Digital Marketing Automation Versus Personalization

We are now in the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Augmented reality and virtual reality have both become an integral part of social media platforms. Facebook spearheaded AR glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban. The visual search engine, Pinterest, enabled AR try-ons for online makeup shopping. While Snapchat patented bitmoji fashion. Even chatbots are now dominant in messaging apps and significantly replacing shop assistants.

digital marketing speaker Hong Kong raises the question of whether digital marketing automation is much better than personalization. This is because automated shop assistants and chatbots are designed for a general audience persona and most common queries handling. They may very well provide efficient and fast ad targeting and customer service. But they may sometimes fail to identify the target audiences with complex concerns and high buying intentions. Below, let us discuss digital marketing automation versus personalization.


A social media agency Hong Kong defines digital marketing automation as software platforms using AI or machine learning to manage marketing tasks. These include email sending, messenger chatbots, social media posting, website management, etc. Using a single tool, advertisers and marketers can simplify ad targeting and client communication through digital marketing automation tools. The use of technology makes it easier for them to manage repetitive tasks. As such, they give advertisers and marketers more time for creative planning and operational efficiency. The key focus of digital marketing automation is efficiency, speed, and revenue. 

Some of the most famous digital marketing automation tools today are:

  • Exponea
  • Hubspot
  • Lead Squared
  • Marketo
  • Ontraport
  • Oracle Eloqua
  • Pardot
  • Sales Fusion
  • Sendinblue


Digital Marketing Personalization is addressing the unique needs and preferences of an individual consumer. It means tailoring a positive buying experience based on the online user’s browsing behavior, demographics, previous actions, and purchase history. It is also called one-on-one marketing. This is because digital marketing personalization analyzes ad and campaign targeting through individual online activities. The process largely depends on analytics and insights. It is about showing the right ads to the right person at the right moment. If the key focus of automated digital marketing is efficiency, speed, and revenue, digital marketing personalization focuses on the audience, suggestion, and timing. 

Digital marketing personalization is about building connections. It is not a straightforward marketing technique. Instead, it educates the audience first before promoting products and services. This makes digital marketing personalization very challenging. Advertisers and marketers need to spend time researching the pain points of their buyer’s persona. Afterward, they need to formulate the problem and highlight a brand as the best solution for the problem. By bringing the audience to the buying journey through authentic stories and testimonials, such a process converts the audience into loyal customers of a brand or business.


Today 9 out of 10 marketers use one or more digital marketing automation tools. They were able to decrease marketing spend by 12.2% and increase sales productivity by 14.5%. These tools have also resulted to boost lead qualifications by 451%. The main challenge with digital marketing automation is delivering personalized content. They perform best when it comes to general and repetitive tasks. But they cannot appeal to unique customers as salespeople do. The integration of data, lack of technological skills, and technology shortfall also serve as barriers to digital marketing automation.

Modern consumers are very smart and a lot of choices are available to them because of the stiff market competition. Social media platforms pave the way to discovering new brands, products, and services through personalized ad targeting. Personalized emails increase transaction rates by 600%. Digital marketing personalization reduces acquisition costs by 50%. They have also facilitated sales conversion among 44% of a targeted audience group and other CTAs by 202%. These are the reasons why big corporations like Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sephora, and Wells Fargo, together with 89% of global digital businesses, prefer digital marketing personalization. 


Both digital marketing automation and personalization have proven to work among brands and businesses today. The key to a successful digital marketing strategy is to use both automation and personalization to complement each other. Automation makes it easier for businesses to manage repetitive marketing tasks. They have also allowed brands to provide 24/7 online customer support. 

But no technology can ever replace the human touch. As modern consumers seek self-service tools, they also crave special and unique interactions. Personalization is the answer to such a need. By evoking customer emotions through personalized ads and campaigns, marketing can most likely result in higher conversions. 

If you are called to choose between building communities and selling, we recommend choosing digital marketing personalization over automation. Efficiency and speed can greatly result in revenues. But focusing on the audience builds brand loyalty and trust, which, moving forward, can greatly sustain a business.