Marketing automation is fast becoming an important trend for digital marketers looking into 2015. However, it is still early days for the adoption of this technology in British companies. We set out to find out why and provide a guide to making the case for marketing automation for those wanting to persuade managers, colleagues or clients.
The benefits are clear. Good use of marketing automation enables companies to identify prospects and take them on a journey from first enquiry to loyal advocate. The content of email messages can be personalised to the recipient and their interests. Prospects and customers can be segmented into discrete lists so that you only send information and offers that are relevant to your contacts. This heightened understanding and targeting of messages to the customers needs can only be good for business. So what is getting in the way of faster take-up?
Through talking to a wide variety of UK companies, we discovered three main reasons.
INVESTMENT. Firstly with any new marketing technique there is always going to be an investment. Despite the many benefits, marketing automation does cost money. Not only in terms of the cost of software but also in the resources to implement content marketing campaigns. As one of our respondents pointed out, content marketing is highly effective, but quality content (essential for good marketing automation campaigns) takes time to write. Companies may also already have invested in web technologies that aren't so up-to-date, but that they are reluctant to replace just yet.
MOTIVATION. Secondly, organisations lack the motivation to try out new digital marketing techniques. This can be because of a lack of knowledge of the new tools available to them. Or it may result from a confidence in the "way things are done around here". Tried and tested techniques are the backbone of the organisation's strategy in these cases. Unfortunately, these companies may not see the benefits of moving with the times until it is too late, and competitors have jumped ahead.
CULTURE. And lastly, organisational culture may be a stumbling block. A company with a strong sales orientation for example, may be more inclined towards traditional lead generation methods such as cold calling and personal selling techniques. Often these companies have already invested in systems that support that culture and may be difficult to update or replace. Ownership of technology investment is equally complicated and can cause long decision making cycles which include IT, Sales and Marketing, with no clear ownership of the decision.
An apetite for marketing automation may vary across an organisation, with marketers champing at the bit to get on with it, and other decision makers holding them back. With this in mind, and knowing that a business case always needs to be put together for worthwhile investments, we have put together a guide to "Making the case for Marketing Automation." Download the guide now for 6 easy steps to make your case for marketing automaton.