Marketing automation is a fast-growing discipline. In particular, the shift to online media has enabled automation to gain a foothold.

Increasingly, marketers have access not only to what messages resonate with customers, but who responds to them and these individuals' brand interactions in the past, Adage explains. All of this data together allows marketers to automatically personalize content to prospective customers. 

Personalization of content on a large scale and the opportunities this affords for engagement is what "sits at the core of marketing automation," Adage asserts.

Marketing-automation software allows for content personalization, relationship building and smart engagement. 

In terms of content personalization, marketing-automation software is able to trigger communications if a customer performs a specific action. For example, when a customer abandons an online shopping cart with a certain item, the vendor can send an email with a special offer for the product.

Marketing-automation also promotes relationship building. Business-2-Business buyers report that they do a significant amount of research on a company before even deciding to reach out to a sales rep. "Marketing-automation systems can be used to develop prospects, pushing useful information about product categories in order to build trust," Adage explains. Before getting a buyer to agree to a partnership, it is incumbent on the company to develop their trust. 

Adage emphasizes that the greatest benefit of marketing-automation is ability to tailor a message to someone based on how far along they are in the buying process. A prospect who visits the company's pricing page offers a strong sign that he may be ready to buy. Content that is relevant to that stage, including competitive analysis, can be helpful.

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