Commentary

Automation Fortifies Email Marketing

According to iContact, partnered with Ascend2 to survey marketing decision-makers about their use of automation, the resulting report, presented byMonica HoyerMarketing Director, Top-of-Mind Marketing: A Snapshot of B2B Marketing Automation, represents the opinions of 85 marketing influencers who are on the frontlines of business-to- business marketing.

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Email marketing has been around for decades, says the report. And despite all the tools available to marketers today, email remains one of the most effective ways to reach an audience. However, today’s customers are demanding more personalized and valuable messages as they work their way through the marketing funnel. That’s where marketing automation comes into play, says the report.

Marketing automation can be used to automate repetitive marketing tasks, from sending and responding to email, updating social channels, and testing, measuring, and to optimizing marketing ROI and revenue. Most importantly, says the report, the tools of automation allow marketers to take a much more personal approach with their prospects, allowing the targeting of messages tailored to each contact based on previous behavior, preferences, and progress through the customer journey.

 But the adoption rate of marketing automation remains surprisingly slow. Some marketers even buy automation products with aspirations of using the automation features, but end up only adopting a very basic use of the product, missing out on much of the potential it has to offer.

While increasing marketing ROI is an important objective for a majority of B2B marketers (53%), acquiring more customers is a close second with 47%.

Digging deeper into the current state of automation, the most important objectives of a Marketing Automation Strategy developed from the marketing influencers surveyed, include these responses:

  • Increasing Market ROI    53%
  • Acquiring More Customers    47%
  • Optimizing Productivity    39%
  • Measuring Performance    37%
  • Improving Campaign Management    34%
  • Aligning Marketing    32%
  • Improving Database Quality    29%

To find out how marketers are approaching implementation and identify what factors could be holding them back, the study asked for a performance estimate. While half of marketers surveyed feel they are very to somewhat successful with their automation strategy, another 16%report less success, says the report.

How Successful Is Your Marketing Automation Strategy At Achieving Important Objectives?

Very Successful (Best-in-Class)

38%

Somewhat Successful (Above Average) 

46

Somewhat Unsuccessful (Below Average) 

14

Very Unsuccessful (Worst-in-Class) 

2

Source: iContact/Ascend2, May 2017

 

The perception of automation complexity drives many marketers to look for outside resources to help with implementation. 87%of marketers surveyed outsourced all or part of their marketing automation. Only 13%relied on in-house resources only.

Which Best Describes The Resources Used To Implement A Marketing Automation System?

  • Outsourced to a specialist    28%
  • In-house resources only    13%
  • Combination of outsourced and inbound resources    59%

Finally, according to the report, when it comes to success, most marketers want a quick payout for any new strategy, and automation is no exception. 42% of B2B marketers consider a 4-6 month time frame reasonable for completing implementation of a marketing automation system, and 36%aim for a time frame of three months or less.

For additional information about Top Of Mind report, please visit here.

 

 

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