Media Images Using Airtable.

    3. Automate data analytics and processes.

    Every interaction a customer has with your company online is recorded with a data point. Each data point tells a story of where clients find your product, what they are interested in, and how they interact with your content. However, this leads to an absurd amount of data.

    Using marketing automation software, companies can study customers’ problems, and deliver them the correct content to solve their needs.

    data graph for marketing

    Marketing automation tools can do anything from alerting employees when a new form is submitted, to autogenerate images to promote new blogs, the opportunities are endless!

    Marketing automation can be used to save time and automate processes that normally require a manual “ click” button to push action.

    Sound interesting? Here is some inspiration,check out 10 ways to scale your marketing with Zapier

    Benefits of Marketing Automation

    There are many benefits to automation that vary from one company to another, but to summarise it in one point:   save time and resources.

    1. Set up once, use infinitely.

    The most time-consuming part of setting up automation is the setup. There are two pieces of good news though: You don’t need to know code, and once it’s set up, that’s it.

    Once, you’ve set up your triggers and your desired outcome, the process will automate infinitely until you deactivate it.

    Moreover, the workflow will be tailored to different triggers, which means that customers will receive a customer journey that solves their individual problem.

    That means, theoretically, you will never have to spend time writing the same email again, and again, and…again. Once your customer has entered a workflow, all the predefined emails are sent automatically and instantly.

    Marketing person multitasking with laptop and mobile

    2. Marketing automation makes routine tasks faster

    The very nature of automation is to let technology take over routine tasks.

    For example, imagine you’re a content writer for a SaaS company, every time a new blog is uploaded to the website you need to create promotional content for all the social media platforms. This takes up time from the tasks that could be generating a higher impact. The answer? Automate the process, so you can concentrate on the important things.

    3. Immediate response ( avoid human delay)

    We hate to admit it, but there is always room for human error. Even the best digital gurus aren’t as fast as technology. However, you can dramatically remove any risk of forgetting or loss of time between tasks by having a helpful automation process.

    As soon as a trigger is set, there is an immediate response. Automatically.

    Time is money, and information is power. The use of automation holds both advantages and contains all the information about the trigger. The data gathered can fine-tune your process for the future and improve the buyer’s journey.

    4. Save time and money by automating

    Automation helps routine tasks become automatic and as such, you save time on human resources so you can focus on the most important tasks, without compromising on the quality of service you deliver to clients.

    Automation removes the question of task allocation, time management, and processes. Instead, it offers a solution to ensure that processes are done without it interfering with operations.

    Employees looking at a problem on whiteboard

    Does marketing automation affect client satisfaction?

    The bread and butter of every business are its customers. Ensuring their satisfaction and happiness is crucial to increasing sales and LTV.

    However, does marketing automation harm or improve client relations?

    Although there might be hesitancy towards using digital tools to communicate with customers for fear of losing the human touch. Automation tools and processes have advanced so far, that they are able to create tailored, brand customized, and immediate personal communication that ensures that the client feels appreciated.

    Therefore, with the level of detail and data for each contact, automation drives qualified leads into prospects with helpful content. The result? Happy, loyal customers that become brand advocates.

    Bear Tip 🐻  Automation processes hold valuable data that can be used as insight to improve interactions, content, and client acquisition strategies.

    Man smiling at laptop

    How do I start automating my marketing? Next steps.

    1. Choose your software.

    The barrier to working with marketing automation software is lowering by the day, thanks to no-code tools.

    Marketing automation requires integration and API ( Application Programming Interface) software that can communicate data with one another through integrations.

    Once different software has been “connected”, information from one system will pass to another to perform a determined task.

    For example:

    When a blog gets published to Wordpress, a Zap is sent to Bannerbear informing the system that new content has been published. Then, Bannerbear automatically creates social media images to promote the new blog content from predefined image templates.

    The ability to connect apps without coding allows companies to automate their processes faster, and with more integration opportunities.

    2. Set your goals

    Keeping your business goals top of mind will help filter which processes should be allocated first.

    Start by prioritizing your goals and then work from there. Your business goals should be the north star of your automation processes.

    Your goals will not only help you direct efforts and processes for automation, but will also be a tool to measure success and progress.

    businesses meeting on sofa with whiteboard

    3. Start your own automation processes.

    Choose which marketing task you’d like to automate, and develop further from there. There are many opportunities, but here are a few ideas to start off with:

    We have a whole library of automation tutorials for you to choose from, get inspired 🐻.

    Bannerbear automation and scale marketing product

    Overall, marketing automation is here, and here to stay. The advantages of time and resource allocation means marketers get more time to spend on tasks with high impact.

    The shift to automation technology will widen the gap between companies that are geared towards leveraging customer data and media production, vs. those that remain restricted to manual labor and simplified data.

    Looking to start automating? Automate your image generation with Bannerbear’s powerful API integrations and template editor.

    About the authorTamryn Mounier@TamrynMounier
    Tamryn specializes in inbound marketing for High-growth SaaS start-ups. She is interested in the role technology plays in business development and social integration.

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    What is Marketing Automation (& Why It Should Be A Priority)
    What is Marketing Automation (& Why It Should Be A Priority)