Brands considering marketing automation strategy are most focused on bucking up their campaign performance, according to Marketing Automation Integration, a study byAscend2.
Their primary reasons for deploying automation are to improve campaign effectiveness (57%), marketing/sales alignment (53%) and quality lead generation (49%).
Among the lesser-ranked factors are improvement of marketing-related metrics (34%), data systems centralization (30%) and marketing attribution (26%). Only 9% seek to improve data governance/hygiene.
Their most critical challenges are in a slightly different order. Firms are daunted when trying to improve:
Despite these challenges, almost all the respondents say their automation implementation strategy is at least partially successful.
Of those polled, 40% rank themselves as very successful, or best in class. Another 55% feel they are somewhat successful. And 9% sadly say they’re unsuccessful.
Look for brands to raise their marketing automation budgets this year. For 64%, the budget will increase moderately. And 23% say it will go up significantly. But 13% expect a decrease, and 2% expect a significant one.
How do they choose automation systems? They look at:
It takes time to realize the benefits of marketing automation — 54% report that it takes six to 12 months, 36% cite six months or less and 10% say it takes 12 months or more.
How do they measure automation success? They analyze:
Of the respondents, 63% use both in-house and outside resources, 24% do everything in-house and 13% rely totally on outside specialists.
Ascend2 and its Research Partners surveyed 277 marketing influencers.