What Companies Really Want From Marketing Automation

Market Trends - March 5th, 2014 by Natalie Issa.

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Like customer analytics, marketing automation is a key component in customer experience. It helps companies engage with their customers in a timely and relevant way. At Woopra, we use marketing automation, integrated with our analytics, to nurture leads, help onboard new customers, and retain users.

We’ve already gone over our top picks for the best marketing automation tools. Now, we’re going to explore the state of marketing automation today. Software Advice released a report based on data from 896 marketing automation buyers. Let’s take a look at some of the report’s most interesting findings.

High Tech Companies Are The Top Buyers

23% of all marketing automation buyers are from the high tech industry. Of all the industries compared in the study, this was by far the most active buyer segment. Consulting came in second, representing 11% of buyers.

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It’s no surprise that the high tech industry is leading the way, as this industry is normally the most open to technological advancement. Here are a few reasons we think high tech companies are big marketing automation buyers:

  • The high tech industry is filled with early adopters who are not afraid of change
  • B2B tech companies tend to have longer buying cycles, where lead nurturing via marketing automation is important
  • SaaS companies, which rely on recurring revenues, need marketing automation to keep customers continually engaged with their brand and offerings

Most Requested Features: Lead Nurturing and Analytics

The buyers researched indicated their most requested features were lead nurturing, at 81%, and analytics, at 70%.

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We obviously have a lot to say about this one.

The request for analytics stems from the common challenge marketers face to measure what is and is not working, especially when it comes to campaigns.

Several buyers expressed they were in need of a way to measure their marketing’s effectiveness, saying they “have no way to measure the ROI of their marketing campaigns or identify metrics”.

At Woopra, we see a lot of companies looking for this functionality. The ability to measure campaign effectiveness is just one of the reasons we advocate integrating your marketing automation and analytics software.

Most marketing automation software will give you some measurement capabilities (e.g. open rates, etc.), but not at the same level as a fully equipped analytics tool. Your analytics software will let you manipulate the data, measure the impact different campaigns have on your funnels, retention, and more.

In addition, a tight integration with an analytics tool with advanced and flexible segmentation can also make your marketing automation much more powerful.

Most Companies Currently Use CRM or Manual Methods

The finding I found the most interesting was that most companies currently use their CRM (48%) or manual methods (21%) in lieu of marketing automation. I was surprised that only 7% use email marketing software.

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Looking Forward

David Raab, a technology leader in the space and frequent speaker on the topic, said he expects “continued strong growth in marketing automation buying activity and use over the next few years as marketers become more familiar with how to use these systems, and vendors develop products suited to different industries and marketing organizations.”

Where do you think the marketing automation industry is headed?

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