As an integrated PR and marketing agency working with B2B tech companies, we have had our share of ‘what is marketing automation’ questions. The simple answer is that it’s a comprehensive term that can be used to describe many elements of a modern digital marketing strategy. The end goal? Spread awareness of a brand and its offerings to the most appropriate audience as well as stimulate interest in and purchases of those offerings.

Marketing automation for B2B tech companies can mean many different things. For some, it’s more about a technology platform that automates repetitive tasks like sending out mass emails, capturing contact information, integrating with CRM apps like Salesforce, and even helping with lead engagement through the use of chatbots. For others, marketing automation pertains to the numerous activities driving modern B2B marketing ranging from development of buyer personas and market segmentation strategies to launching omnichannel marketing campaigns and ongoing lead nurturing.

But don’t just take Swyft’s word for it. Let’s bring in a few heavyweights to answer ‘what is marketing automation’? These three companies have had massive influence on shaping the technology of marketing automation so who better to help finish defining the term?


HubSpot is a dominant player in marketing automation solutions for SMB companies. They have been credited for coining the term ‘inbound marketing,’ which refers to a content marketing strategy designed to pull prospects ‘inbound’ to a company’s website by having continuously fresh, value-added and SEO-friendly content that prospects appreciate and search engines rank highly on SERPs (search engine results pages).

HubSpot’s definition of marketing automation:

“Marketing automation is all about using software to automate marketing activities. Many marketing departments automate repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns — not just for the sake of efficiency, but so they can provide a more personalized experience for their customers. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.”


Salesforce knows a thing of two about marketing automation. As one of the earliest and by far the most dominant SaaS CRM solution on the planet, its core CRM technology integrates with just about every marketing automation platform solution on the market today. What’s more, Salesforce owns Pardot, one of the most highly-rated marketing automation platforms for large SMBs and small enterprises.

Salesforce’s definition of marketing automation:

“Marketing automation is technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.”


Marketo is a leader in the marketing automation solutions space. Like Salesforce’s Pardot, Marketo is designed more for larger SMBs and enterprises.

Marketo’s definition of marketing automation:

“Marketing automation is a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.”



The sources for ‘What is marketing automation?’ came from these pages:

HubSpot marketing automation definition source link.

Salesforce marketing automation definition source link.

Marketo marketing automation definition source link.


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