Why CXOs Should Opt For Marketing Automation

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 12, 2015


Increased usage of Internet and mobile media has prompted enterprises to focus on digital marketing. In India, about 60 percent of companies spent 1 to 10 percent of their marketing budgets on digital media in 2014, while another 7 percent spent 30 percent.

In such a scenario, the need of the hour is to streamline and accelerate processes around digital marketing. A recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan sees the Marketing Automation Solutions (MAS) to boom in the coming days, as more businesses are looking to automate marketing and sales activities from lead generation and management, content marketing, sales enablement, analytics, and measurement of campaigns.

The analyst firm also finds from leading marketers in India that the market earned revenue of $5.0 million in 2014 and estimates this to grow to $19.4 million in 2020 at a CAGR of 25 percent.

The flip side is that very few marketers are aware of such technologies. An Autopilot study notes that not only are marketing professionals not investing in marketing automation technology, nearly half of them don’t even know what it is.  In the US, for example, only 13 percent of respondents said marketing automation was an investment priority. This would mean that marketers are lagging when it comes to educating themselves on digital marketing concepts, says Autopilot CEO Mike Sharkey.

However, the study claims companies that communicate with customers every two to four weeks, largely through marketing automation, generate twice the amount of leads, indicating it would yeild very positive result for marketers and the trend is here to stay.

As the F&S report suggests that marketers believe they stand to benefit from the Indian Government’s plan to create a Digital India; this resonates across all industries, thereby encouraging companies to explore digital solutions. An intelligent tool like MAS that can help with customer retention through relevant and personalized customer engagement will be widely accepted among end users.

 Already, the growth of digital content due to increasing Internet usage has encouraged companies in India to use MAS to drive targeted marketing efforts, reduce go-to-market time of products, and monitor leads efficaciously. The forthcoming years will see even more marketing professionals adopt these solutions, as the digital user base is highly fragmented by class, age, gender and cultural demographics, and there is no uniform pattern of consumer behavior.

 Multi-channel monitoring through tools like MAS is bound to become popular, with strong smartphone penetration and mobile broadband connectivity giving rise to yet another mode of communicating for customers and enterprises. Accordingly, vendors have been developing MAS solutions that cater to the bring-your-own-device trend and enable enterprises to push their campaigns on any device and network at any time.

 “As of now, MAS solutions allow enterprises to sift through terabytes of smartphone data, automate the targeting and profiling of prospects, and then deploy tailored campaigns,” said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Research Director Vidya Subramanian Nath. “While mobile media-specific MAS with these functionalities will keep end users interested in the near term, sustaining adoption rates in the long term will require the development of unified solutions to implement multimedia strategies.”

Thomas H. Davenport a Research Fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business notes in WSJ blog, the successful adoption of automation requires new processes, disciplines, and approaches to data and decision-making. It clearly requires access to data—both that in internal transaction systems, and external data on customers and markets. To analyze all that data, marketers need to be comfortable with analytics and data science.

He quoted Brian Harrington, CMO of Zipcar who stated, “In an ideal world everyone would be fluent in digital and marketing analytics.”

Nath however believes unless the tangible benefits of MAS are evangelized, a section of the end-user market will continue to depend on in-house tools to monitor customer databases and use these alongside their legacy customer relationship management platforms. “Therefore,  enterprises and advertising agencies that are still unaware of the true application potential of digital marketing will need to be educated to boost MAS adoption in India,” she concludes.

At its inaugural edition of the “Digital Enterprise Transformation Summit 2015” on June 18th at Hotel Le Meridian, New Delhi, the Frost & Sullivan team will present trends in Digital Enterprise Transformation in India and evaluate elements such as cloud, social, analytics, marketing automation, mobility, and collaboration. The team will also present its prescription on what’s the ideal formula for Digital Enterprise Transformation.