In addition, says the report, though most marketers are using marketing automation to scale and standardize marketing processes, a small vanguard is using automation to transform marketing practices with a focus on customer behavior across multiple engagement channels. Key findings show that:
The report says that “in the age of the customer,” three elements are essential to success: a customer-obsessed approach to defining the business and marketing strategy; an in-depth understanding of customers’ behaviors and needs; and a customer engagement strategy that is calibrated to those behaviors and needs. The onus is on marketing leaders to integrate intimate knowledge of customers into marketing activities that serve the needs of customers.
Today’s buyers, says the report, might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor. For many product categories, buyers now put off talking with salespeople until they are ready for price quotes or delivery terms. Buyers are finding the information they need in an ever-expanding array of content types, in a variety of online and offline channels, and they’re accessing the online channels from a diverse array of devices. This changing buyer dynamic changes the role of marketing in several fundamental ways, concludes the report:
Marketing Organization Stance (% of Respondents)
Transition by end of 2013
Interested, no immediate plans
Not interested, no plans
Source: Forrester/Silverpop, July 2013
40% of respondents reported that they were “somewhat aggressive or at the forefront” when it comes to technology adoption. Another 32% said that they adopt technology in sync with wider marketplace adoption. Only 18% said that they typically lag behind the mainstream in their adoption of technology.
Forrester defines marketing automation as: Tooling and processes that help generate new business opportunities, improve potential buyers’ propensity to purchase, manage customer loyalty, and increase alignment between marketing activity and revenue.
When respondents were asked about their use of specific marketing automation technologies, the study found consistently broad deployment across all company sizes and business models, noting additionally that small businesses are investing nearly on par with larger companies. A new model of the successful small business shows an adaption of marketing practices to changing buyer behaviors, where the journey for nearly every purchase begins with a web search.
Marketing Organization Status Re: Selected Software Technologies or Services (Implemented, or Expanding/Upgrading)
% of All respondents
Web analytics tools
Email service provider
Web content management
Social media engagement
Source: Forrester/Silverpop, July 2013
The report shows that B2C marketers have adopted more fully than their B2B counterparts in all but the adoption of lead management systems:
Despite all of the improvements reported in automated campaign execution, most marketers are still not capitalizing on the value of behavioral insight, concludes the report. Looking into the survey responses of the emerging behavioral marketers to understand their motivations, habits, and performance results, the study found that:
Buyer behavioral data remains the greatest untapped marketing asset, opines the report. On average, only 45% of marketers are capturing and consolidating customer behavioral data from multiple channels in a single database. Only 60% of respondents who called themselves “mature behavioral marketers” consolidate behavioral data.
Based upon customers’ behavior across different channels, return on marketing investment (ROMI) and customer satisfaction and loyalty topped the list of perceived benefits. Reducing sales cycles and customer acquisition costs were at the bottom of the list of perceived values.
The behavioral marketing vanguard is performing better than its peers, according to the report. When B2B marketers reported the contribution that marketing was making to the sales pipeline, behavioral marketers performed slightly better than their peers (34% to 26%). And, behavioral marketers performed slightly better than their peers (26% to 21%) as B2C marketers to reported the percentage of revenue that can be attributed to automated digital programs.
For more detailed information about the study, please visit Silverpop to access the Thought Leadership Paper by Forrester