Founded in 1988, Regalix is a global co-innovation company that leverages technology and marketing to help companies grow. They recently conducted a survey with respondents, including CMOs and mid-level marketing professionals from leading B2B companies and released a report which has some useful findings.Marketing Automation Systems which were used primarily for email automation have now become sophisticated platforms capable of transforming organizations’ revenue generating capacity. Andrew Steele, Senior Vice President-Emerging Business, Regalix, said, “Marketing Automation is becoming increasingly essential for marketing success. It has seen the highest growth rate in the past five years and it has changed from being a system to automate emails to being a sophisticated system for attracting, nurturing, engaging and retaining customers.”
The top findings of the report include:
- 86% marketers consider ‘ease of use’ as the most important criterion when evaluating automation tools.
- 55% 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% marketers use efficiency metrics to measure Marketing Automation ROI as opposed to 87% who use response metrics for the same.
- 54% marketers who have not yet implemented Marketing Automation cite lack of budgets as a major obstacle preventing implementation.
- 66% marketers reported allocating less than 10% of their budget to Marketing Automation.
Findings of the report include usage, benefits and adoption rates of automation platforms by B2B companies, an analysis on the current challenges plaguing effective deployment, vendor and capability analysis, along with actionable tips on using marketing automation platforms in the most optimum manner.
- 88% of marketers surveyed were either currently using or were considering implementing Marketing Automation in their organization in 2014.
- 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 survey demonstrated that the top three features of a Marketing Automation used by marketers apart from email marketing (89%) are lead nurturing (84%), integrations such as CRM, mobile, social etc (80%) for accumulating customer intelligence across channels, and cross-channel campaign management (82%).
Outlined below is a brief overview of the top three benefits cited by B2B marketers in the survey:
Improved Lead Management and Nurturing: 89 percent of marketers reported that this is the most crucial benefit of automation systems which provides them with qualified leads and increases close rate of sales deals.
Measurable Results: Marketing Automation systems allow marketers to gain measurable results which facilitates in measurement of true ROI, eliminating one of the major pain-point for most marketers today.
Enhanced Targeting and Personalization: 66 percent marketers reported the ability for enhanced targeting and personalization as a top benefit of Marketing Automation Systems.
Marketers reported a number of roadblocks preventing them from either implementing or realizing the full potential of their automation systems.
Budgets are getting tighter with marketers having to justify investments with tangible returns. 66 percent marketers reported allocating less than 10% of their budget to Marketing Automation. 55 percent marketers cite lack of resources as the primary reason for their inability to fully utilize the system.
48 percent marketers listed lacking expertise for using the data and intelligence offered by the system as a major roadblock in Marketing Automation success. 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 fast becoming a necessity for marketers as the behavioral, demographic and other such data is being analyzed and used to attract and retain customers.
Measurement and ROI
Marketers were found to be using a combination of different metrics to determine the performance of marketing automation systems:
- 87 percent marketers reported using response metrics such as open rate, click through rate, unsubscribe rates are used to measure Marketing Automation ROI.
- 58 percent marketers measure efficiency metrics to determine the efficiency and value of their automation systems.
- 61 percent marketers measure value metrics to determine the true value of their Marketing Automation Systems.
- 34 percent marketers use activity metrics to determine the utilization of their automation systems.
Leading Marketing Automation Tools and Features
More than 110 vendor choices are available for Marketing Automation Systems. However, the survey demonstrated clear market domination in terms of usage and preference for some vendors over others. The top three vendors dominating market share for automation systems are Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot.
70 percent marketers use Marketo’s automation tool or have considered using them in the past 12 months. 41 percent have used or considered using Eloqua and 32% have used Pardot in the last 12 months.
Some features are given more weightage than others while evaluating vendors and solutions.
Since budget constraints were cited as a major obstacle, price would be expected to be the most important consideration but it’s not. In fact 86% marketers cite that ease of use is the most important criteria for selection of an automation solution.
Price was not far behind with 81% of marketers citing it as an important factor in their decision-making process.
77 percent marketers also cited product integration capabilities with their CRM systems, mobile and social initiatives as an important criterion for selection.
The rising importance of data and analytics is evident as 75% marketers also look for a tool which has analytics and reporting features.