There's nothing executives value more than predictability. They live in their Excel spreadsheets, breathe projections, and their ultimate KPI is how successful they are at matching plans with outcomes. Marketing as it is done currently is the antithesis of predictability. Whether an advertising message will resonate with target audience is anybody's guess and selection of advertising messages is done by some gurus that no executive can stomach. Marketing automation is a trend to bring predictability into marketing in general and in advertising in particular. It would be executives' wet dreams if they could plan supply of customers with such certainty as they are able to organize supply of services and components. I'm sure such idea sounds silly to any marketing expert today - marketing is about creativity, ingenuity, and skills that cannot be replicated by machine. Or is it?
When Salesforce started pushing the idea of cloud computing in 2000, old guard was saying that web is nice for web pages but it will never be a way to distribute enterprise software because enterprises want to own their data. When Amazon launched its Web Services in 2006 system operators all over the world dismissed the idea of building their systems on top of some virtual infrastructure. But in 2015 I'm able to provision more computing resources with a click of mouse without involving a single system adminstrator. And observing the rise of cloud computing first hand over the past two decades I can also well imagine the rise of marketing automation where customers will be provisioned with the same ease as servers are provisioned today.