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:
Now look at the order of their tactical goals
As you can see, the order is slightly different.