The Latest Herald reports that there is an increasing demand for marketing automation software and strategies. These software packages could allow companies to curate leads and encourage brand loyalty through incredibly accurate predictive analytics and personalized CX strategies.
Amazon has been the dominant market player when it comes to marketing automation, and this is because it owns the world’s most extensive cloud computing operations. A 2016 publication from the EnterpriseAI website suggests that Amazon’s Web Services division (Amazon EC2) may have between 2.8 million and 5.6 million active servers. The budget for putting in place such massive cloud computing infrastructure is beyond the means of most of the companies who presently do business as online retailers. Smaller B2C brands will also have a problem affording such massive setups.
The challenge for these smaller players in the ecosystem is to come up with a system which is as close as it gets to the efficient systems that Amazon offers without having to break the bank. This is where marketing automation platforms come in.
The Need for Marketing Automation
What is marketing automation all about?
Marketing automation describes the use of various technologies and software programs to create and nurture leads as well as onboard customers from those leads as part of customer-focused marketing/sales campaigns. The term also includes processes such as analytics and monitoring of the performance of these campaigns.
Put in another way, marketing automation platforms make it easier to create and manage sales campaigns, make them more customer-centric, improve customer engagement and deliver a smoother business-customer experience. The result is that waste of advertising resources is cut down to the barest minimum, and the marketing process is made more efficient. You only focus on what works, and you drill down on it, which could deliver the ultimate reward of a higher return on investments (ROI) over time.
Some of the best-known marketing automation platforms include Marketo, Eloqua, Maropost, HubSpot and Customer.io.
Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. However, these merits and demerits are relatively subjective: what may be suitable for one brand will not necessarily be suitable for yours. What you may want from a marketing automation platform may not tally with the requirements of others. Various factors can influence the ability of a business to extract maximum value from a marketing automation platform. These metrics may include pricing, availability of tools and services, whether the platforms can deliver your specifications, and a host of other factors.
For example, TechTarget describes Marketo as a platform that is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses as it “…offers bundles that provide a variety of services covering consumer marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, customer base marketing, and lead management.” In other words, users can choose any of the four bundles offered by Marketo, providing a variety of choices and targeted to specific industries such as healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, and technology.
On the other hand, platforms like Eloqua, which is classified by TechTarget as a SaaS platform offered by Oracle, is engineered to serve the needs of larger enterprises. It’s pricier than Marketo and Eloqua is also better-known for providing more in-depth analytics of revenue and sales cycles with their available packages. Marketo is also better suited for analyzing SEO performance.)
Finally, the article will use this opportunity to talk about a marketing automation platform called Maropost. Founded in 2011, Maropost has received awards for its one-of-a-kind ‘unified platform’ which the Patch describes as a cloud computing platform with an incredibly user-friendly interface. It’s unique in that it promises to further simplify customer engagement by providing a more simplistic single-customer view on a customer’s entire journey.
There are a variety of other similar platforms, and yet not quite the same as the ones mentioned up above. The platforms mentioned above are the popular ones which meet the varying demands of online retailers everywhere.
Positive Growth of Marketing Automation
At the moment, the US is considered the largest sales region for marketing automation, with over 53.95% of the world’s current market based there (as of 2017). Europe comes in at a distant second, with a market share of 23.84%.
A survey from SocialMediaToday reports that over 75% of companies are already using marketing automation tools. Of the 25% that are not, at least 40% are looking towards adopting such tools soon. The lockdowns that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many businesses to remodel their operations so staff can work from home. The situation has created new opportunities in marketing automation.
This scenario only goes to show that marketing automation is now gaining wider acceptability as a means of improving marketing processes. Some statistics point towards this phenomenon. Another SocialMediaToday report states that about 76% of marketers get a positive ROI within one year, along with 80% of marketers also reporting a steady increase in the number of leads they generate. Around seventy seven percent of them say they have seen an increase in conversions from these leads.
A 2019 report by GrandViewSearch valued the global marketing industry at around US$4.06 billion. The site also estimates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8%, which is expected to catapult the value of this industry to at least US$8.42 billion by 2027.
This growth is split almost evenly between marketing software that are based on cloud computing and in-house data servers. But, even so, researchers believe that as we see more developments in the realm of big data and data analytics solutions, the market has the potential to grow way beyond its current trajectory.
At its current growth stage, marketing automation has become a critical feature of the working process of many businesses. However, as an industry that is still relatively new, it might be a while before the move towards complete automation of marketing processes becomes a global phenomenon.
We can only wait and see how the evolution of the industry will proceed from this point onwards.