Marketing Automation – Still Lagging Behind the CRM Adoption Curve

As a B2B marketer in the technology space, I always like to see how less technical companies are handling marketing. For many of us who have been around CRM systems, a technology-aided marketing program is an afterthought. So, I got a nice refreshing view on the state of marketing at an event I attended yesterday. The event was called B2B Marketing University – put on by email services and marketing services software provider Silverpop.

The audience was varied in terms of industry background, and all had different levels of marketing automation experience. And judging from my conversations, there are still a lot of organizations that are not automating their marketing processes, or putting significant measurements in place.

This observation was backed up by  a factoid that came up in a presentation, based on research by analysis firm Sirius Decisions. They opine that only 10% of organizations today are using marketing automation software.

Marketing has long been considered more art than science. But with simple tools like web-to-lead forms and tracker URLs for email campaigns, measurement and ROI numbers can be easily attained. I think we are still in a learning curve here – but the good news is that the tools that help optimize existing marketing practices are getting easier and easier to use.

The next huge issue, of course, is figuring out how to mix in all that cool social media stuff for marketing, but I do believe for many companies, they need to walk before they run.

3 thoughts on “Marketing Automation – Still Lagging Behind the CRM Adoption Curve

  1. Agreed that it’s a very exciting and high growth time in the Marketing Automation space. Exactly what the current figures are on adoption could be debated, but regardless, it’s a small percentage of the market. It’s an interesting point you make on social media though. In many ways, the two are quite related trends. Might seem a strange point, but bear with me…

    The rise in marketing automation is driven by one major trend; the buyers’ control of the buying process. The more they have access to the information they need, the more that marketers need to understand buyers and facilitate their buying, rather than pushing out largely undifferentiated messaging. Marketing automation is the technology that allows that understanding of buyers, and communication of the right message at the right time based on that understanding.

    Socila media, in many ways, allows an even greater access to information by buyers. Insights and knowledge can be discovered and shared in social discussions and communities even more readily than with search engines alone. As this trend accelerates, the growth of marketing automation accelerates with it. Being able to share, track, and score based on social media activity is certainly an added synergy between marketing automation and social media, but the underlying trend is really about information access.

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