In January 2012, Silverpop commissioned Forrester Consulting to better understand how marketers are using marketing automation technology to improve the customer experience and enhance both external communications and internal processes. Its findings highlight both the state of current implementations as well as opportunities for marketing organizations to improve their use of the technology. (Download the full report.)
One question in particular provides some valuable insight into how different organizations are using marketing automation today:
This chart provides an excellent introduction to the current uses for marketing automation technology. Marketers can also use the responses as a guide to how they might expand their use of the technology.
For example, only 15 percent of marketers are using marketing automation technology to orchestrate any onboarding processes. Marketing automation is a natural fit for performing these important functions. Automated programs deployed for onboarding purposes can provide regular, consistent messages to new clients that can increase product and/or service adoption, raise customer satisfaction and move clients from trial to purchase.
Automated onboarding programs can also be used effectively to onboard internal employees. This is one example of how marketing automation technology can be used for far more than just generating new prospect leads. Everyone in the company needs to be aware of the power of marketing automation.
Another data point suggests there’s substantial room for expansion of lead nurturing. The Forrester Consulting survey found that only 38 percent of B2B marketers were using marketing automation solutions for lead nurturing. Numerous other studies point to the fact that buyers are two-thirds to three-quarters through the buying cycle before they’re ready to engage a sales resource. Therefore, marketing must assume responsibility for the majority of the buying cycle. (Get tips for nurturing more strategically.)
Without marketing automation, it’s difficult for marketing to nurture each and every inquiry without having valuable leads fall through the cracks. Plus, marketing automation puts every prospect on his or her own individual communication path where marketers can tailor messages based on demographics, behavior and interest areas. Scaling to achieve this level of timed, relevant messaging on an expanded basis is virtually impossible without marketing automation.
Once you’ve read the report, ask yourself the same questions Forrester Consulting asked survey participants. See where you stack up in comparison and put together a plan for either adopting marketing automation or expanding your use of this exciting technology.
For more findings from Forrester, download the study, “Automation: Redefining Marketing’s Game Plan,” or view the related Webinar.
1) Blog: “Marketing Automation Baby Steps to Get You Started – and Yield Immediate Returns”
2) Webinar: “Behavior ‘Rules’: Giving Today’s Savvy Buyers What They Want”
3) Marketing Automation eBook: “Best Practices for Marketing Excellence and Organizational Efficiency”