Marketing Automation Mostly Focused On Campaigns, Study Finds

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: 

  • Marketing/sales alignment — 49%
  • !quality lead generation — 49% 
  • Campaign effectiveness — 45%
  • Marketing-related metrics — 31% 
  • Marketing attribution — 23%
  • Data governance/hygiene — 17% 
  • Data systems centralization — 16%

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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:

  • Total cost or pricing model — 53%
  • Ease of use/learning curve — 47% 
  • Analytics and reporting — 40%
  • All-in-one/integrated solution — 39% 
  • Lead management — 30% 
  • Data management — 27%
  • Email/campaign automation — 27%

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: 

  • Revenue generated — 60%
  • Customers acquired — 52%
  • Conversion rates — 44%
  • Sales accepted leads — 29%
  • Marketing qualified leads — 23% 
  • Cost per lead generate — 14% 
  • Open and click rates — 6%

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.

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