According to The State of Marketing Automation 2014 report, Marketing Automation systems which were used primarily for email automation have now become sophisticated platforms capable of transforming organizations’ revenue generating capacity. It explores how Marketing Automation platforms are used by marketers today, including the challenges faced and the benefits reaped post-implementation.
|Level of B2B Marketing Adoption (% of Respondents)|
|% of Respondents|
|Source: B2B Magazine/EMarketer, June 2013|
Findings of the report include usage, benefits and adoption rates of automation platforms by B2B companies and the current challenges plaguing effective deployment, vendor and capability analysis, noting that 88% of marketers surveyed were either currently using or were considering implementing Marketing Automation in their organization in 2014. In addition:
- 82% of those who have already implemented Marketing Automation are using a SaaS platform as opposed to 18% of marketers who prefer a hosted solution
- The top three features of a Marketing Automation used by marketers, apart from email marketing, are lead nurturing, and integrations such as CRM, mobile, social etc for accumulating customer intelligence across channels, and cross-channel campaign management
|Important Marketing Automation Features (B2B Marketers Using Automation; % of respondents)|
|Feature||% of Respondents Saying Important|
|Integration (CRM, social, mobile)||
|Landing page creation||
|Website visitor demographics||
|Social media integration||
|Visual creative tools||
|Revenue cycle modeling||
|PPC ad tie-ins||
|Source: Regalix, May 2014|
Marketing Automation has changed from being a system to automate emails to a sophisticated system for attracting, nurturing, engaging and retaining customers, and manage cross-channel campaigns.
86% marketers consider ‘ease of use’ as the most important criterion when evaluating automation tools. Plus:
- 55% of marketers have already been using Marketing Automation for the past 3 years and do not plan to increase investment in Marketing Automation in 2014
- 34% of marketers use efficiency metrics to measure Marketing Automation ROI as opposed to 87% who use response metrics for the same
- 54% of marketers who have not yet implemented Marketing Automation cite lack of budgets as a major obstacle preventing implementation
- 66% of marketers reported allocating less than 10% of their budget to Marketing Automation
89% of marketers reported that improved lead management and nurturing is the most crucial benefit of automation systems which provides them with qualified leads and increases close rate of sales deals. They also point out that Marketing Automation systems allow them to gain measurable results which facilitate measurement of true ROI. I66% of marketers reported the ability for enhanced targeting and personalization as a top benefit of Marketing Automation systems.
Marketers are using a combination of different metrics to determine the performance of marketing automation systems, says the report, with 87 % of marketers reported using response metrics such as open rate, click through rate, and unsubscribe rates to measure Marketing Automation ROI. Plus:
- 58% measure efficiency metrics to determine the efficiency and value of their automation systems
- 61% measure value metrics to determine the true value of their Marketing Automation systems
- 34% use activity metrics to determine the utilization of their automation systems
Marketers reported a number of roadblocks preventing them from either implementing or realizing the full potential of their automation systems, such as:
- Budgets are getting tighter with marketers having to justify investments. 66% of marketers reported allocating less than 10% of their budget to Marketing Automation
- 55% of cite lack of resources as the primary reason for their inability to fully utilize the system
- 48% listed lacking expertise for using the data and intelligence offered by the system as a major roadblock in Marketing Automation success
The report says that the amount of customer intelligence churned from systems is immense, with most of it not being used to contribute to an elevated customer experience. Possessing data mining and data analytics skills is becoming a necessity for marketers as the behavioral, demographic and other data is being analyzed and used to attract and retain customers.