marketing automation

Pardot or Pard-Not? Power Up Your Mar Tech Engine with Marketing Automation

Table of Contents

Most Marketers Don’t Fully Understand Mar Tech OR Marketing Automation – So Here’s The Down And Dirty

Picture this: You’re standing at the edge of a vast digital landscape.

A frontier teeming with potential customers.

mar tech
Midjourney Prompt: You're standing at the edge of a vast digital landscape a frontier teeming with potential customers, --stylize 500

Each one a unique puzzle waiting to be solved.

In your hands, you hold a toolboxyour Mar Tech arsenal.

Filled with the latest and greatest in marketing technology.

At your side, your trusty vehicleyour Marketing Automation platform.

Purrs quietly, ready to propel you into the heart of the action.

You’ve just entered the thrilling world of Marketing Technology and Automation!

A world where creativity meets technology, where data drives decisions, and where the right tools can turn marketing magic into a reality.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing pro or a curious newcomer, buckle up…

We’re about to embark on a journey through the galaxies of Mar Tech, the highways of Marketing Automation, and the winding roads of strategy and implementation.

We’ll explore the ins and outs of Mar Tech, delve into the specifics of Marketing Automation, and even take a test drive of some of the top Marketing Automation platforms on the market.

We’ll break down complex concepts, bust common myths, and provide practical tips to help you navigate this exciting landscape.

Ready to rev up your marketing engine and hit the open road?

Then let’s get started!

What Is Mar Tech (Marketing Technology)?

Ah, Mar Tech, the belle of the digital marketing ball.

If you’re not familiar with this term, don’t fret.

We’re about to dive into the deep end of the marketing pool, and trust me, the water’s just fine.

marketing technology

Mar Tech, short for Marketing Technology, is the shiny new moniker for the broad range of tools and software used by savvy marketers to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows.

It’s like the Swiss Army knife of the marketing world, packed with a tool for every conceivable situation.

Now, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that just marketing automation?

Well, my astute reader, you’re not entirely off base, but there’s a bit more to it.

Imagine Mar Tech as the entire galaxy of marketing tools, platforms, and software available to us marketers.

It’s vast, it’s expansive, and it’s constantly evolving.

It includes everything from email marketing software to customer relationship management (CRM) systems, from social media management tools to analytics platforms, and everything in between.

In essence, Mar Tech is the technological backbone of modern marketing efforts.

It’s the engine that powers the marketing machine, enabling businesses to reach their customers more effectively, track their marketing efforts with precision, and ultimately, drive more sales.

But here’s the real kicker:

Mar Tech isn’t just about the tools.

It’s also about how these tools are used. It’s about leveraging technology to create more personalized, targeted, and effective marketing campaigns.

It’s about using data to make smarter decisions and deliver better results.

So, if Mar Tech is the galaxy, then data is the dark matter that holds it all together.

It’s the unseen force that influences everything we do in the marketing world.

And just like in astrophysics, understanding this dark matter (data) is key to unlocking the full potential of our Mar Tech galaxy.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…

This all sounds great, but how does Mar Tech differ from marketing automation?

Well, dear reader, I’m glad you asked.

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore in the next section.

So, buckle up, because we’re about to take a thrilling ride into the heart of the Mar Tech vs. Marketing Automation debate.

Stay tuned, because this is where things get really interesting.

What Is Marketing Automation?

It’s time to rev up those engines and take a closer look at our Marketing Automation vehicle.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re stuck in the slow lane when it comes to managing your marketing tasks, then this is the turbo boost you’ve been waiting for.

Marketing Automation, as we’ve touched on briefly, is a specific subset of Mar Tech.

It’s the sleek, high-performance vehicle in your Mar Tech garage that’s designed to automate repetitive marketing tasks, streamline your workflows, and drive your marketing efforts to new heights.

But what does that mean, exactly?

Well, let’s pop the hood and take a look.

marketing automation before and after

At its core, Marketing Automation is all about efficiency and personalization.

It’s about using technology to automate manual, time-consuming tasks, freeing up your time to focus on strategy and creativity.

It’s about delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time, on the right platform.

Imagine being able to send out personalized emails to thousands of customers.

To track their engagement

Segment them based on their behavior

And tailor your future communications to their specific needs and interestsall without lifting a finger.

That’s the power of Marketing Automation.

But it’s not just about email marketing.

Marketing Automation platforms can also automate tasks across a range of other channels, including social media, websites, SMS, and more.

They can help you manage your customer data, track your marketing campaigns, generate detailed reports, and provide insights to help you refine your strategies.

In essence, your Marketing Automation vehicle is like a high-tech, self-driving car.

It can navigate the complex terrain of the digital marketing landscape, adapt to changing conditions, and get you to your destination more efficiently.

But just like a self-driving car, it needs to be programmed with the right data and instructions.

That’s where you come in. As the marketer, you’re the one in the driver’s seat.

You’re the one setting the destination, plotting the course, and making the strategic decisions.

The Marketing Automation vehicle is there to assist you, to make your journey smoother and faster, but it’s not going to replace you.

In fact, one of the most common misconceptions about Marketing Automation is that it’s a set-it-and-forget-it solution.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Marketing Automation is a tool, and like any tool, it’s only as effective as the person using it.

So, as we delve deeper into the world of Marketing Automation, remember this

Your Marketing Automation vehicle is a powerful machine, but it’s not going to drive itself.

You need to take the wheel, steer it in the right direction, and keep your foot on the gas.

Mar Tech vs Marketing Automation

Alrighty then, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

Mar Tech vs Marketing Automation: Two heavyweights in the marketing arena.

But how do they stack up against each other?

Are they rivals, or do they play on the same team?

Let’s find out!

how marketing automation fits into mar tech

First, let’s clear up a common misconception:

Mar Tech and Marketing Automation are not adversaries.

They’re more like two sides of the same coin, or better yet, two ingredients in the same marketing cocktail.

Think of Mar Tech as the umbrella term that encompasses all the technology used in marketing, as we discussed in the previous section.

It’s the entire toolkit, the full spectrum of digital tools and software that marketers use to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

On the other hand, Marketing Automation is a subset of Mar Tech.

It’s one of the tools in the Mar Tech toolkit, so to speak.

Marketing Automation specifically refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to automate repetitive tasks, streamline marketing workflows, and more effectively market on multiple online channels.

In other words, if Mar Tech is the entire galaxy, then Marketing Automation is a specific solar system within that galaxy.

It’s a crucial part of the Mar Tech universe, but it’s not the whole picture.

Marketing Automation platforms, which we’ll delve into later, allow marketers to automate tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns.

These platforms can also provide detailed analytics and insights, helping marketers understand their audience better and refine their strategies accordingly.

But here’s the thing:

While Marketing Automation is a powerful tool, it’s not a magic bullet.

It’s not going to solve all your marketing challenges on its own.

It’s a vehicle that can help you reach your marketing goals, but you still need to know how to drive it.

You need a strategy, a roadmap, and a clear understanding of your audience.

And that’s where the broader Mar Tech landscape comes into play.

By leveraging the full range of Mar Tech tools – not just Marketing Automation – you can create more comprehensive, integrated, and effective marketing campaigns.

You can collect and analyze data from multiple sources, personalize your messaging, and engage with your audience on multiple channels.

So, in the grand scheme of things, Mar Tech and Marketing Automation are not rivals.

They’re partners. They work together, each playing its part in the larger marketing strategy.

Now that we’ve cleared up the Mar Tech vs. Marketing Automation debate, it’s time to shift gears and delve into the world of Marketing Automation in more detail.

In the next section, we’re going to explore the concept of your Marketing Automation vehicle.

So, stay tuned, because we’re about to take a thrilling test drive.

Your Marketing Automation Vehicle

Time to put on your mechanic’s hat and roll up your sleeves.

We’re about to take a deep dive under the hood of your Marketing Automation vehicle.

marketing automation vehicle diagram framework processes strategy and automation

We’re going to break it down into its core components:

  • The Motor (Automation)
  • The Oil (Processes)
  • The Frame (Framework)
  • The Fuel (Marketing Strategy)

Each of these components plays a crucial role in the overall performance of your Marketing Automation vehicle.

So, let’s get our hands dirty and start tinkering!


In order to get the vehicle moving, and begin implementing your visions, you will need a motor…

Your motor is your automation.

It’s the central processing unit of your entire system.

It’s the engine that drives your campaigns, automates your tasks, and propels your marketing vehicle forward.

Marketing Automation platforms are the high-performance motors in your vehicle.

They’re designed to automate a wide range of marketing tasks, from email marketing and social media management to customer segmentation and analytics.

But remember, a motor is only as good as the fuel it’s running on.

And in the case of Marketing Automation, that fuel is data.

The more high-quality data you feed into your motor, the better it will perform.

So, always ensure you’re collecting, analyzing, and utilizing your data effectively.

You know if you hit the gas pedal (input), your vehicle will move forward (output).

How else does your vehicle move?

It needs lubrication to work properly…

So how about the Oil?


The oil is your lubricant, your processes.

Your vehicle cannot function without the right processes in place to keep the vehicle working properly.

The better defined those processes are, the higher the quality of oil you have.

When processes become outdated or ineffective you run the risk of damaging your motor.

Have you or anyone you worked with ever heard the saying, “Well, we’ve always done it this way!

Yeah – this is meant for that guy!

Just like oil in a vehicle, your processes need to be refined and optimized for maximum efficiency.

This means identifying repetitive tasks that can be automated, streamlining your workflows, and eliminating any unnecessary steps.

This is equivalent to analyzing and optimizing those processes.

Finding new, better, or updated tools for the jobs you require.

Make small changes to the processes in order for them to operate at a higher level.

Your Marketing Automation platform can help you do this by providing tools for task automation, workflow management, and process optimization.

But remember, it’s up to you to use these tools effectively.

You need to regularly check and maintain your processes, just like you would check and change the oil in your vehicle.

Starting to see how the automation and processes need to work in tandem?

One cannot function without the other.

If you have a motor but no oil, it’ll burn up.

If you have oil but no motor, you’ll be sitting in a broken-down vehicle trying to figure out why it won’t work.

This is the foundation that needs to be set so you can, at the very least… move!


Now you need a frame for your vehicle.

The frame is the framework (easy right!).

The Framework, the unsung hero of your Marketing Automation vehicle.

If the Motor is the heart, the Oil is the lubricant, and the Fuel is the driving force, then the Framework is the skeleton that holds everything together.

The framework allows you to implement your processes.

OR, the ‘structure‘ to your marketing strategy.

It’s the blueprint that outlines how your various marketing tools and tactics fit together.

It’s the chassis that supports your Motor, houses your Oil, and channels your Fuel.

Just like the frame of a vehicle, your Framework needs to be strong, flexible, and well-designed.

It needs to support your marketing efforts, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand the bumps and knocks of the marketing landscape.

You need to understand:

Building a solid Framework is like building a sturdy vehicle frame.

It requires careful planning, precise execution, and regular maintenance.

But when done right, it can support your Marketing Automation vehicle and help it perform at its best.

Now your processes are confined within this framework; that regulates the way and sequence in which they are executed.

It’s the underlying structure of your entire system.

The motor generates the output from the processes.

And the framework creates movement from the output of the motor.

Basically – Your framework is how you get things done.

Now the vehicle is prepped and ready for forward progression.

So now you are going to need fuel.


Finally, we have the Fuel…

What is the fuel?

The fuel is your marketing strategy.

The driving force behind your Marketing Automation vehicle.

The roadmap that guides your marketing efforts.

Your Marketing Automation platform is a powerful tool, but it’s not a strategy in itself.

It’s a vehicle that can help you reach your marketing goals, but you still need to know where you’re going.

You need a clear marketing strategy, a roadmap that outlines your objectives, target audience, messaging, and tactics.

Your Marketing Automation platform can help you execute your strategy more effectively, but it’s up to you to set the direction.

The marketing expertise should come from your business.

There is not some 3rd party or self-help guru that can do this for you.

It doesn’t matter if all you do is the operations and that requires you to build rockets all day…

NOBODY outside of your business should know more about YOUR marketing strategy or how to market your business than you.

Without a strategy, you have no fuel and thus, no progression.

There are many people out there that have a beautiful car with an empty tank.

And instead of trying to fill it with fuel (implement a strategy) they are looking to replace the motor…

They think, oh maybe I need an oil change!..

They’re looking to put air in the tires…

They’re looking everywhere else, except for where they should be looking – their strategy!

It’s your strategy that fuels everything.

The strategy IS your fuel and the type of strategy determines the type of fuel.

So the better your strategy, the better your fuel.

Developing a top-notch strategy will also help you determine which tools you should be using.

The strategy is the fuel and the tools are the quality of the fuel.

Understanding these basic principles will help you develop your marketing automation plan and create a well-oiled marketing automation infrastructure.

purchase funnel

Here is a glimpse of what an eCommerce Marketing Automation Eco-System looks like (from Ezra Firestone)…

Now that we’ve covered all the core components of your Marketing Automation vehicle, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the top models on the market.

In the next section, we’ll explore some of the leading Marketing Automation Platforms and see how they can supercharge your marketing efforts.

So, keep your seatbelts fastened, because we’re about to hit the accelerator.

Marketing Automation Platforms

Marketing Automation Platforms are the high-performance vehicles in your Mar Tech garage.

They are software tools designed to automate repetitive marketing tasks, streamline workflows, and measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

These platforms can help you manage your customer data, track your marketing campaigns, generate detailed reports, and provide insights to help you refine your strategies.

They range from enterprise-level solutions to more affordable options suitable for small businesses.

Let’s take a look at a few options…

salesforce pardot


This is a powerful marketing automation platform owned by Salesforce.

It’s designed for B2B companies and offers features like lead management, email marketing, and ROI reporting.

However, it comes with a hefty price tag, making it more suitable for larger businesses with a bigger budget.

7.5Expert Score
Pardot – Robust And Comprehensive
Pardot is a robust and comprehensive platform, especially beneficial for B2B companies and those already using Salesforce. However, its high cost and complexity may not suit all businesses.
  • Comprehensive Features
  • Seamless Integration With Salesforce CRM
  • Robust Analytics
  • High Cost
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • May Be Overkill For Small Businesses
hubspot marketing hub links your tools and experiences to unite your teams, all on top of a platform that connects your data


This platform offers a wide range of marketing tools, including email marketing, social media management, and analytics.

It allows you to store up to 15 million contacts for a relatively affordable monthly fee.

9Expert Score
Hubspot – User-Friendly And Supportive
HubSpot is renowned for its user-friendly interface and wide range of tools. It’s suitable for businesses of all sizes, but some advanced features require higher-tier plans.
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Excellent Customer Support
  • Wide Range Of Tools
  • Some Advanced Features Require Higher-Tier Plans
  • Integration With Non-HubSpot Platforms Can Be Tricky
Brevo The Best Value in Email Marketing Tools


This is a total digital marketing platform suitable for businesses of all sizes.

It includes a CRM for storing customer data and allows for personalized marketing messages triggered by real-time customer activity.

8Expert Score
Brevo – Good Option For Small Businesses
Brevo is a great option for small to medium-sized businesses, especially for email marketing. It offers a free plan, but its features may not be as comprehensive as some other platforms.
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Good For Email Marketing
  • Includes A Free Plan
  • Limited Integrations
  • Some Features Lack Depth
Zoho CRM software that manages your sales, marketing and support in one CRM platform


This platform is great for personalized lead management at scale.

It’s part of the larger Zoho suite of business applications, allowing for seamless integration with other Zoho products.

7Expert Score
Zoho CRM – Great Value For The Cost
Zoho CRM offers good value for money and integrates well with other Zoho products. However, its interface and customer support could be improved.
  • Affordable
  • Good Integration With Other Zoho Products
  • Strong Lead Management Features
  • Interface Can Be Clunky
  • Customer Support Could Be Better
ContactPigeon Personalize your marketing and customer interactions for optimal business results


This is an award-winning Omnichannel marketing automation platform that focuses on sending the right message, at the right time, with the right content.

7.5Expert Score
ContactPigeon – Strong Omnichannel Capabilities
ContactPigeon offers strong omnichannel capabilities and is user-friendly. However, it may lack some advanced features and might not scale well for very large businesses.
  • Omnichannel Capabilities
  • User-Friendly
  • Good Customer Support
  • Limited Advanced Features
  • May Not Scale Well For Very Large Businesses
VBOUT offers several marketing tools into one powerful platform


This is a multichannel marketing automation solution that provides a variety of marketing automation capabilities in its flagship platform.

It’s designed with a customer-centric approach.

7.5Expert Score
VBOUT – Multichannel Marketing Capabilities
VBOUT provides a variety of marketing automation capabilities and has a customer-centric approach. However, its interface can be overwhelming, and some features may lack depth.
  • Multichannel Capabilities
  • Customer-Centric Approach
  • All-In-One Solution
  • Interface Can Be Overwhelming
  • Some Features Lack Depth

Remember, the best platform for you depends on YOUR specific needs, budget, and marketing goals (so don’t get too hung up on the scores).

Consider your options carefully, take advantage of free trials, and choose the platform that best fits your business.

Lastly – our final thoughts for you to consider on your Mar Tech and Marketing Automation journey.

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up our journey through the world of Mar Tech and Marketing Automation, it’s time to take a step back and reflect on what we’ve learned.

We’ve explored the vast galaxy of Mar Tech, delved into the specifics of Marketing Automation, and even taken a test drive of some of the top Marketing Automation platforms on the market.

But what does all this mean for you and your business?

First and foremost, remember that Mar Tech and Marketing Automation are tools to help you achieve your marketing goals.

They’re not magic bullets that will solve all your marketing challenges overnight.

They require a clear strategy, thoughtful implementation, and ongoing management to be effective.

Second, remember that the best Mar Tech or Marketing Automation platform for you depends on your specific needs, goals, and budget.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Take the time to understand your requirements, explore your options, and choose the platform that best fits your business.

Third, don’t forget about the human element.

While Mar Tech and Marketing Automation can automate many tasks, they can’t replace the creativity, intuition, and strategic thinking that you bring to the table.

Use these tools to enhance your capabilities, not replace them.

Finally, keep learning and evolving.

The world of Mar Tech and Marketing Automation is constantly changing, with new tools, trends, and best practices emerging all the time.

Stay informed, stay flexible, and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.

In conclusion, Mar Tech and Marketing Automation are powerful allies in the quest for marketing success.

They can help you streamline your workflows, engage with your audience more effectively, and drive better results.

So, buckle up, take the wheel, and enjoy the ride.

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Sam sprague
Sam Sprague

Founder @ Sprague Media.
I'm the one who comes up with all this snarky & cynical Marketing nonsense ;)
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