Marketing automation is still a relatively untapped resource in the world of CRM solutions. Even as it has become more prolific, many companies still leave the marketing department at the bottom of the list when it comes to software upgrades. But the days of putting marketing automation behind areas like HR and customer service may soon be a thing of the past, as more and more CEOs realize how marketing-automation solutions can directly benefit sales.
According to a 2007 report by market-research provider Aberdeen Group Inc., 58 percent of best-in-class companies now use marketing-automation software, and 32 percent of those businesses have used it for three or more years. The report indicated that companies using marketing-automation solutions are seven times more likely to see a greater than 100 percent return on their marketing campaigns. When the report was released, Ian Michiels, an Aberdeen Group senior research analyst, observed that companies that were early arrivals on the marketing-automation scene "demonstrate the value of automating standardized, day-to-day marketing activities," while companies who are late to the table "spend unnecessary time on manual processes and administrative tasks that can easily be streamlined and automated with marketing-automation technologies."
Another 2007 Aberdeen Group report on marketing automation, co-sponsored by Market2Lead Inc., indicated that companies that invested in marketing-automation technology during the previous two years saw a 10 percent increase in lead-to-sales conversion rates. Market2Lead CEO Geoff Rego said at the time that the report, "shows that marketing automation plays a significant role in increasing the return on investment that companies receive from their marketing campaigns."
In no particular order, here are five key aspects of marketing automation that can directly benefit your business's sales efforts.
But as with all other software solutions, buying the software is merely the first step. Michiels added one key point when his report was released. He said that the best-in-class companies, "do more than adopt technology; they establish organizational practices around measurement and accountability for marketing initiatives."