More challenges await marketers than ever before, with channel proliferation and spiraling costs, along with an overcrowded media landscape that often gets in the way of effective customer communications. Meanwhile, complex internal processes, including outdated organizational structures and technologies, impede the business of developing offers.
To overcome these challenges, 70 percent of marketers use some kind of marketing automation. That figure represents one of the findings in a new whitepaper released by New York–based Winterberry Group, and sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association’s Marketing Technology Council.
Marketing Automation and the Enterprise Opportunity was produced after conducting in-depth interviews with more than 50 senior marketing and marketing services executives throughout North America and Europe. Here are six essential trends that define the current marketing automation implementation environment.
1. The rise of “customer-centric” marketing, the rapid pace of innovation in product development and the demand for continuous process efficiency improvement are driving the development and adoption of marketing automation.
2. Corporate financial pressures—including increased marketing budget scrutiny and the heightened demand for financial transparency and accountability—have spurred the integration of financial tools into marketing resource management systems and other automation platforms.
3. When marketing automation adoption plans are stymied, the causes are largely bureaucratic in nature, reflecting the emerging status of the discipline rather than fundamental shortcomings in technology availability or effectiveness.
4. Poor organizational alignment and the complexity of integrating new software solutions with legacy systems are the leading challenges confronting marketers during the marketing automation “on-boarding” process.
5. A significant skill gap continues to divide the “marketing” and “technology” factions within organizations, impeding faster and more successful marketing automation implementation.
6. Organizations that have adopted marketing automation are beginning to report improved performance in terms of both revenue growth and internal productivity; these benefits appear to be both industry- and channel-agnostic.