Adding Marketing Technology to the Mix in 2014

I recently came across a report called Marketing Automation Software Buyer View 2014 done by Software Advice and I thought the results were pretty interesting.marketing automation

The key findings of this report were:

– The vast majority of buyers (91 percent) were evaluating marketing automation software for the first time.

– Lead nurturing topped the list of desired capabilities among buyers, ahead of marketing analytics and lead scoring.

– Twenty-five percent of buyers were in the high tech industry, making it the most represented industry.

To address the first finding – one thing that I found very interesting about this report was that 50% of buyers had fewer then 50 employees. The prominence of small to midsize businesses (SMBs) showing interest in purchasing marketing automation software shows that marketing automation software vendors have opportunity to grow their customer base with solutions geared toward SMBs because those smaller organizations are seeking out the benefits that marketing automation offers. This is why we see advertisements from companies like Act-On talking about marketing automation for the Fortune 5 Million.

In terms of capabilities lead nurturing being the most sought after feature with reporting/analytics coming in a close second is no surprise.  The top priority for every company (no matter what size) is generating more revenue and growing the company. Lead nurturing is about “building relationships and trust with your prospects in a way that is both consistent and relevant,” according to Marketo’s The Complete Guide to Lead Nurturing. If companies are unable to build these relationships through quality content, interactions with prospects, and providing value then it is much harder to turn those leads into opportunities or even customers.

When looking at marketing automation though don’t forget about the reporting/analytics part of the picture.  I know this came in as the second most important feature in the report, which shows that people think it is important, but in my mind this is just as critical as lead nurturing or any other feature. The bottom line is that without reporting and analytics that can show you accurate data about how your marketing campaigns influence revenue or what your integrated sales and marketing funnels look like you will not be able to get full value from your marketing automation solution.

In fact at Full Circle Insights we suggest that you track and measure all your marketing efforts inside of Salesforce (or whatever CRM system you are using) because that is the data hub for your company already and you can generally dive deeper and get more granular with the information in these systems then in marketing automation solutions. Many marketing automation solutions have good metrics for reporting on the top of the funnel, but to get the complete picture and show how every lead in the system goes through the entire demand generation funnel you need to set up you CRM system to measure marketing metrics as well. If you want to learn a little more about how we do this in Salesforce check out how to Turbo Charge Your Analytics in Salesforce.

As to the third point, this doesn’t surprise me much. The high tech industry is generally on the cutting edge of technology adoption and it makes sense that companies in this field would be more willing to use some of these newer marketing technologies.  What is interesting though is that manufacturing companies are starting to come around on marketing automation.  They are starting to realize that with their longer sales cycles that they need tools to nurture prospects and keep them engaged throughout the whole sales cycle.

Overall I thought this was a very interesting report and if you want to read the report in full you can find the link at the top of the post.

Josh Rosenberg

About Josh Rosenberg

Josh earned his MBA from Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business in 2012 with a concentration in Marketing Management. Previously he worked in marketing at Zscaler, Inc. and is currently the Marketing Manager for Full Circle Insights.