Marketing automation is basically defined as the act of employing technology and tools to automate marketing tasks, assess and measure marketing performance, increase productivity, and maximize marketing ROI. The marketing definition covers a wide range of activities that are part of marketing activities such as marketing research, measurement of marketing campaigns, and the execution of marketing plans. Marketing research involves collecting and interpreting data in order to support marketing strategies. Measurement of marketing campaigns involves creating reports that help marketers understand where marketing efforts are yielding the most positive results.

The execution of marketing automation processes can be applied in different ways. Some marketers execute marketing automation through the use of marketing automation tools while others make use of outsourced or automated systems. Automation of marketing campaigns can also be accomplished through developing and maintaining in-house marketing automation software programs. Outsourced systems and programs are also available for businesses that want to take marketing automation to the next level.

Most marketers and business owners find it convenient to automate repetitive marketing tasks via online marketing automation tools. This approach has several advantages over traditional processes. First, marketing automation tools help marketers focus on core marketing activities such as collecting customer data, segmenting the target market, analyzing customer responses, and formulating marketing campaigns. With the help of marketing automation software, marketers can easily create reports, generate reports from various sources, and track marketing campaigns. Marketing automation software can also be used to integrate marketing communications with the rest of an organization. It enables managers to monitor and control marketing activities within an organization.

Many marketing automation tools focus on tasks that allow users to focus on core marketing functions. One of these tasks is the generation of marketing email workflows. Workflows that generate marketing emails usually include autoresponder and lead nurturing functionality. These workflows provide marketers with a streamlined method for managing leads and managing multiple marketing campaigns.

Marketing automation solutions integrate seamlessly with existing marketing strategies. Marketers use marketing automation software to implement marketing initiatives such as email marketing, content marketing, and ad copy creation. Some marketers use the integration of marketing solutions to create adverts, coupons, and website content. Other marketers may only need marketing automation software to manage their workflow, while others may need it for everything marketing-related. The most useful marketing automation software solutions allow for integration across different workflows.

Apart from marketing automation tools that integrate with existing workflows, some marketing solutions integrate with Sales Funnel, an award-winning customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Sales Funnel is a popular product because it provides small businesses with comprehensive CRM functionality. It provides lead capture forms, email marketing capabilities, and workflow integration with other popular CRM tools. Sales Funnel makes it easy for small businesses to follow up with prospects after lead generation, build nurturing relationships with those prospects, and view marketing and customer data with one centralized location.

Another popular marketing automation platform is Jotform. Jotform integrates with many popular CRM tools, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, MS CRM, and icontact. Jotform provides all of the functionality necessary to create and manage marketing campaigns, including lead capture, prospecting, tracking of sales, analytics, and more. Jotform can be integrated with many online marketing automation platforms to provide small businesses with a fully featured customer relationship management system.

A marketing automation strategy should include all of these core functions: lead capture, relevant content, email marketing, ad campaigns, analytics, and workflow integration. Any good marketing automation solution should allow for these functions to be implemented in ways that are most cost-effective. Small business owners should also be able to set up their solutions with ease. All of these functions can be implemented in-house or in a hosted environment with web-based tools such as SharePoint. A marketing automation solution that covers all of these functions and offers the best practices of an integrated system makes a business more effective and streamlined.