ZoomInfo first discussed the use of marketing automation six years ago. Since then, a lot has changed in the B2B marketing world. Marketing automation has grown immensely. In fact, 55% of B2B companies report using marketing automation as part of their marketing strategy (source).
While the use of marketing automation has become more prevalent since 2011, marketers still struggle to fully leverage the capabilities of their marketing automation software. In fact, a recent study reported only 14% of marketers describe their use of marketing automation as “good” or better (source).
In an effort to provide an updated look at marketing automation, we’re answering the same questions we covered in our original post from 2011.
Why do B2B brands use marketing automation platforms?
Marketing automation technology is more complex than ever, offering solutions that simplify a number of vital marketing practices including campaign creation and personalization, customer behavior tracking, automated sales alerts, and social analytics, just to name a few.
Today, it is estimated that the use of a marketing automation platform can produce a 60% growth in revenue for B2B businesses (source). As far as the specific activities that contribute to this revenue growth: 61% of marketers reported that the primary use of marketing automation tools was for lead generation purposes, followed closely by lead nurturing at 57% (source).
What are the biggest obstacles plaguing the adoption rate of marketing automation?
Today, the answer for low adoption rates lies within a lack of resources. The most helpful marketing automation tools are often a challenge to implement and maintain; they require a lot of time and money to be used effectively. More often than not, only top performing companies are able to invest in these resources. According to one recent study, adoption rates for marketing automation tools are highest among Fortune 1000 companies, with 60% of companies at this level adopting this technology (source).
How can B2B companies improve their marketing automation efforts?
Originally, we reported the best way for B2B companies to improve their marketing automation efforts was to focus more on user-based content. While we agree that user-based content contributes to marketing success, we recommend focusing more on the implementation and adoption of your marketing automation platform.
According to a recent study, 52% of marketers report that a lack of strategy as the biggest inhibitor of marketing automation success (source). Just as they did 6 years ago, marketers still hold the belief that marketing automation is the magic tool that will produce results with very little effort. This simply is not true.
Failing to establish a strategy behind marketing automation implementation results in ineffective usage and low adoption rates amongst marketing teams. Before investing in a marketing automation tool, assemble a strategy that aligns with your marketing goals and other business objectives.
For more information about improving your B2B sales and marketing efforts, contact ZoomInfo today.