Marketing Automation

Bank of useful ideas

Investment in marketing technology continues to grow at double digit rates as businesses seek an edge in the race for attracting the attention of prospects.

This is fuelling an explosion in software with Scott Brinker’s well-known marketing technology landscape slide listing over 7000 solutions in 2019! It started in 2011 tracking 150.

The heart of all marketing technology is arguably the marketing automation platform. This incredibly powerful and often complex software brings together a number of critical marketing functions, acting as a marketing operations console and orchestration platform all in one. It effectively allows customised user experiences to be designed and managed from end-to-end and businesses are taking it up in droves believing it is the cure to their marketing challenges.

Forrester alone is projecting global marketing automation spend to hit $25.1 billion by 2023 in their Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017-2023 (Global), published in April 2018. That’s a 14% annual growth rate from 2017’s $11.4 billion spend.

This is fuelling an explosion in software with Scott Brinker’s well-known marketing technology landscape slide listing over 7000 solutions in 2019! It started in 2011 tracking 150.

The heart of all marketing technology is arguably the marketing automation platform. This incredibly powerful and often complex software brings together a number of critical marketing functions, acting as a marketing operations console and orchestration platform all in one. It effectively allows customised user experiences to be designed and managed from end-to-end and businesses are taking it up in droves believing it is the cure to their marketing challenges.

Forrester alone is projecting global marketing automation spend to hit $25.1 billion by 2023 in their Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017-2023 (Global), published in April 2018. That’s a 14% annual growth rate from 2017’s $11.4 billion spend.

With all this software development and all this investment, the most obvious question to be asking is:

“is it all worth it?”

Well... is it?

Before we answer that question, there is a sting in the tail of any marketing automation platform and that is having the skillsets, resources and experience to harness all the capabilities in the software and use them to their full advantage. If you can do that, then the ROI is very strong and the short answer to the question is “It is absolutely worth it!”

If however you don’t get past the training wheels stage and end up using it primarily for email marketing then the answer is generally “No, it’s not worth it”.

This seems like a very superficial answer to what can be a difficult question, after all there is a lot more that goes into determining an ROI than simply how many features are being used. But with the commoditisation of email marketing over recent years, there are a lot simpler, cheaper and just as effective ways to achieve the same results.

It might seem like a silly analogy, but why would you buy a V8 supercar to drive to work and the shops on a daily basis? That’s what too many organisations do with marketing automation platforms. They get sold on the big promise of what they can do, they have all these ideas but then the reality of how big a job it is to bring those ideas to life hits. So, they start off small with plans to grow the use of it as their skills grow, but that progress never seems to come for a number of reasons.

The primary reason that we see for this lack of progress is staff turnover. Learning how to use the software takes considerable time – you don’t just pick it up overnight. But then people with those skills are in high demand so if they leave, you’re left with a skillset hole that can’t be quickly plugged.

The second biggest reason is underestimating the amount of resources needed to fuel a marketing automation platform. By resources, we’re talking about content and data – and just like the V8 supercar, they need a lot of fuel to function.

The point is that if you haven’t already invested in marketing automation, there are a lot of things to consider before you even start looking at features. And if you already have marketing automation software, don’t be surprised if you’re struggling to make full use of it.

How can we help?

Pepper Nurture are the marketing automation specialists – we don’t do anything else. We know that marketing automation software only exists for one reason – to help your business generate more leads - and it can only do that with an effective lead nurture or nurture marketing program.

To this end, we can help in four ways depending on the problem you’re trying to solve:

Help you choose the right marketing automation software

We’re an independent reseller of a number of leading marketing automation platforms and have used many others as well over the last ten years. We can give you some valuable advice in evaluating and choosing the platform that would best meet your needs, your budget and your existing resources.

We can also outline a unique “leasing” solution which removes a lot of the risk.

Help you design and structure a new nurture marketing program aligned with your marketing strategy that will deliver the results you need

Help you diagnose problems with an existing nurture marketing program that isn’t delivering the results you expect, or is taking up too much of your time to manage

This can be completely independent of the software you are using or part of a broader scope which includes an audit of your current software configuration.

Help you with operational support for the software

Remove the risk and expense of training your staff by letting us operate the software for you, leaving you free to concentrate on your marketing strategy and tactics. (We can do it quicker and more accurately)