• Bhanu Prakash

Automation Studio Vs Journey Builder?

I would like to explain some high level explanations, best use cases and the major difference between automation studio and journey builder. It is more important to understand where to use automation studio or journey builder it depends on each marketing use case and the answer can be both.

What is this Automation Studio?

Automation Studio is a best-in-class Marketing Automation Platform focused on Extract Transform Load or ETL process capabilities. It allows you to import, enrich and segment your data from any external data source, enabling you to integrate directly into Journey Builder to deliver any conceivable marketing message. Automation Studio is a SFMC’s application for batch automation.

You can run your data management and marketing processes in a linear workflow. Run several activities at once within a single step or run an activity in separate steps, ensuring one completes before the other begins. Automations can be scheduled to run at a set cadence, run as needed, or triggered by a file drop to an FTP.


Can you show some Automation Studio use cases ?

Data Management: To automate ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes. Let’s say that you have several vendors and internal teams that have the data you need, but you don’t have the internal resources to aggregate the data prior to import into SFMC.

Use Automation Studio to build a workflow that will import the files from an FTP into staging tables, run SQL to transform and join the data, and push the resulting data to tables that can be used to power your dynamic content and audience segmentation needs.


Reporting and Tracking: Automation Studio can run to extract data from Salesforce marketing cloud, Use the extract activity  that provide subscriber engagement and other tracking data or use cases such as send log and query activity can provide additional reporting options.

Custom Business Needs: Automation Studio can be a great tool when creating business-specific custom solutions, such as calculating subscriber values or creating custom account notifications.


Create a customer interest flagging process with a series of query activities that leverage purchase and engagement data to calculate and flag customer interest fields. Use those flags to easily create dynamic content and audience segmentation rules.

Build an automation to import batches of coupon codes and use them in another automation with a verification activity to email you when the number of unclaimed codes is low.

- Schedule Automation is ones that you execute based upon the specific recurring schedule

- Triggering Automation allows us to listen a file drop on a secure FTP side

Automation Studio is blank slates for marketer effectively use it for data management and custom solution needs of marketers. The more advanced your Marketing Cloud and SQL knowledge is, the more powerful and custom your automations can be!


What is Journey Builder?

Journey Builder is a campaign planning tool that empowers marketers to design and automate 1:1 campaigns that guide customers through their journey with a brand and it’s marketer-friendly UI takes the advantage of running customized marketing automations.

With marketing cloud journey builder application the marketers design’s customer communication plans and these plans are designed with the help of journey builder canvas activities. Canvas activities set by marketers tell Journey Builder how to communicate to and direct contacts in the journey. Contacts enter from an entry source. The journey then continually evaluates contacts to determine when to move them to the next activity.

SFMC had some sample pre defined journey templates like welcome series, Abandoned Cart etc…


Can you show some Journey Builder Use cases?

Dynamic 1:1 Customer Journeys: Use Journey Builder to build a highly dynamic workflow based on customer actions. Use engagement or decision splits to send subscribers on different paths within a journey based on clicks, purchase, or profile information. Define a goal in your Journey that exits a customer once they have met the goal. Use an ‘update contact’ activity to flag someone in your master table and exclude from any promotional sends while they are in your Welcome Journey.

Using Journey Builder marketer can empowers ongoing lifecycle campaigns like:

  • Mobile Opt-In

  • Social Opt-In

  • Web Opt-In

  • Welcome Series

  • Abandoned Cart

  • Birthday

  • Browse Retargeting

  • Customer Anniversary

  • LoyaltyNewsletter

  • App Downloads

  • Post-Purchase

  • Promotional

  • Re-Engagement

  • Win-Back

Sales/Service Cloud Activities: If you have an integration with Sales/Service Cloud, then there are many more advantages to Journey Builder. Journey Builder can create tasks for your Sales Team to follow up on customers that clicked a link in an email. Create a lead when a subscriber opens an email and shows interest in your brand. Use a Salesforce Data entry to admit contact into a journey based on actions within the Sales or Service Cloud. No need set up a data feed process, the integration will take care of that.


Build Custom Activities and Events: Salesforce provides the ability for those with the prerequisite knowledge to build custom journey activities and events. Learn about how Devs United built a custom activity that fires a postcard or letter via Lob

Engagement split on bounce activity will send bounced contacts to the direct mail path. Additional split occurs on Lob activity, pending mailing address verification.

Real-time Insights: Lastly, Journey Builder provides real-time journey insights. See how your journey is performing via the Journey Dashboard. Search via the Journey History tab to see 30 days of journey history and search by contact to see where a particular subscriber is within your journey.

Most Valuable Strength: Journey Builder is where you can make your personalized 1:1 marketing journeys come alive, without advanced SQL knowledge. Executing these same activities in Automation Studio would demand SQL skills and familiarity with SFMC’s data view tables, as well as more time.

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