Marketing Automation Round-up, March 2016
Digital Clarity Group’s marketing automation round-up condenses and consolidates some of the industry’s most topical news, trends, and happenings from the past couple of months. This edition’s round-up covers the forecasted growth in adoption of automation solutions for marketers, and the new Demandbase and Integrate Inc. partnership.
Investment in, and reliance on, marketing automation solutions continues to grow
Marketing automation (MA) adoption has been on the rise for several years, with little sign of slowing. There is a vast range in MA adoption depending on the study and/or industry you look at. Recently reported numbers range from as low as 3% in the SMB, non-tech sector, to a high as 20% in large, technology based firms. What can be agreed upon is the exponential growth the MA market has seen; the past five years the MA industry has grown from $225m to $1.6bn, and that is it likely to continue on a similar trajectory. What use to be a tool for large, often tech-centric, enterprises, is being embraced by organizations of all sizes, across all industries.
Expectations run high in those companies implementing marketing automation solutions. Marketers believe the automation of marketing activities – from gathering insights on customer behavior to distributing content, and perfunctory activities such as performance measurement (campaigns, assets, channels) and resource management – can save their teams significant time and budget. Yet, those that have the tool are not optimizing on what their MA solution has to offer. A 2014 SiriusDecisions study found that 85% of B2B marketers using a marketing automation solution admit to not using it to its full potential. And still, nearly two thirds of companies surveyed (63%) expect to realize the benefits of their MA system within six months of implementation.
With the explosion of marketing technology solutions, including marketing automation platforms in the past few years (Scott Brinker’s 2016 MarTech diagram has 3874 logos, of which 161 are marketing automation solutions) companies are spoiled for choice. Following the typical pattern of technology (see Sheryl Shultz’ graph above), we are likely nearing, if not at, the peak of new entrants into the MA space. And while there will likely still be a few new companies and sub-categories into the MA sector, I suspect that there will be a pattern of acquisition and/or consolidation of existing solutions. This streamlining could potentially simplify (somewhat) the selection process for the expected massive number of companies likely to acquire and adopt marketing automation technology over the coming years.
Demandbase partners with Integrate to increase marketers’ efficacy
Account-based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, once relegated sales organizations, today, is increasingly preoccupying the attention of B2B marketers. Recently, SiriusDecisions’ State of Account-Based Marketing survey, found that over 90 percent of marketers recognize the value of ABM, yet only half of the companies polled had ABM pilots underway, and a mere 20 percent had full ABM programs in place.
This study supports the rationale behind Demandbase’s announcement that they are partnering with Integrate, Inc. (Integrate) to extend their own ABM prowess with Integrate’s campaign orchestration capabilities. With this teaming, Demandbase customers will be able to leverage Integrate to run demand generation campaigns across an ecosystem of media partners to engage key stakeholders within those accounts and generate leads. The qualified lead data will then be imported into the client’s marketing automation system to be scored and injected into the sales process and reporting is then pushed back to Demandbase’s Account-Based Advertising dashboard.
“By transforming the process of demand generation, Integrate streamlines and automates prospect acquisition,” said Jeremy Bloom, CEO of Integrate. “Because our solution works so quickly, marketers can act on leads instantly and sales people no longer have to spend time hunting for the right person in their target accounts.” The alignment of these three marketing technologies – ABM, marketing automation, and outbound demand generation software – will enable marketers to deliver messaging and offers to a more targeted audience, (theoretically) resulting more more impactful and successful campaigns, increasing ROI across their marketing technology investment.
What this partnership doesn’t address is the major skills gap that exists in marketing teams today. In terms of ABM, 47 percent of companies SiriusDecisions surveyed said that they don’t feel their teams have the ABM skills needed. As is so often the case, new tools and technologies, like ABM, SEO, marketing automation – are dropped in the laps of marketers will little more than a password and user ID. Without proper strategy and training to support and drive the adoption and use of these tools, marketers will continue to struggle to maximize the efficacy of their marketing efforts.
Catch up with the key news from around the related industries with Digital Clarity Group’s DAM, CMS, e-commerce, and service provider round-ups. All can be found in the Blog section of our website.