Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, JP Morgenthal, Yeshim Deniz, Janakiram MSV, Carmen Gonzalez

Blog Feed Post

Believe The Hype: Why Your Business Needs Marketing Automation

Having lived through the unprecedented growth of the CRM software category, I never thought I’d see another category of marketing software reach similar levels of such frenzied adoption, but just this one time, maybe I was wrong.

I spend my days advising companies on marketing strategy, and in particular, on the use of marketing technology platforms to drive business growth. Based on that experience, I can say that I’ve seen more companies evaluate and deploy marketing automation in the past 12 months than in the previous five years combined. In fact, Sirius Decisions predicts that 50 percent of B2B organizations will use marketing automation by 2015, up from just 20 percent in 2012. Why the sudden, rapid growth?  I believe there are a few factors at play, and a few feature sets that have become more accessible and vital, making now the time for marketing automation adoption.

Growth, Competition and Consolidation Are Good for Customers

Earlier this spring, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak with a Salesforce.com user group about marketing automation. In particular, I wanted to highlight how the last few years have brought extraordinary growth and change to the marketing automation space, and my belief that this change has accelerated the ease of use, affordability, and adoption of marketing automation tools. This is a case where Mr. Adam Smith was indeed right and capitalism is driving better results for the market.

Consider a few of the following milestones:

  • March 2011 – HubSpot raised $32 million from Google Ventures, Salesforce.com, and Sequoia Capital
  • August 2012 – Eloqua went public and by December 2012 was acquired by Oracle for over $800 million
  • October 2012 – ExactTarget acquired Pardot for $95.5 million
  • January 2013 – Salesforce acquires ExactTarget (and Pardot) for $2.5 billion
  • May 2013 – Marketo went public at a valuation of $550 million

With the strengthening of some of the major players in the space, competition among them has increased, feature sets have been enhanced, and costs have in many cases decreased, making marketing automation more accessible. Couple this with the rise of the more data-driven modern marketer, and we’ve hit a critical marketing automation inflection point.

More Accessible Features Become Better Understood – and More Valued

As is the case with most marketing activities, planning, marketing and sales alignment, in combination with remarkable content, spell marketing automation success. For those just beginning to evaluate marketing automation, or even existing users, it’s hard to start using every single aspect of the tool right out of the gate. While most marketing automation platforms offer a large number of features and a high level of sophistication, it was previously a challenge to understand where and how to use some of those really cool options.

But newer platforms and developments have made implementation and use easier. Regardless of the platform you choose to license, I’ve seen the recent growth in adoption tied to these key components:

Lead Scoring

It sounds simple, but focusing your sales efforts to your most qualified and most sales-ready leads can be a game-changing concept for many companies. A marketing automation platform allows a company to understand the actions that a potential customer takes, and then add or deduct points from that user’s profile. They can then use that score to determine when the prospect is ready for follow-up and what that follow-up should be. Marketo’s Big List of Lead Scoring Rules is one of a number of quality lead scoring resources provided on its site, and downloading it will up your lead score for them too – how meta.

Lead Nurturing

Have you ever gone to a website, downloaded a guide, eBook, etc., and had your phone ring almost immediately with a call from a representative of that company? That’s kinda creepy, right? Most leads aren’t sales-ready after the very first touch.  Marketing automation tools let companies set up lead nurturing programs, allowing them to drop content out over a period of time to give prospects additional information, measure changes in the lead scoring, and warm them up for sales. Eloqua’s Grande Guide to Lead Nurturing is an excellent and quickly consumable primer on lead nurturing.

Automation/Efficiency

With the word automation right in the title, you had to know that this one was coming. When properly configured, deployed, and optimized, automation rules can be very powerful and help a marketer to address tasks that were previously executed manually. These manual tasks would typically end up either:

A)   Taking forever to get done, or

B)    Never getting done because they took forever

By automating tasks with simple or complex rules, marketers can get more done, faster.  Automatically adding people to an email list after a certain behavior, automatically moving them through sales stages or setting CRM follow-up tasks, or automatically sending a follow-up message after an event are just a few examples of some simple automation rules. This simple example from Pardot and another from HubSpot illustrate how these rules work.

Measurement

ROI. Proof. Marketing accountability. Revenue performance. The list goes on and on. Now more than ever, marketing is being held to trackable metrics. While it’s easy to calculate simple metrics – like my recent lunchtime achievements of consuming 1.4 pounds of hot food or 113.09 square inches of pizza – businesses are beginning to care less and less about vanity metrics like Facebook likes and page views, and more about business metrics like qualified lead sources, days in each stage of a sales cycle, and revenue generated per campaign.  Bad news for the vanity metrics of my lunch, but good news for those in marketing who want to prove we actually contribute to revenue. The tracking built into marketing automation, along with closed-loop CRM integration, allows marketers to truly show impact on revenue and the campaigns and channels generating it, allowing for ongoing optimization. Taken one step further, business intelligence (BI) tools connected to your marketing automation platform like Pardot’s GoodData allow you to easily analyze, report and visualize data from your marketing automation tool and CRM to wow the C-suite.

While these features only scratch the surface of the sophistication that most marketing automation platforms offer, if you’re looking for a justification to invest in marketing automation, start with these four. Couple the right platform with the right modern marketer to guide the strategy, and you’ll soon understand the power of marketing automation.

Marketing technology is only as effective as the strategy and content that goes into it. Get content marketing guidance you can use from Right Source and other industry experts in our free content marketing eBook: “How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.”

Agree? Disagree?  Think I missed a key driver for growth or think I’m just a geek pushing software? Please share your take in the comments below.

The post Believe The Hype: Why Your Business Needs Marketing Automation appeared first on Right Source Marketing.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Will Davis

Right Source Marketing helps organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
"Operations is sort of the maturation of cloud utilization and the move to the cloud," explained Steve Anderson, Product Manager for BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).