Marketing automation is not new - it has been around for many years and in many shapes.  And it is not going away.  But tread carefully - it is all too easy for a carefully planned campaign to crash around your ears.

It is easy for agencies to see the attraction of marketing automation - in theory it will allow you to do more for clients with less, creating greater levels of customer engagement without the day-to-day humdrum. 

But I have seen little evidence that consumers want to engage with 'bots' or welcome automated content - at best it is simply ignored, and can all too easily make a brand look ridiculous.

Brand owners should tread carefully.

Social engagement should be just that - creating opportunities for a brand to engage with its customers or clients.  And as yet, nothing quite does that as well as, well, people.