Adoption rates of B2B marketing automation have continued to grow over the past 12 months, but a recent post by B2B Marketing has found that there may be underlying issues with this new technology. As expected, the report found that marketing automation (MA) software is likely to be present in 88% of B2B organisations by the start of the 2017-18 financial year. However, 61% of B2B marketers agree that MA implementation is ‘very difficult’ or ‘difficult’, with the biggest challenge being ‘data integration’.
Marketing automation isn’t supposed to be complicated
Don’t think for a second that marketing automation companies set out with the objective of making intentionally complex or difficult programs. This is of course not the case, simply because it’s not a great business model. However, these innovative tools do have a rather steep learning curve. Many providers are aware of this and have introduced user-friendly features such as drag-and-drop and plug-ins in order to aid their customers’ transition, but there are still many hurdles for users to overcome.
The ins and outs of adoption
When an organisation first purchases a marketing automation tool, they typically start making to-do lists of activities that need be completed. These include things like getting to grips with the technology (usually through online training courses), integrating their existing databases, finding someone in-house to manage the new tool, and working out how to automate their existing marketing processes. However, on top of all this, marketers also need to create a library of content that can be automated, consider how workflows will guide prospects/leads, and how they will score new leads entering their system.
Now, not only does it take time and resources to overcome these challenges, but during this time, the business is not seeing any return on its investment. Spending marketing budget on an automation tool is a big decision for marketing managers, and you can bet that the C-suite will be interested in seeing some ROI from it as quickly as possible. So what is the best way to ensure that marketing automation software is a valuable addition to your arsenal, and a tool that will quickly show its worth to your business?
Seek the advice of experts
The marketing automation learning curve is an unavoidable truth. Even with providers offering more easy-to-use solutions and online tutorials, marketers will always need to go through the process of learning the ins and outs of marketing automation.
However, there are experts who have gone through the learning stage already and who know just what’s needed to generate ROI quickly and efficiently with this type of tool… and these are the people you need to speak to. What if while you were learning the fundamentals of marketing automation, the software was already generating leads and ROI for your business? This is the dream, right? Well, by partnering with experts and agencies, you can rest assured they will get your new tool up and running as quickly as possible. And more importantly, manage the tricky problems that would otherwise have had you scratching your head for weeks on end. Database integration, workflow creation and management, content production, lead scoring and qualification, are just a small part of what experts can bring to the table when it comes to marketing automation.
The future of marketing automation
As reported by B2B marketing, over 80% of businesses are expected to have marketing automation tools by 2017-2018, however it’s the organisations that seek the assistance of experienced experts that will generate ROI fastest and most efficiently. That’s not to say that the remaining businesses will not see the benefits of their investment, they’ll just have to accept that the marketing automation learning curve can be time-consuming and costly.
If you’d like to find out more about marketing automation and how it can help grow your revenue, ROI and profits…