Marketing Automation Trends: The LatestMarketing automation software can be a powerful tool for your organization — if you know how to use it. Recent advances mean the capabilities of marketing automation have grown dramatically. Deciding which features are right for your organization takes research and consideration — not only for what you need now, but what you might need in the future. This week, I’ve rounded up some articles that look at the latest in what marketing automation can do and what may be in store in the months to come.

The Striking Parallels Between Marketing Automation and Software Engineering. Chief Marketing Technologist: “‘The similarities between marketing and engineering are rather astounding,’ says Isaac Wyatt of New Relic. ‘Marketers who are in charge of designing, implementing, and deploying automation programs — whether it is nurturing campaigns or lead data flows — have to think how those new programs will, or will not, interact with existing automated flows, existing processes. They also have to think about the people who will interact with them now and potentially in the future as the system changes. At the same time, they have to be building the platform for maximum flexibility and preserve future implementation options, to avoid being stuck with legacy programs that are hard to dismantle.’”

The Full-Time Funnel: Improving B2B Lead Nurturing with Marketing Automation. Business: “No one wants to be spammed. On the flip side, failing to stay in regular contact with leads means you may no longer be top of mind when they’re finally ready to make a purchase. And if you’re not touching base with your leads on a regular basis, then you won’t know what your leads need, making it nearly impossible to meet these needs when the time comes.”

Automation: A Key Conversation in Marketing’s Evolution. Branding Magazine: “By combining the power of big data, analytics, marketing, and technology, marketers can zoom in on insights and access personal data in a fraction of the time. Thus, marketing automation can help marketers improve lead generation through scoring, segmentation, personalized email and campaign management, and one-on-one engagement with customers on a large scale – something that was previously impossible.”

It’s Never Too Early to Be a Marketing Genius. Marketo: “Engagement marketing tools can turn a one- or two-person marketing team into a full service marketing operation that can handle every channel at once and produce great content. Instead of spending time hand-crafting email newsletters, picking through recipient lists manually, and copying and pasting messages from email to Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest, marketers can automate campaigns from within one platform. This lets them reach out to prospective customers at the right time, in the right place, with a consistent, ubiquitous message that helps a startup brand-build more effectively and efficiently.”

The Marketing Technology Explosion: A Blessing or a Curse? CMS Wire: “Find the human within the Marketing Technology ecosystem. How do we shift this landscape on its axis to create a model and approach that leads with the consumer at the center? The traditional view aligns the technology capabilities by channels. Could these be realigned against consumer behavior or needs? What technology capabilities would be needed to address behavioral challenges brands face such as trust, perception, awareness, stigma, loyalty and more? Which technologies need to work together in order to address business challenges like reach, penetration, market share, share of voice, entry to new markets, launch of new products and more?”