Marketing Automation software previously might have been synonymous with email automation, but they are steadily becoming both more sophisticated platforms also offering wider functionality.
Which of these Marketing Automation functions are valued as most important criteria in the selection of the Marketing Automation software?
The state of marketing automation report
The State of Marketing Automation 2014 report recently released by Regalix explores how Marketing Automation platforms are chosen and used by marketers today, including the challenges in Marketing automation faced by B2B companies.
Use of Marketing Automation and pricing versus budget
The use of Marketing Automation software is growing, and rapidly, although budget stays an obstacle. 88% of marketers surveyed were either currently using or were considering implementing Marketing Automation in their organization in 2014.
- 66% marketers reported allocating less than 10% of their budget to Marketing Automation.
- 55% marketers have already been using Marketing Automation for the past 3 years and do not plan to increase investment in Marketing Automation in 2014.
- 54% marketers who have not yet implemented Marketing Automation cite lack of budgets as a major obstacle preventing implementation.
- 82% of those who have already implemented Marketing Automation are using a SaaS platform, 18% of marketers prefer an in-house hosted solution.
Most Important Marketing Automation features and requirements
How do businesses choose their marketing automation software platform? Marketers were found to be using a combination of different criteria in determining what their ideal marketing automation system would look like and using these in selecting a suited platform.
- The top four features of a Marketing Automation used by marketers are email marketing (89%), lead nurturing (84%), integrations such as CRM, mobile, social etc for accumulating customer intelligence across channels (80%), and cross-channel campaign management (82%).
- 86% marketers consider ‘ease of use’ as the most important criterion when evaluating automation tools.
- Enhanced Targeting and Personalization:
66% of marketers reported the ability for enhanced targeting and personalization as a top benefit of Marketing Automation systems.
- Since budget constraints were cited as a major obstacle, price would be expected to be the most important consideration but it’s not. In fact 86% marketers cite that ease of use is the most important criteria for selection of an Automation solution.
- The rising importance of data and analytics is evident as 75% marketers also look for a tool which has the right analytics and reporting features.
According to the writers of the report marketers are no longer viewing or treating Marketing Automation technologies as mere systems to automate and manage emails, rather these systems are being used to manage cross-channel campaigns and deliver personalized targeted experiences to customers.
Preference and Market share in Marketing Automation Tools
With more than 110 different vendors available in the Marketing Automation systems playing field, you would suspect the market to be very shattered as well. However, according to the report, the market domination in terms of usage and preference are concentrated around a limited set of vendors. The three most often seen marketing automation vendors in terms of automation software market share in this survey were are Marketo, Oracle Eloqua and SalesForce Pardot.
These numbers are probably not a one-to-one representation of the market, but 70% of marketers surveyed used or have considered using Marketo’s automation tool, 41% have used or considered Eloqua and 32% have used or considered Pardot in the last twelve months.