Marketing Automation Strategy SURVEY SUMMARY REPORT

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1 MARKETING PRACTICES AND PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKS Marketing Automation Strategy SURVEY SUMMARY REPORT Monthly Research Series Conducted in Partnership with Leading Marketing Solution Providers

2 Marketing Automation Strategy Survey Summary Report Ascend2 Monthly Research Series Conducted in Partnership with Leading Marketing Solution Providers. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. You may adapt, copy, distribute and transmit this work. However, you must attribute the work as produced by Ascend2 and its Research Partners but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work. 2

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS What does an effective strategy look like? 4 Marketing automation usage 5 Importance of marketing automation 6 Most important objectives 7 Success achieving objectives 8 Most challenging obstacles 9 Most effective resources 10 Value-driven features 11 Marketing automation budget 12 Most useful metrics 13 Survey methodology and demographics 15 About Ascend2 16 3

4 WHAT DOES AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY LOOK LIKE? According to nearly half (45%) of all companies surveyed, the most challenging obstacle to marketing automation success is the lack of an effective strategy. But what does an effective marketing automation strategy look like? To find out, Ascend2 and our Research Partners fielded the Marketing Automation Strategy Survey and completed interviews with 317 marketing, sales and business professionals from around the world. We thank them for sharing their valuable insights with you. The charts in this edition of the study titled Marketing Automation Strategy Survey Summary Report represent the average of all market segments responding to the survey. Specific market segments are reported on exclusively by our Research Partners. This research has been produced for your use. Put it to work in your own marketing strategy planning and presentation materials. Clip the charts and write about them in your blog or post them on social media. Please share this research credited as published. Sergio Balegno Partner / CEO 4

5 MARKETING AUTOMATION USAGE 59% of companies surveyed currently use marketing automation to some extent. Another 34% are not currently using it now but plan to in the foreseeable future. Only 7% of companies that started the survey have no plans to use marketing automation now or in the future, and were redirected to end the survey. 5

6 IMPORTANCE OF MARKETING AUTOMATION Expectations for marketing automation are high with two-thirds of companies (65%) saying it is very important to the overall success of their marketing program. Another 33% consider it somewhat important and only 2% claim it is not important to marketing success. 6

7 MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVES Increasing sales revenue and lead generation are the most important objectives of a marketing automation strategy with improving lead nurturing trailing closely behind. Surprisingly, improving marketing-sales alignment is a capability of but not a top priority for marketing automation. 7

8 SUCCESS ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES 86% of companies rate marketing automation as successful to some extent at achieving important objectives like increasing sales revenue and lead generation. 25% top the chart with a very successful rating while only 1% consider marketing automation very unsuccessful. 8

9 MOST CHALLENGING OBSTACLES There are many barriers to marketing automation success but the most challenging obstacle is the lack of an effective strategy. While the complexity of marketing automation is also a top hindrance, the lack of management support is not. 9

10 MOST EFFECTIVE RESOURCES Overcoming the lack of an effective strategy to achieve success the most challenging obstacle requires a level of expertise not often found in-house. That s why 76% of companies supplement their capabilities by outsourcing all or part of their marketing automation strategy planning. 10

11 VALUE-DRIVEN FEATURES The ability to provide lead nurturing campaigns and comprehensive analytics and reporting are the most valuable features of a marketing automation system for more than half of all companies. 11

12 MARKETING AUTOMATION BUDGET Slightly more than half of all companies surveyed (53%) see their budget for marketing automation increasing in the year ahead. The costs associated with marketing automation include two primary categories: technology and professionals services. 12

13 MOST USEFUL METRICS The most useful metric for measuring the performance of marketing automation programs is conversion rate. And tracking the conversion of leads generated into revenue producing customers is much more useful than tracking tactical campaign metrics like CTR, opens and unsubscribes. 13

14 NOTES 14

15 SURVEY METHODOLOGY AND DEMOGRAPHICS Ascend2 benchmarks the performance of popular digital marketing strategies and practices using a standardized questionnaire, research methodology and proprietary 3-Minute Survey format. Findings are examined in a quantitative context by experienced analysts and reported objectively. This survey was conducted online from a panel of more than 50,000 US and international marketing, sales and business professionals representing a range of demographic roles, channels and company sizes as follows: Number of Employees More than % 50 to % Fewer than 50 51% Role in the Company CEO / COO / CMO / CSO etc 34% Marketing VP / Director / Manager 35% Sales VP / Director / Manager 4% Marketing or Sales Staff 17% Other 10% Primary Marketing/Sales Channel B2B (Business-to-Business) 76% B2C (Business-to-Consumer) 24% 15

16 ABOUT ASCEND2 Research-Based Demand Generation for Marketing Solution Providers If marketing professionals are your ideal prospects, we can help you find more of them. Marketing software, data and media companies, and digital marketing agencies partner with Ascend2 to reliably generate demand and supplement marketing content for their firms. Our Research Partner Programs are transparent spotlighting your brand and the interests of your market. Learn more at 16

17 ASCEND2 RESEARCH-BASED DEMAND GENERATION Research Partner Programs provide white label reports and a guaranteed number of leads in two simple steps: 1. Choose the topics of interest to your target market Content Marketing Marketing Video Marketing Organic Search (SEO) Marketing Automation List Growth Website Optimization Inbound Marketing Paid Search (PPC) Lead Generation Social Media Strategy Marketing Database 2. Choose an exclusive research segment for each marketing topic Benchmarks for Success [Research data from the successful program segment] B2B Benchmarks [Research data from the business-to-business segment] B2C Benchmarks [Research data from the business-to-consumer segment] Enterprise Benchmarks [Research data from the large company segment] SMB Benchmarks [Research data from the small and medium business segment] Agency Benchmarks [Research data from the marketing agency segment] Leadership Benchmarks [Research data from the marketing leadership segment] Other Benchmarks [Research data unique to a specific topic when available] If marketing professionals are your ideal prospects, watch this 90 second video. 17

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