Automation Nation: Brands Say They Are Good At Making It Work

Automation can drive email and just about every marketing activity. And brands are getting better at it, according to Optimizing Marketing Automation, a new study by Ascend2 and its Research Partners.  

But obstacles stand in the way. And they are preventing companies from achieving some strategic goals. 

Automation begins with creating a plan, and 64% see that as a strategic priority. It is a relatively easy task, viewed as a barrier by only 41%. 

Granted, that 41% is pretty high, but it’s lower than the percentage of those who set this goal as a priority. Similarly, 50% want to improve the user experience. And only 37% say that’s a roadblock.

If only everything were that simple. In contrast, 38% want to deliver personal content. But 44% see that as a hurdle. And 36% hope to integrate their marketing systems. Yet 43% believe that’s a barrier.

Then there is the challenge of achieving data unification, which is seen as a problem by 38%. Only 19% want to try it. Are brands going for the low-hanging fruit? 



Don’t get the wrong idea — of 250 marketers surveyed, 46% say they are very successful, or best in class, at marketing automation, and 44% feel they are somewhat so. Only 10% deem themselves unsuccessful. And 94% of those say marketing automation is very important.

How do you get the most out of automation? Of those surveyed, 53% utilize customer experience mapping. And 51% cite personalized/dynamic content. 

But the latter is the most difficult chore of all, listed by 46%. Second on this list is AI and predictive modeling, viewed as difficult by 45% and used by only 34%.

The least daunting activity is landing page and form CTA, which is pursued by only 35%.

Again, virtually all at 93% say they are improving at these processes, 42% significantly. 

How do they do it? For 57%, it’s a combination of outsourced and in-house resources, while 31% outsource to a specialist and 12% do it entirely in-house.

Not to end on a negative note, but here is the list of tactics that are seen as difficult:

  • Personalized/dynamic content — 46%
  • AI and predictive modeling — 45%
  • Customer experience mapping — 43%
  • Prospect/customer re-engagement — 37%
  • A/B or multivariate testing — 30%
  • Auto-responder and drip — 30%
  • Landing page and form  CTA — 27%

Now look at the order of their tactical goals 

  • Customer experience mapping — 53%
  • Personalized/dynamic content — 51%
  • Prospect/customer reengagement — 40%
  • Landing page and form CTA — 35% 
  • AI and predictive modeling — 34%
  • A/B or multivariate testing — 28%
  • Auto responder and drip — 28%

 As you can see, the order is slightly different.  

Next story loading loading..