Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Steve Latham, Pat Romanski, Larry Alton, Liz McMillan, Harry Trott

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
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus o...
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
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.
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...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver 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. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, 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. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
"What is the next step in the evolution of IoT systems? The answer is data, information, which is a radical shift from assets, from things to input for decision making," stated Michael Minkevich, VP of Technology Services at Luxoft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, discussed the best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.