Marketing technology is now a business-critical purchase

Marketing automation is not an optional investment anymore; it is now considered a critical business investment for the majority of organisations.

58% of top-performing companies; where marketing contributes more than half of the sales pipeline, have adopted marketing automation. – Forrester Research “Gauging Your Progress and Success” (2013)

Moving forward, businesses will need an automated platform that manages the complexities of customer communication efficiently and effectively. People expect communication to be personalised and catered to them as an individual. In the same way it is unacceptable to have a website that isn’t responsive, it is also unacceptable to address an email to ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ or to send a consumer unrelated suggested purchases. The future of marketing is a matter of keeping pace with customer expectations.

In one study of millennials, 41% of participants expected brands to create engaging digital content, 38% expected a brand to provide instant communication with customer service and 37% expected brands to use technology to include consumer feedback in product development.

Organisations need to be able to respond to buyer behaviour and understand the needs of each individual based on the actions they take. Many marketers are already seeking to have more authentic and tailored communications with their customers, although to deliver this, much of the work is still manual with cumbersome processes. Marketing automation makes personalised communication possible and scalable.

Benefits & efficiencies

A marketing automation platform is a powerful tool because it provides a single location for integrating with other technology tools, database insights, marketing tasks, sales intelligence and performance monitoring, creating efficient workflows and building opportunities for team alignment. With thorough online behavioural tracking it is now possible to correctly attribute direct contributions from creative efforts to revenue performance – in a timely manner. This hasn’t always been possible.

Through features like lead scoring and lead nurturing, the pipeline can be managed in a more relevant and efficient way. Behaviour can be automatically be captured and responded to in real-time. Reports can be generated automatically based on data points that were never available before. Social posts can be scheduled and associated with purchase behaviour. Content can change dynamically on each landing page so it is specific to an individual buyer profile. Emails can change mid-campaign if nobody reads them. This is just a small set of capabilities marketing automation enables. It isn’t just a software tool, it’s a new marketing approach, an integrated platform and a business-critical purchase.

Recognising the value

Investing in marketing automation is no longer about being progressive, it’s about keeping up, focusing on organisational efficiencies and staying relevant to ensure future growth. Committing to this involves a shift to an inbound marketing approach and a different set of skills. Start by creating content that is focused on buyer needs and being resourceful. From there, identify organisational challenges that can be addressed with the software – lead management, lead quality, advanced campaigns, etc. Use those existing struggles to recognise where the software can have immediate effects and focus there first. By phasing your marketing automation implementation, you can realise both immediate and long-term benefits.

Nearly 70% of businesses are using a marketing automation platform (MAP) or currently implementing one. Aberdeen Group “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce” (2014)

When developing a business case to support switching or implementing marketing automation technology, many benefits can be monetised. Whether you’re looking at return on investment, lead quality, reporting accuracy or advanced capabilities, marketing automation software is the answer to reducing costs and increasing revenue. This is technology that works and it is technology that you can’t afford to ignore. If you need assistance in preparing a business case for marketing automation, or advice on industry-leading marketing automation solutions, contact us.

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