Marketing automation disrupting the status quo - e book - 8-14-13


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Marketing automation disrupting the status quo - e book - 8-14-13

  1. 1. MARKETING AUTOMATION: DIS UPTING THE STATUS QUO Research from 1396 B2B marketers in 2013 reveals what marketers should demand from the next generation of marketing automation technologies.
  2. 2. Contents Introduction………….................................................................................................................. 3 Chapter 1: New Class Disruptors in Marketing Automation..................................................5 Chapter 2: Top 10 Considerations for Maximizing the ROI on Marketing Automation....14 Chapter 3: Key Recommendations……………………………….............................................36 Research Methodology………..................................................................................................41 This eBook was made available compliments of: 2
  3. 3. Introduction Marketing automation technology was designed to empower marketers with the tools they need to execute multi-channel communications, centralize customer data, and promote relevant and meaningful customer engagement across the entire customer lifecycle. As such, most marketing automation tools offer a standard set of core capabilities and features, such as the ability to execute email campaigns, capture web behavior, and prioritize leads to route them to sales when they are truly qualified – so much so that these capabilities provide little differentiation between providers. But research shows that organizations achieve varying degrees of success with marketing automation. Some of the challenges can certainly be credited to a lack of alignment between marketing and sales, or failure to re-think process and role responsibilities during the implementation. But how much of this is because of the tools themselves? Research suggests that marketers are still struggling to embrace some of the core value propositions from marketing automation tools. Are there tradeoffs between the robustness of features/functions and the rate of return on marketing automation investments? Are some solutions so robust that they really only meet the advanced needs of a tiny subset of the B2B market? And if so, what are the most innovative solution providers doing to address emerging market needs? 3
  4. 4. Today, marketing automation solutions continue to evolve to meet the unique needs of customers both large and small, B2B and B2C. That means some providers are better than others at addressing the needs of your organization. This report will explore the challenges and successes with marketing automation according to feedback from senior marketing leaders across a half dozen Gleanster surveys in 2013. The findings leverage insights from 1396 organizations to ascertain how marketers are actually using marketing automation and what they should demand from next-generation solutions to future proof investments in marketing automation. Successful implementations are as much an exercise in change management as they are about choosing the right technology for your organization. Anatomy of a Top Performer Gleanster uses 2-3 key performance indicators (KPIs) to distinguish “Top Performers” from all other companies (“Everyone Else”) within a given data set, thereby establishing a basis for benchmarking best practices. By definition, Top Performers are comprised of the top quartile of qualified survey respondents (QSRs). The KPIs used for distinguishing Top Performers focus on performance metrics that speak to year-over-year improvement in relevant, measurable areas. Not all KPIs are weighted equally. The KPIs used for this Gleansight are: •Growth in annual revenue •Email Click-Through Rates •Growth in Lead-toSales Revenue •Bid-to-Win Ratio •Reduction in Sales Cycle Time 4
  5. 5. CHAPTER 1 New Class Disruptors in Marketing Automation 5
  6. 6. Marketing automation isn’t really about automating marketing. It’s about empowering better relationships with prospects and customers. And it’s about delivering just the right engagement with a prospect at just the right time to build a trusted relationship that results in profitable sales. These days, share of wallet is earned through great customer experiences. Unfortunately for marketers, great customer experiences demand more content, more communications, and more focus on any and all channels customers prefer to engage with a brand. That means marketers are under ever-increasing pressure to do more with the same or fewer resources. As such, the wrong marketing automation solution can sometimes be perceived as more work to overworked marketers. While marketing automation was designed to mitigate marketing challenges, many organizations are finding the technology doesn’t always reduce the burden on marketing; it can be difficult to learn, it demands new content, and it makes the successes (and failures) of marketing more visible. Furthermore, it’s difficult for marketers to embrace new technologies, especially when some of them demand dedicated and skilled resources or consultants. For this reason, many organizations make investments that never fully materialize into the expected return. The best intentions fall short from a lack of training, headcount turnover, and emerging best practices. 6
  7. 7. Ultimately, marketing automation is very powerful, and the real story is far less bleak than the picture we painted above. Gleanster estimates that marketing automation tools are used by approximately 20,000 organizations across the globe, and there are millions of companies that will likely end up using these tools over the next 5-10 years. Research from the last decade has consistently shown that organizations that achieve superior growth in revenue are 7-8 times more likely to be early adopters of marketing automation solutions. Therefore, it’s sufficiently safe to assume that marketing automation has moved beyond the early adopter stage of growth. It’s certainly not a passing fad; it’s the future of B2B marketing. After all, the tools allow marketers to take control of customer data and make it actionable (a top 3 marketing priority for B2B CMOs in 2013). B2B Respondents Using Marketing Automation Figure 1 Marketing automation adoption trends. Depending on the data used, marketing automation adoption has seen compound annual growth of between 10% and 20% since 2011. 78% of Top Performers report using a marketing automation tool. 100% 75% 50% 25% 45% 40% 48% 38% 46% 2011 13% CAGR over 3 years 2012 0% Currently Use 55% 1H 2013 Plan to Use 7
  8. 8. One of the top 5 challenges with maximizing the use of marketing automation is training and “lack of skilled staff.” Depending on the solution, it’s sometimes necessary to hire someone with a technical skill set to operate the marketing automation solution. But it’s also becoming increasingly difficult to retain and pay these resources. Retention is low among skilled marketing automation technologists, and rightfully so, because growth in adoption means increasing demand for a finite number of skilled resources. When demand goes up for finite resources so does the salary, and this is driving significant turnover with marketing technologists. As soon as they are trained and experienced, greener pastures are on the horizon. Marketers also need to reduce dependency on system administration and IT; they need a way to create simplified campaign sites, microsites, landing pages, lead nurturing campaigns, and A/B tests without having to involve a system administrator or IT person. It turns out, marketers struggle to adopt some of the traditional features in marketing automation like lead scoring and trigger marketing. Figure 2 shows that, even among Top Performers, companies are struggling to use some of the most basic features in marketing automation. Naturally this manifests itself in the types of campaigns that are being executed after marketing automation is implemented. It’s not uncommon for users to rely on legacy marketing tactics such as batch-and-blast campaigns, long after marketing automation has been deployed. 8
  9. 9. Figure 2 Marketing automation adoption trends. Surprisingly, few organizations actually use the full breadth of features available in marketing automation. This trend manifests itself as continued dependence on large volume campaigns. Ironically, many companies invest in marketing automation to move away from batch-and-blast tactics. Use of Marketing Automation Features Running campaigns on a periodic basis 98% Large volume email campaigns 62% Lead prioritization 55% Web Tracking Nurture marketing based on behavior 21% Track & measure attribution Email Campaings (one off) Landing Page Hosting Lead Scoring Social Media Marketing Mobile Campaigns 0% Top Performers 50% Everyone Else 100% 9
  10. 10. Figure 3 shows the top three ways Top Performing organizations maximize return on investment in marketing automation. 2013 was the first time ease of use showed up on the list of top three critical success factors for maximizing the return on investment in marketing automation. This was a challenging finding to contextualize because ease of use is a subjective concept. Demand for robust features (mainly by large enterprise organizations) is now being countered by demand for simple to use interfaces. Keep it simple. Many organizations are looking for solutions that the average person could learn in a few hours and get up and running in minutes, not days. Figure 3 Top three ways Top Performers indicate they maximized the return on investment in marketing automation. Ease of use topped the list in 2013, prompting further analysis about how organizations measure such objective criteria. Top 3 Ways to Maximize ROI in Marketing Automation 92% Easy to use system 87% Re-usable camapign templates 77% Cooperation with sales 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Top Performers * Q3 2013 Marketing Automation Survey, n= 220 10
  11. 11. Below we contrast two distinct approaches to marketing automation: the current status quo (CSQ) and new class disruptors (NCD) that are solving some of the challenges traditional marketing automation solutions continue to face. When it comes to selecting a marketing automation platform, making a buying decision based on specific features is a mistake. It’s far more appropriate to look for platforms that fit the broad needs of the organization. As a result, what is emerging across the marketing automation space is a demand for sustainable innovation. Marketers should be demanding more from marketing automation technologies. While the technology can’t be blamed for poor process or a lack of internal alignment, it can generally do more to ensure that core value propositions like lead scoring and revenue attribution tracking are accessible to marketers who are not technical. Campaign Centric Feature Rich Figure 4 Defining CSQ & NCD. New Class Disruption is characterized by innovation that enhances traditional marketing automation features to mitigate challenges and better serve the needs of the “average” marketing automation user. Marketing Automation Solutions Current Status Quo Require Skilled Resources Customizable Templated Approach Drag & Drop New Class Disruptors Built in Data Quality Processes Deep Social Integration Built-in Attribution Modeling 11
  12. 12. 2013 is an important year in marketing automation, thanks to over $3B in acquisitions (Eloqua, Exact Target) and new initial public offerings. But as an industry, marketing automation has started to segment. Established players are finding it increasingly difficult to innovate, and the platforms themselves have become very robust tools with a core client base that is capable of truly extracting all of the benefits of the platform. But what about organizations that are new to marketing automation? Do these robust tools offer too much for the average marketer? Top Performers suggest this might be the case given the overwhelming focus on ease of use. In the next chapter we will explore a variety of key elements that marketers should be demanding from marketing automation solutions. For the purposes of this eBook we will segmenting the market for marketing automation into two classifications: Current Status Quo (CSQ) and New Class Disruptors (NCD). 12
  13. 13. Current Status Quo (CSQ): Over the years, traditional marketing automation capabilities have developed into a standard set of features such as lead scoring, email marketing, web analytics, landing page hosting, and CRM integration. When marketing automation was new, early entrants established market dominance using many of these “traditional” features. As the market matured, continuous innovation driven by demand from existing clients led to more robust offerings, and many solution providers quickly moved up market to the enterprise, where the full breadth of the solution could be appreciated. As a result, solutions, while robust, also got more expensive and often required dedicated administrators with knowledge of CSS, HTML, and API experience. New Class Disruptors (NCD): New class disruptors represent marketing automation providers that are focused on mitigating some of the challenges that first generation marketing automation platforms have faced. These include things like usability, scalability, platform integrity, and computing capacity. Any provider can be a new class disruptor, and the core of this classification is a continuous focus on innovation, even if it means rethinking core marketing automation capabilities. Chapter 2 will explore the top 10 things marketers should look out for when investing in marketing automation. Every organization has unique needs, but it’s generally a good idea to understand if your solution provider of choice is mitigating existing challenges through innovation and the product roadmap. 13
  14. 14. CHAPTER 2 Top 10 Considerations for Maximizing the ROI on Marketing Automation 14
  15. 15. So if marketing automation solutions are evolving and innovating, what should marketers expect from nextgeneration technologies? For one thing, new marketing automation solution providers need to re-think what has been working and not working in marketing automation over the last 10 years. That means the tools should be mitigating top challenges, even from Top Performers who often achieve industry leading performance through early adoption of marketing automation. The following is a list of the top ten things marketers should look for in the new class disruptor (NCD) marketing automation tools (in no particular order). Naturally, every provider is unique and for the most part can check the boxes across all of these criteria (with nuanced exceptions), so it ultimately comes down to how well the tool meets the unique needs of your organization across primary channels, features, and usability. TOP 10 CONSIDERATIONS 15
  16. 16. 1. Focus on good data. Effective marketing automation for B2B demand generation requires accurate and up-to-date business data. Data that can be used to transform customer communications into personalized and relevant dialogs. But, according to Top Performers, data quality is a top challenge with marketing automation. Figure 5 Data quality tops the list of challenges for Top Performers. Marketing automation should have pre-configured tools for managing and augmenting customer data. Top 5 Challenges with Marketing Automation Creating enough content at a reasonable cost 97% Data quality and integration 85% Poor marketing processes 84% Rethinking legacy processes 75% Lack of skilled staff 73% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Top Performers * Q3 2013 Marketing Automation Survey, n= 220 16
  17. 17. That’s because the average organization manages 3-5 marketing technologies, and much of the time customer data is fragmented and siloed across these tools. Marketing automation solutions must be capable of centralizing existing and future customer data. Current status quo (CSQ) marketing automation solutions often rely on third-party data cleansing and enhancement tools to link disparate sources of data and tie them to customer records using a unique identifier such as an email address. But the new velocity of business change means that the very best source of data about the customer comes from the customers themselves. That means marketers need to capture explicit information on forms and landing pages, but more importantly connect via social media. The best source of information actually resides on social media, and marketers need a systematic way to harvest these sources for data cleansing and accuracy. New class disruptor (NCD) solutions need to connect with social networks, especially LinkedIn and Twitter. This shifts the data cleansing challenge from “how do I make sure this data is up-to-date” to “how do I add more value to the data.” That transforms what marketers know about a prospect into active and ongoing intelligence that can be used to optimize marketing communications. 17
  18. 18. Questions to Ask About Data • How does the system guard against duplicate records? The current status quo uses email addresses as the unique identifier on customer records. But customers often have multiple email addresses, so you need a system with fuzzy logic to identify similar records as the same or duplicate. The bigger your customer database, the more challenging implementing this kind of fuzzy logic engine will be for your marketing automation provider. That’s why nextgeneration solutions will have to be capable of rapidly scaling large databases (which can just as easily exist in small-to-midsize organizations as they do in enterprises). • How does the system enhance the data provided by the prospect? Look for solutions that append data in real time using social networking profiles as their primary source. Static data sources, for example Hoovers, Jigsaw, and the like, are great when it comes to data about a particular company but ridiculously out of date when it comes to data about specific prospects. 18
  19. 19. 2. Ease of use is not a ‘nice to have.’ It’s everything. 8 out of 10 Top Performers rank ease of use as a top three value driver for maximizing the ROI on investments. All vendors will claim their systems are easy to use, but you need to validate that yourself. Depending on the needs of the organization, and largely on the size of the implementation, some systems will require IT support during the initial implementation. Some systems also require dedicated administrators for customizations and more advanced campaigns, so knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Javascript will be a plus. As previously mentioned, about one-third of Top Performers involve consultants when implementing a current status quo solution. This is obviously an added expense to the implementation. Figure 6 How do companies measure ease of use in marketing automation? Here are a few of the most common answers from respondents to a Q1 2013 marketing survey. Top 2 Ways Your Organization Measures Ease of Use No knowledge of coding required 83% Intuitive interface 79% Desire to use the system daily 72% Templates 62% Minimal customization required 56% Confident training others 46% 0% 50% 100% * All Respondents, Q1 2013 Revenue Performance Management Survey, n= 219 19
  20. 20. New class disruptors (NCD), on the other hand, need to embrace the fact that even the biggest company has limited headcount and a limited budget. There will always be a need for two distinct classes of technologies, those that are more robust and therefore slightly harder to learn, and those that are intuitive and easy to use. Nextgeneration marketing automation solutions are embracing drag-and-drop capabilities through HTML5, which provides a slick interface that deploys with all the ease of use of a consumer class product. Questions to Ask About Ease of Use • Are our current users experienced at using marketing automation technology? If so, do we need to hire a new resource? • Do I need a system that is feature rich? What is the business case justification for these features? • How long does it take to author a landing page? A thank you page? Set up a simple lead nurturing campaign? Get hands on, and don’t settle for screenshots during the selling phase. • Envision yourself and your team using the marketing automation platform day in and day out. How will they feel about using the platform on a regular basis? 20
  21. 21. Questions to Ask About Ease of Use Cont’d • Does the UI focus on features you will use day in and day out versus the “advanced features” that you will use less frequently? Too many advanced features can make it impossible for beginning users to understand how to get started with a product. So the best practice is to keep advanced options lower down in the UI hierarchy. • How long will it take to get onboard my company? What’s the average for companies like mine? • What is the training process like? Do I have to pay for training? • How long before I can create and execute my first campaign? • How can I make changes to assets like landing pages, callsto-action, campaign work flows? Must I involve IT or a specialized administrator with knowledge of your product or will I be able to “do it myself”? • Can I create landing pages in a simple, drag-and-drop manner? • What about graphical calls-to-action? Are tools available that make it easy for me to create graphical calls-to-actions and buttons and re-use them throughout the system? • Do I need skills in Javascript or HTML just to change the color and look and feel of a simple button? (Warning: two very large CSQ marketing automation vendors fall down here for reasons we cannot fathom.) 21
  22. 22. 3. Flexible pricing and contracts. Today, virtually all marketing automation solutions are bought and sold as a SaaS (software-as-a-service). That’s funny, because the promise of SaaS is that you don’t have to make any long-term commitment. But the reality is that long-term contracts somehow worked their way into the industry, and they are quite common among providers. On the one hand, long-term contracts force organizations to really invest in the longevity of the solution, but on the other hand they can lock marketers into the wrong solution for the wrong reasons. In order for marketing automation to continue growing, providers will need to embrace flexible pricing and place greater emphasis on service, ease of use, and customer satisfaction to keep customers coming back. At the same time, many providers will price the solution based on tiered numbers of “active” contacts in a database. This can quickly become very expensive to support if an organization has large lists or an active communication strategy. Most of the time, pricing tiers are based on active users and are designed to protect against users blatantly sending SPAM with the system and negatively impacting email deliverability. Just make sure the volume of communications you plan to send is realistic based on the price plan. Also ask if there are overage charges and automated alerts when email send thresholds are reached. 22
  23. 23. Questions to Ask About Pricing • What’s the shortest period I can license your software for? • Does the licensing cost start immediately or only after I’ve gone through onboarding? • If I’m dissatisfied after 30-60-90 days, can I get my money back? • What’s your renewal rate? How does this compare with your competition? • What happens to my data if I ever want to move to another marketing automation platform? 23
  24. 24. 4. Look for pre-packaged integration with CRM. Marketing automation is largely designed for marketers to use on a regular basis. But the ultimate goal of marketing automation is to convert prospects into customers. As such, it’s critical that marketing automation aligns with CRM so salespeople are notified of just the right time to contact qualified leads. According to respondents, response rates are on average 287% higher when a lead is contacted within a minute of an inquiry and 58% higher when a lead is contacted within an hour. Inevitably, about 20% of the prospects marketing generates will be immediate opportunities that should be routed to sales. The lag between when marketing automation runs lead scoring algorithms and the update in CRM can make all the difference. Questions to Ask About Pricing • Are lead scores calculated in real time? • How frequently can we update our CRM solution with marketing automation data? Are there daily maximums or costs associated with the frequency of the update? • Can sales enter leads into lead nurturing programs from within CRM? • Can prospect information move bi-directionally from CRM and Marketing Automation? 24
  25. 25. 5. Look for modern design patterns, not templates. Your brand is important to you. Some marketing automation solutions use a template approach to minimize the need to customize and configure layouts. On the one hand, this removes the burden on marketers to ensure campaigns are configured correctly and will render across different ISPs. On the other hand, preconfigured templates mean landing pages, emails, and other assets all tend to look the same. Today, content and digital channels form the basis for engaging new prospects with value-added content. It’s not uncommon to see very similar design layouts across campaigns because marketers default to a handful of templates. The question is, does that work for your brand? The current status quo uses templates and standardized layouts for executing campaigns, which simplifies execution and can give marketers a leg up in getting new campaigns configured. New class disruptors must support the publishing of landing pages, thank you pages, and lead nurturing campaigns that are flexible and easily customizable by marketers. These campaigns must be built to look good, persuade audiences, and perform on smart phones and tablets. Questions to Ask About Layout & Templates Hint: Ask these same questions for landing pages, call-toaction graphics, and email campaigns. 25
  26. 26. Questions to Ask About Layout & Templates • Can I see 5-7 samples of landing pages created on your platform? Match the landing pages to the brand. What do you see? A giveaway that the system will not deliver the production values you need is if every landing page looks the same and not like the corresponding brand. • How much work was involved in building and customizing landing pages, ones that look significantly different than the templates that ship with the product? • What templates come standard with your system? (Many popular marketing automation solutions come with standard templates. A dead giveaway that the marketing automation platform is hard to use is when you see the standard templates in use everywhere.) 26
  27. 27. 6. Responsive design is a must for mobile engagement. Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in the B2B buying process. Research suggests that on average between 60% and 70% of B2B buyers will engage in fact-finding and research on mobile devices before making a purchase decision. At a minimum, marketers should embrace responsive design (where the viewing experience is optimized for the device screen size) in campaigns, landing pages, and the website. New class disruptors (NCD) should come pre-configured with responsive design elements, which ensure communications are viewable on any platform: traditional (PC, Mac), smart phone, or tablet. Questions to Ask About Pricing • What assets does the system create that are ready to be viewed on mobile? • Can I see what a landing page, email newsletter, and thank you page looks like on mobile from within your system? • Have your mobile styles been updated for the iPad mini and other smaller-format tablets? Tablets or the bigger format Android phones? • Is mobile transformation handled on the server side in the browser or via some hybrid process? Server-side transformation – sometimes called adaptive design – does not give you control over look and feel in the same manner as responsive design. To future-proof your marketing automation solution, responsive design should be a preference. 27
  28. 28. 7. A/B Testing should be wicked easy. Most marketers will say they value testing and optimization – as they should. But the reality is, testing and optimization is still a challenge for marketers. There are two main reasons for this: 1. Marketers don’t always know how to translate testing results into action. 2. Marketers struggle with the usability of A/B and multivariate testing in marketing technologies. (See Figure 7.) When asked to prioritize features and functions inside of marketing based on the areas marketers perceive to be the highest value, 78% of marketers indicated easier A/B testing was a top three desired feature inside of marketing automation. Most solution providers can do basic A/B testing, but it really comes down to how the technology closes the loop on the results. Figure 7 Marketers struggle with testing and optimization features in marketing automation tools. Level of satisfaction with marketing automation tools Creative design/templates Web analytics integration A/B testing Multivariate testing 0% Not Satisfied 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Satisfied * Q2 2013 Digital Marketing Survey, n=321 28
  29. 29. Questions to Ask About A/B Testing & Optimization • After I run a test, what happens with the results? Will the system automatically adjust campaigns, landing pages, or email based on the test results, or does that need to be done manually? • Show me how to run an A/B test in your system. • Do I need developer knowledge to make adjustments to the messages? 29
  30. 30. 8. Targeting and dynamic personalization. Businesses don’t make purchase decisions, people do. In the complex B2B sale it’s common for multiple influencers and decision makers to be involved in the buying cycle. For this reason, it is imperative for marketers to shift from a “one size fits all” approach to marketing to a personalized one-to-one communication strategy; business-to-business is shifting to person-to-person. Of course, that’s easier said than done. The need to personalize communications more effectively is a top three reason to implement marketing automation according to Top Performers. Every marketing automation solution comes equipped with the ability to configure business rules that help marketers personalize more effectively. The biggest impediment to personalization is actually data quality. If you don’t trust the data, you can’t trust the personalized communications. New class disruptors should come equipped with smart lists (also known as dynamic lists) whereby prospects are added to campaigns automatically based on profile data and the stage in the buying cycle. This allows marketers to focus on developing the right messages instead of wasting time managing lists for those communications. 30
  31. 31. Questions to Ask About Targeting & Personalization • Do you support persona-based targeting? • How easy or hard is it to pull segments out of the database? • Can prospects exist in multiple segments simultaneously? • Can I customize landing pages and the offers they deliver based on segment membership? How easy or hard is this to do? Show me. • What about thank you pages? Can they be personalized based on the stage (lifecycle) of the lead? 31
  32. 32. 9. Multi-channel campaigns. Do you have teenager at home? If you do, you may have discovered that email is – in the words of Gen Z – “how old people communicate.” Old or young, it is true that some prospects and customers do not want to be contacted via email and will opt out of this channel. But email isn’t the only channel to worry about any longer. It’s imperative that marketing automation platforms support multi-channel campaigns. Many current status quo companies crafted their products pre-social media. As a result, social media tends to be bolted on versus integrated in a seamless manner within their campaignplanning tools. New class disruptors look at social as another channel of communication, one that can add frequency to a campaign and/or reach prospects that have opted out of email communications with your company. Social media has also become a source of insight about prospect purchase behavior and an indication that contact history may be out of date. In order for marketing automation to effectively engage prospects and customers during the buying cycle, the systems really need to start managing the accuracy of customer data and be a conduit for collecting additional insights on prospects. 32
  33. 33. Questions to Ask About Multi-Channel Capabilities • How easy or hard is it to create a lead nurturing campaign that utilizes Twitter? Many CSQ automation systems are centered around email. • Can I track and measure offline activity using the same campaign tracking tools I use for online marketing? This turns out to be very helpful when it comes time to report on ROI or lifetime value across the marketing mix. 33
  34. 34. 10. Built in Revenue Attribution. Revenue optimization/marketing attribution should be built-in and part of list pricing. This is an area where current status quo companies are walking a fine line. One would think that measuring the success of campaigns and communications would be a natural out-of-the-box capability in marketing automation. But over the years, revenue optimization/marketing attribution has been added to marketing automation solutions and largely sold to large enterprise users. In some cases these capabilities are a separate product that must be licensed, for big bucks. But the idea that only the biggest companies “need” revenue optimization or attribution analysis is flawed. New class disruptors need to simplify revenue optimization/attribution analysis and bake it into the platform as a core capability at no additional cost. While these reports will never be 100% accurate, this has always been a challenge for marketers. Basic weighted attribution modeling can deliver some very compelling directional insights for marketers. New class disruptors rely on a combination of server-side and in-browser technologies to simplify the creation of new campaigns and tracking them through to conversion. The new class disruptors understand revenue attribution requires a nuanced approach. Most are committed to making revenue optimization/attribution analysis a core part of their platforms at no additional cost. 34
  35. 35. Questions to Ask About Revenue Attribution • Where does revenue optimization/attribution analysis fit in your product roadmap? Is this something you will be building into the platform or handling via a connector to someone else’s application? • What kinds of tools and reports are available for my organization to understand the relationship between marketing activity and revenue? • Can I calculate ROI on a particular marketing campaign? • Are tools available to understand the lifetime value of different segments of customers? • How is attribution modeling handled? There are at least 4 different ways marketers are looking at attribution models: first touch, last touch, multi-touch weighted model, statistical models. Look for a system that does not lock you into any one method. Different models can be useful for different types of marketing decisions. For example, last touch attribution modeling can tell you what campaigns to send to a prospect last, to accelerate the close and/or maximize revenue. • Will revenue optimization be handled as an additional product or will it be built into the core product? Look for companies that take a platform approach and build individual applications out with consistency particularly around the UI. This enables leveraged learning, the ability for you and your team to learn one function and see that learning apply when it comes time to pick up and learn new functionality. 35
  36. 36. CHAPTER 3 Future Proof Your Marketing Automation Investment 36
  37. 37. Research suggests that the number of organizations that have tried more than one marketing automation technology is on the rise. In fact, 65% of Top Performing organizations divested of one solution in favor of another marketing automation technology over the last 10 years. That’s not necessarily a surprise, since it’s fairly easy to justify an investment and get the technology up and running. But a willingness to switch providers means organizations, for whatever reason, are unhappy. The simple fact that organizations continue to look for new providers is actually an indication that the technology works, but perhaps they experienced issues with service, pricing, or the user experience. "How many marketing automation solutions has your organization tried?" 80% 60% Figure 8 Trends showing organizations are increasingly likely to try more than one marketing automation solution. This is an indication that they see value, but struggle with some aspect of the solution: usability, price, customer service, etc. 61% 57% 53% 40% 35% 38% 40% 20% 4% 5% 7% 0% 1 Solution 2011 2 Solutions 2012 3 or More 1H 2013 * Q1 2013 Nurture Marketing Survey, n= 268, Q1 2013 Revenue Performance Management Survey, n= 219, Q2 2013 Digital Marketing Survey, n=321, Q3 2013 Marketing Automation Survey, n= 220 37
  38. 38. The question is, how do you future proof your investment? While marketing automation tools consistently play a powerful role in Top Performing success, the return on investment demands a holistic approach. Marketing automation is an enabler of people and process, which means the success of an investment hinges on the ability to re-think marketing and sales processes, success metrics, and the overall customer experience. There are two critical aspects to future proofing an investment. 1. Don’t limit decisions based on features and functions. The decisions should be based on the entire platform. If your organization is new to marketing automation, you may not need a laundry list of robust features and capabilities. Be sure to conduct a demo and have actual end-users of the system participate. Ask solution providers to expose the platform in a trial or hands-on user experience so users can get a feel for how things work. 38
  39. 39. 2. Commit to investing in the components of change: people, process, and technology. Marketing automation will require you to re-think your marketing and sales strategy, processes, and measures of success. It’s very common for organizations to invest in marketing automation, fail to make necessary internal changes, and then blame the systems for failure. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Top Performers rank process re-engineering as a top priority for maximizing the return on investment. Figure 9 Managing the components of change. Successful marketing automation investments require systematic attention to all three areas. •Technical ability •Marketing & Sales alignment •Motivation •Common goals •Resource budget People Process •Shared definition of qualified lead •Nurture marketing •Lead stages defined •Linkage to CRM •Multi-channel •Intuitive •Training & support •Customization •Executive reporting •Data integrity Technology 39
  40. 40. Conclusion The good news is marketing automation solutions are evolving to meet the unique needs of organizations of all shapes and sizes. There will always be growing pains as new disruptive industries form, and marketing automation was definitely a disruptive force in the marketing technology stack. Bottom line, marketers should be holding solution providers accountable for solving their biggest challenges. In a highly competitive market, buyers have many choices, and perhaps that is the main driver behind continuous innovation in marketing automation. Your solution provider should be earning your business, not locking you into contracts. Your solution provider should be making it easy ascertain revenue attribution insights from no-cost built-in models. Your solution provider should ultimately address your needs as B2B marketers. Marketing automation will eventually replace legacy disparate marketing technologies, so it’s generally a good idea to start thinking about how your organization can simplify the marketing technology stack and extract more value from a core system of record for customer data. As much as we love to say success is not about flipping the switch on the technology, that doesn’t make finding the right technology any less critical. 40
  41. 41. Research Methodology • In 2013, Gleanster conducted 6 different surveys on B2B marketing strategy, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, marketing automation, and revenue performance management. This eBook leverages data from each of these surveys and represents the collective feedback of 1396 B2B marketers. • Q1 2013 Inbound Marketing Survey, n= 203 • Q1 2013 Nurture Marketing Survey, n= 268 • Q1 2013 Revenue Performance Management Survey, n= 219 • Q2 2013 Digital Marketing Survey, n=321 • Q3 2013 Marketing Automation Survey, n= 220 • Q3 2013 Omni-Channel Marketing Survey, n= 170 • Gleanster used a weighted methodology using key performance indicators based on self reported performance from anonymous survey participants to distinguish Top Performers (defined as the top 25% of qualified survey respondents) from Everyone Else (the bottom 75%). 41
  42. 42. Lead Author Ian Michiels, Principal & Managing Director This eBook was made available compliments of: About Gleanster Gleanster is a new breed of market research and advisory services firm. Its larger, more comprehensive “Gleansight” benchmark research reports and concise, more bite-sized “Deep Dive” analyst reports highlight the experiences of top performing organizations: why they invest in technology, how they overcome challenges, and how they maximize the value of their investments. Gleanster also aggregates outside thought leadership in the form of vetted white papers and research reports from third-party sources, including those from technology solution providers – who, for their part, can create and maintain their own Vendor and Solution Showcases on to help further educate the marketplace. For more information, visit 42