Marketing Automation Takes Flight

Marketing automation was once a practice surrounded by mystique – many companies had heard of it, but few knew what it was and how it could be used at their companies. However, the shroud surrounding marketing automation is being pulled back, and more companies are beginning to understand the strategy and realize the value it can bring to the table.

Take, for example, a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research. According to the report, 59 percent of companies are planning to increase the number of automated campaigns executed this year. There are still some skeptics of marketing automation, but they are in the minority – as few as 14 percent don’t plan on using marketing automation in 2012.

This is likely because automated campaigns alleviate a number of marketing pain points, ranging from sluggish response times to rising budgets. The Forrester [r]esearch further notes that 42 percent of marketers plan to use automation technology for sales and marketing alignment, while others will leverage it to generate relevant offers (38 percent) and customer engagement (57 percent).

Marketing automation can provide huge value to the companies using it, so it’s no surprise companies are increasingly incorporating these platforms into their operations. With marketing automation tools at the ready, best-in-class companies achieved 31.6 percent year-over-year revenue growth, data from the Aberdeen Group suggests.

This translates into a greater degree of trust for the sales and marketing department, with 86 percent of companies using this technology reporting a higher marketing budget this year.

When integrating a distributed marketing automation platform, it’s pivotal that companies consider all of their options. Different vendors produce distinct solutions that excel in a variety of areas and categories. One platform may not work for one company, but could be the perfect fit for a business in another industry.

With more companies integrating marketing automation platforms, businesses should keep their needs in mind as they shop for their marketing automation solution provider[s]. It’s crucial to consider both feature offerings and the customer service of the prospective vendor partner.