Companies Plan to Spend More on Marketing Automation

Ifbyphone’s recent infographic, The Evolution of Marketing Automation, provides a primer on the benefits of marketing automation, as well as statistics regarding who spends the most on this technology and its overall rising popularity.

“Marketing automation has moved way past its email origins and now incorporates everything from social media to voice communication,” the researchers state. “With every means of B2B communication under one big tent through marketing automation, companies who use the technology process have a leg up on the competition.”

This leg up includes the ability to measure return on investment (ROI) more effectively, streamline the leads-to-sales processes with better market intelligence and enhance user interaction with brands. Professional Services Journal (PSJ) adds that companies are now able to track their leads’ progress through the sales funnel while accelerating the velocity through each stage, thus increasing their chances to earn revenue.
Ifbyphone Evolution of Marketing Automation Infographic

Specifically, 95 percent of those surveyed by Ifbyphone said they noticed an increase in their ability to measure sales in 2011, while 63 percent said they were able to measure ROI better. Also, 42 percent said automation improved their ability to hand leads to sales personnel.

“The fully evolved marketer can effectively use every channel backed by measurement of that’s channel’s effectiveness,” the company states.

Everyone is Jumping on the Marketing Automation Bandwagon

It’s encouraging to note that B2B marketers spent about $325 million on marketing automation in 2011—50 percent more than they did in 2010.  45 percent of that spending came from mid-sized companies (those with between $20 million and $500 million in revenue), 92 percent of smaller businesses said they plan to increase their marketing budgets as well.

Businesses aren’t the only ones warming to marketing automation. The infographic also shows that manufacturers increased automation processes by 25 percent in 2011.

It seems that more and more people have a background using marketing automation in some capacity. For instance, researchers found that 173,000 professionals on LinkedIn had marketing automation experience, a total that trumps the number of lawyers in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago combined.

This increased use may be a result of more companies adapting to technology that lets them track leads’ digital footprints, which allows them to set automated triggers once they reach certain thresholds, PSJ explains.

For example, triggers can be cumulative (when a user reaches a certain number of clicks in a given time frame), content-specific (when a user clicks on a specific page), offer-specific (clicking through from an email containing an offer) or path-specific (when a user takes a certain path known to generate leads).

This wealth of knowledge can be integral in securing leads and creating visibility among marketing channels. So why is it, according to Ifbyphone, that 45 percent of companies still don’t have a solid understanding of said channels?

PSJ points out that visibility—such as the ability to learn which messages and incentives accelerate buyers through the sales funnel—is possible with automation techniques. By viewing which specific sales opportunities produce the greatest number of closures, companies can disregard ineffective campaigns that may be budget drains.

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