Marketing Automation Comes of Age: The Maturing of the Marketing Solutions Technology Industry

December 1, 2014

by Daniel Fell

Daniel FellHealthcare marketers face a virtual smorgasbord of communications channels (digital and otherwise). Software tools, strategies, and tactics are being thrust on them every day by a marketplace constantly in flux and possessing an endless supply of new ideas and must-have marketing solutions. Sifting through the vast number of options and deciding where to focus limited marketing dollars—let alone the even more precious commodity of time—is a constant battle.

Knowing this, it may not be surprising that the oddly named practice of “marketing automation” has been a little slow to catch on in healthcare.

The name is a bit of a misnomer; while the strategy relies on automating some marketing, advertising, and lead generation tactics, it is also opening all kinds of opportunities for creativity, customer engagement, and more personalized, meaningful marketing.

Marketing automation—sometimes referred to as marketing management, inbound marketing, and even content marketing at times—is all the more confusing because it can be used as both verb (as in a process or practice) and noun (as in a technology or platform). While the technology platform is very important—and an essential cornerstone of successfully implementing a marketing automation strategy—it’s the overall concept that marketers need to understand and embrace. To that end, the name marketing automation doesn’t sound particularly creative or sexy, but the results certainly can be impressive when it’s done well.

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