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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Integrating automation tools

In order to streamline certain tasks which can be effectively conducted by machines, saving both time and money, we can implement a series of automation tasks across our inbound marketing efforts. When applied correctly, marketing automation tools can do great things, like dynamically serve or modify web page content and personalize it to certain segments of your website visitors to get the best response, and send emails out to customer segments and leads based on criteria which is set.

If this, then that

For example, customers can be taken on different journeys depending on how they interact with your email content. A series of automation rules and journeys is called a workflow. Now, setting up a workflow is a list of what's called "if this, then that" settings, and it's a system that allows us to automate based on logic.

"If this, then that" is a way of using logic and options to decide what happens next after someone takes an action. For example, if someone clicks on email link one, then send email two. Or if someone does not click on email link one, send email number three. So, this allows us to anticipate what might happen. And it's anticipating and knowing what users might do with your content that allows you to kind of display different things on your website, create different scenarios, send different emails, and automate a different transactional workflow to engage with that consumer.

Of course, a further enhancement of automation is that many marketing automation tools can be integrated with your CRM, allowing you to personalize content on your website to individual users within that database or send them highly specific emails to their needs.

Rules and workflows

Rules and workflows can be settled based on CRM segments relating to things like customer criteria. For example, how much did they spend in the last 30 days? This is a great way of figuring out what are the type of workflows you want to send for this particular person. We can also look at whether they're a top-tier client, we can look at their purchase history, we can look at length of time as a customer, and their location.

When deciding on your automation workflows, choose high-impact criteria as a way of segmenting customers and aim to deliver them the most relevant content for their needs and their stage of the customer journey because it's all about them.

Now, streamlining the automation processes can really increase the effectiveness of your digital channels by allowing the machines to automate and optimize the processes faster, more accurately, and at times when humans simply can't influence the channel mix. And in that regard, that is how marketing automation can enhance your overall channel strategy.

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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Digital Channels
    Cathal Melinn
    Skills Expert

    This module opens with a comprehensive overview of channel planning including the challenges this presents to marketers. It covers inbound and outbound strategies, cross media planning, the digital channel mix, and mobile marketing. Next, the module dives deeper into key topics related to each of the channels, covering social media marketing and content marketing strategy, search engine marketing, SEO, conversion rate optimization, and paid search, email and affiliate marketing, and display and video advertising, including ad formats and creative.