As experts in marketing – from inbound to content – the news that marketing automation has become an essential part of every marketing strategy didn’t come as a surprise.
Brands are no longer using marketing automation as a one-off solution to create demand, but instead employing it on a wider scale to attract new customers and engage with existing ones.
Marketing automation has undoubtedly become indispensable for marketing professionals. Currently, according to SiriusDecisions’ 2014 marketing Automation Report, a third of nurture tracks now concentrate solely on existing customers.
Jay Famico, the practice director for technology at the advisory firm, commented that in just six years marketers who fail to adopt marketing automation will be “an endangered species”. Marketing automation providers are also coming to realise the growing importance of their service. While in the past their message focused on automation helping to create new demand, now they are working on improving the usability of their existing marketing automation products; providers are now investing in training as they expect a growing demand for marketing automation specialists and are integrating their technology with other marketing and sales products.
Integration is key
Automation has become an integral part of business-to-business marketing, which means – in our opinion – that it is essential to integrate automation software with other marketing technology solutions. Marketing automation is also driving a return on investment (ROI) of almost 28%, a survey by VentureBeat has found. The survey is still ongoing, but of the 83 companies that have responded so far, almost all have reported positive ROI from marketing automation tactics, and four of them have reported an increase of 150% in their revenues. When asked if they thought the results were worth the investment, almost half (48%) said yes, while 7.2% gave a negative answer.
Complex systems require automation experts
One of the reasons identified by VentureBeat as being behind the negative responses, as well as those who said they were unsure whether they would invest in automation again (42%), was the fact that companies were often unaware of the complexity of their own systems and the specialised skills needed to run a successful marketing automation strategy. They also had little-to-no idea about the amount of content they need to produce to make marketing automation a fully-functional strategy.
With these reports and statistics in mind, as well as our own experience in this sector, we are fairly confident that the use and importance of marketing automation is on the rise.
This means marketing professionals have a new system to get to grips with in order to stay ahead of the game and ahead of their competitors, which can seem daunting; luckily, with our years of experience we know how to best implement marketing automation strategies for businesses of all shapes and sizes.