While marketing practitioners increasingly understand the value of marketing automation, many struggle with gathering the right data to rationalize devoting precious budget to marketing automation projects.
There are many different analyst reports quantifying the benefits of automation in terms of conversion rates and increased revenues, but despite the numbers, adoption rates for marketing automation software isn't where it should be. This could be due to many factors, but research from Accenture suggests that marketers responsible for driving corporate growth are being hindered in their efforts by insufficient budgets, skills shortages and inadequate tools.
At the same time, Forrester found that 47% of B2B marketers reported that the biggest obstacle to spending more money is lack of reports that show ROI.
We all know how important ROI is in helping to justify future marketing investment. However, many marketers are faced with the challenge of, "How do I show ROI of my marketing, if I don't have the tools to measure it?"
Marketers have long had to live in Excel spreadsheets to try and get close to calculating ROI, but we all know the pain and effort involved still doesn't give us confidence in the actual numbers. Marketing automation can overcome that anxiety, helping marketers to trust the numbers using calculations that are visible and transparent to sales and senior management so you can have deeper ongoing discussions on the effectiveness of marketing on the sales funnel and overall revenue goals.
But without the automation tools in place, you have to start somewhere. We suggest organizations work to establish a baseline/benchmark reflecting where the current marketing program is, then try to project future ROI based on automating. There are many different vendors offering great tools to help shape these projections. Then, once implemented, it's fairly easy to determine ROI in terms of conversion rates, increased qualified leads and other intelligence that can be gained through better targeting and segmenting.
While ROI is a critical component in making the case for investing in marketing automation technology, there are other critical factors that you should consider including in your plans. For example:
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