We’ve made it a point to monitor the trends in marketing automation (MA) for one reason: We believe it’s the future of sales and marketing, changing everything about your business and how you find, connect with, nurture, and close leads. For over half of B2B companies, it’s also a tool they’re using in the present—and for good reason. Because MA harnesses the power of data to deliver targeted, relevant, useful, and personalized content and experiences to just the right consumer at just the right time, it’s a substantial conversion-booster. It also allows organizations to prioritize their time and resources on higher-level tasks.
The fact of the matter is, however, many businesses fail to use marketing automation platforms (MAPs) in ways that align with their business and marketing goals. While 91 percent of the most successful MAP users agree their automation efforts are important, only eight percent could report increased revenue six months after adopting the tech. Granted six months is not near enough time to evaluate success. In fact, the companies that need marketing automation the most almost always sell considered purchases with extended sales cycle, hence the need for MA.
Once they round the bend with regards to implementation, overall, they’re seeing positive returns—but there are clearly some gaps in the adoption and implementation processes. We aim to fill those gaps with education and strategy so you can see a greater ROI from your MA initiatives sooner rather than later. In that spirit, we turned to industry leader Shawn Elledge of the Integrated Marketing Association to get his take on how B2B brands can excel using MA.
His advice? If you’re a B2B company not yet using MA, it will soon be difficult to compete. If you’ve adopted a MAP with no processes in place, though, you just might be worse off. According to recent data, the “most significant barrier” to marketing success is ineffective strategy. Solve that problem by following Shawn’s equation for MA excellence: People + Processes + Technology = Success.
That means you must know who is going to manage or support your tech—even if it means hiring an outside vendor (people), know how the new tech will affect existing systems (processes), and choose the right MAP for your business (technology).
Want the in-depth scoop on how to make MA work for your organization? Read Shawn’s piece on our sister site, BMG, here: Key to B2B Success: Marketing Automation.
You might also be interested in participating in current survey on the Total Cost of Ownership for Marketing Automation. This study is researching the total investment in resources required to adopt marketing automation and will be published in March.
This article was first published on The Marketing Scope.