Getty Images/iStockphoto


8 types of marketing automation, with examples

Just as there are different types of marketing, automation types differ, too. Explore real-world examples of each type and learn how businesses can benefit from them.

Modern marketing teams use automation to stay competitive, streamline their efforts, improve CX and minimize manual tasks.

Marketing automation uses software to automate both common and complex tasks, enabling teams to become more efficient and deliver better, personalized experiences to their target audiences. Successful automation requires marketing leaders to find the right tools -- which differ based on the type of marketing automation -- and understand how each one fits into their overall goals.

As leaders identify which tools meet their objectives, they should develop a brand voice to use across all automated campaigns. This includes a wide range of tasks, from sending emails and managing social media campaigns to analyzing data and nurturing leads. Ultimately, a marketing automation tool should complete these tasks with minimal manual effort.

With the right combination of strategies and tools, the following types of marketing automation can help teams reach their target audiences and drive desired results.

1. Email marketing automation

Email marketing helps engage audiences with timely and personalized content, and can benefit most from automation. Email automation enables marketers to nurture leads, send targeted messages and analyze performance metrics while saving valuable time. Marketers can automate emails based on different list segments, user behavior, interactions with previous emails and more.

For example, a retail brand might use email marketing automation to send personalized product recommendations based on customers' past purchases and preferences. This strategy can enhance CX and boost the likelihood of repeat purchases.

2. Social media automation

Social media automation tools let marketers schedule posts, track engagement and manage multiple platforms seamlessly. This type of marketing automation ensures a consistent online presence and enables strategic planning for effective social campaigns. Modern marketing teams aim to create larger social presences for their brands than ever before. So, planning ahead and reducing manual post creation enables them to better evaluate and improve overall social programs.

For instance, a global brand likely manages its social media presence across various time zones. Social media automation tools can schedule posts to align with peak engagement times in different regions, which maximizes each post's reach and effectiveness.

A chart detailing five key facets of social media marketing.
Social media marketing is one of the best ways to reach broader audiences.

3. CRM automation

CRM automation is crucial to manage interactions throughout the customer lifecycle. It helps track customer data, analyze their behaviors and automate follow-up tasks, which can foster stronger relationships. Sales and marketing teams can gather a lot of data about a contact or a company into their CRM platform to identify trends, create ideal customer profiles and segment audiences into lists they can use to trigger more revenue-driving activities.

For example, a B2B company that uses CRM automation can better track communication with leads, assign lead scores based on engagement and automatically trigger follow-up emails or sales outreach when a lead reaches a predefined score. Overall, this would ensure timely and personalized interactions.

4. Omnichannel marketing automation

Omnichannel marketing automation integrates various channels to enable a unified experience for customers. This type of marketing automation helps marketers create consistent messaging across platforms for a seamless and immersive brand experience. If a brand spreads its message on different platforms, it can reach a wider audience, as that message shows up on customers' preferred channels.

For instance, a fashion retailer with both physical stores and an online presence could benefit from omnichannel automation. This strategy would ensure a customer who browses products online receives personalized recommendations through email, sees relevant ads on social media and encounters a consistent brand message when visiting a physical store.

5. Content marketing automation

Content marketing automation streamlines content creation, distribution and analysis. Marketers can plan and schedule content to ensure consistency and prepare content well before the eleventh hour, which makes for a more efficient content engine.

For example, a software company that implements content marketing automation can create a content calendar, schedule blog posts and automatically share updates across social media platforms. This strategy can save time and enable a steady flow of valuable content for the audience.

6. Web personalization automation

Web personalization automation adapts website content based on user behaviors, preferences and past interactions to enhance the user experience and increase the likelihood of conversion. Marketers can customize content depending on different personas, customers' actions or varying campaign enrollments. This effort helps teams minimize the amount of work they do, like creating different landing pages for individual campaigns and managing duplicate versions of similar content.

For instance, an e-commerce brand that automates web personalization can recommend products based on a user's browsing history and offer a more personalized and engaging shopping experience that drives conversions.

A chart listing seven benefits of personalized marketing strategies.
If marketers aim to adopt personalization as a type of marketing automation, they will likely see several benefits.

7. Analytics and reporting automation

Analytics and reporting automation tools gather and analyze marketing data to provide actionable insights. Marketers can make informed decisions, optimize strategies and demonstrate the effectiveness of their efforts through automated reporting. They can also schedule reports for key stakeholders to send on a scheduled basis to make timely discussions more relevant.

For example, a marketing team that uses analytics and reporting automation can track the performance of various campaigns in real time. Then, automated reports can highlight key metrics, such as conversion rates and ROI, so teams can make quick adjustments and improvements.

8. Ad campaign automation

Ad campaign automation can create, manage and optimize online advertising across platforms. This type of marketing automation ensures that teams maximize their ad spend for optimal results, with tools that can automatically adjust bids and target specific audiences.

For instance, an e-commerce business that runs a seasonal sale can use ad campaign automation to increase its visibility during peak shopping times. The automation can adjust ad budgets, target customer demographics that are most likely to convert and deliver targeted messages to maximize the promotion's effectiveness.

Key takeaways

In a landscape where personalization, efficiency and data-driven decision-making are paramount, marketing automation can help organizations succeed. This strategy harnesses the powers of several types of marketing and automates them, so marketers can navigate the complexities of engaging audiences and elevate their strategies.

These real-world examples can also guide marketers toward the potential that automation holds in transforming their marketing activities. In the future, the integration of these automation tools can drive more engagement, revenue and overall success in the evolving field of digital marketing.

Griffin LaFleur is a MarketingOps and RevOps professional working for Swing Education. Throughout his career, Griffin has also worked at agencies and independently as a B2B sales and marketing consultant.

Dig Deeper on Marketing and sales

Content Management
Unified Communications
Data Management
Enterprise AI