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The B2B Marketing BlogWebbiquity: 1) The unified management of SEO, search marketing, social media, brand management, content marketing and social PR supported by web presence optimization (WPO) metrics.
Two common business terms combined describe the an increasingly popular outreach tool: marketing automation. Marketing automation systems can benefit both B2B companies large and small, whether you’re looking for cash flow at American Express or growing a customer base from scratch.
Marketing automation systems are a significant step up in sophistication from email service providers (ESPs). About the author:A While finishing his degree in finance, Gene Morris enjoys spending his free time reading and writing about business and tools for financial management. Last month we unveiled the VentureBeat Marketing Automation index, a straw man top ten of marketing automation systems.
Marketing automation is, of course, the software that is revolutionizing the way CMOs and marketing managers are attracting, finding, and nurturing leads — as well as continuing to keep existing customers in the fold. After getting your input, and checking other sources, we’re revising that list by pulling MindMatrix out and inserting Act-On. Act-On has been tripling in size for each of the last three years, CEO Raghu Raghavan told VentureBeat. Not as much as market leaders Hubspot, Marketo, InfusionSoft, Eloqua, or Pardot (owned by Salesforce), but significant. Act-On: Strong mid-market performer with a focus on non-tech, non-Silicon Valley companies. Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way.
Marketo (NASDAQ: MKTO) provides the leading marketing software for companies of all sizes to build and sustain engaging customer relationships. Act-On was created to empower small and mid-sized businesses to effectively market online at a fraction of the effort and cost incurred by larger enterprises. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing Automation Systems (MAS) are among the most commonly used technologies by B2B marketing leaders. Many companies use their CRM as the system of record for nearly all business functions, but a CRM is primarily a sales and services tool, used to store data about existing customers and manage sales opportunities. The MAS is the marketing counterpart to the CRM platform—focused on moving inquiries from the top of the marketing funnel through to sales-ready leads at the bottom of the funnel. B2B marketers who implement marketing automation increase their sales-pipeline contribution by 10%. Marketing automation systems measure prospect engagement from the first time they interact with your company.
One of the core functions of marketing automation is the ability to score prospects based on engagement. While lead cycle processes vary between organizations, there is usually some threshold that determines the lead has reached a gating stage and is passed to a sales rep. To learn how to get started with multi-touch revenue attribution, download our free eBook today.
I started working on a new version of a marketing landscape that will be released early next month.
One thing in particular that has surprised me in my research is how much the marketing automation category has expanded.
A new wave of vendors have launched in this space — the second-generation of marketing automation: Bislr, Leadsius, inBoundio, Whatsnexx, Intercom, Inbox25, and more. I’ll have more — a lot more — to rant say about categories and labels when I release the new landscape.
And there’s yet another counter-narrative, with more specialized kinds of marketing automation receiving more attention — in particular, marketing automation designed for channel and partner marketing, companies such as TreeHouse, Marketing Advocate, Zift Solutions, and others. In turn, this emerging channel marketing automation category is intertwining with many marketing resource management (MRM) vendors. But the truth is, despite all this competition, the market for marketing automation solutions — if we use that label loosely — is large and growing larger. As David points out, the math would suggest that we’ve only seen about 5% adoption of the potential market.
Which is why I believe we’re going to see a super-collider effect of marketing automation in 2014. Read this post from Jay Famico of SiriusDecisions on How Marketing Automation Has Evolved in 2013. A negative side effect of the overlaps between WEM and Marketing Automation platforms is the confusion it will create for marketers who need to select software. In my experience marketers are often buying platforms for an element of the total functionality offered (e.g.
On the whole, I believe the positives will outweigh the negatives: more innovation, more price competition, more specialization to better suit different kinds of businesses, and more incentive for open APIs, especially around customer data records. I’ll have a category for Content Marketing, in which you guys are clearly one of the stars.
Having been around since 1998, and always having considered ourselves as a technology company that understands marketing well, we have witnessed the inception and growth of our corner of the martec ecosystem. Let me know if you want some more information, or any support in mapping more European companies in the sector.
Our own theses is that no one Marketing Cloud (Oracle, Salesforce, IBM, Adobe, others to come to the party) will dominate, it will be a world of multiple marketing, sales, ad tech and other customer facing platforms and tools in each enterprise.

For our CMO customers, Integrate is a SaaS-based marketing tech platform that automates and connects media investment and all the corresponding data to marketing systems and processes.
Marketing automation (MA) is the use of technology to manage and automate the process of nurturing prospects based on their interests until they are ready to buy, then passing the most qualified leads over to sales.
Marketing automation solutions can track detailed data of your site visitors, including who is accessing your site and what they are most interested in. Marketing automation helps marketers focus their resources on the most valuable sales funnels while allowing them to control the cost of marketing initiatives according to real-world performance.
Increased business intelligence through integrating web activity analytics and response rates with your CRM system. In order for marketing automation to work effectively, it requires change management within your organization. When implemented properly, marketing automation can optimize the entire marketing process, from campaign planning to execution and analysis.
Digital marketing has exploded in scope and complexity making it practically impossible for marketers to efficiently and effectively reach target customers without a fully implemented marketing automation system. Couch & AssociatesCouch & Associates are a group of dedicated and experienced marketers that provide valuable insight into the world of technology-based products and solutions. According to marketing research firm Raab Associates, the marketing automation system industry will reach $750 million in 2013, growing 50 percent from 2012.
As you scale your brand outreach, marketing automation systems can keep you relevant, in touch and on time. A series of emails may pique a client’s interest, followed by phone calls to get more in depth and a meeting to seal a deal.
To launch an automated email campaign, marketers draft templates explaining the benefits of a potential partnership. We might look back some day and think how trite these systems were compared to (blank), but in the current marketing space, marketing automation is proving its worth. With its focus on the non-technology middle market, Act-On is winning deals and winning new converts to marketing automation, and now has over 2,100 clients. Without a CRM and marketing automation platform, tracking ROI is impossible. The two technologies exist at the core of proper revenue attribution and, when used effectively, both can be extremely powerful, with great impact on revenue. In our first installment we’ll cover the fundamentals, offering an overview of CRM and MAS technologies and taking a look at how they work together along the B2B lead lifecycle. It contains a database of all relevant information about clients and prospective clients and uses technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales pursuits. Marketing automation provides a single solution that marketers can use for all aspects of campaign design—including email and landing page development, lead management and scoring, and automation and reporting. Essential functions such as communicating with and tracking prospects become impossible or at best extremely difficult without it. Upon their first website visit, they’ll receive a cookie from your MAS, after which all interactions are tracked.
A prospect’s lead score will accumulate over time based on their interactions with marketing activity. Sales can either accept a lead, and convert it (more on that in the following section), or reject a lead, in which case, they often re-enter a new nurture queue. Much of that discussion is beyond the scope of this series, but we recommend familiarizing yourself with this process if you haven’t already. For the first time, CMOs and their teams can understand the future revenue impact of each decision, and align marketing plans with business priorities. Marketo had a successful IPO, and its stock has risen by 42% this year to a $1.2 billion market cap. You could argue that products like Intercom are more of an alternative to marketing automation. Another major category of marketing software — what started out as web content management (WCM) but is evolving into web experience management (WEM) — is increasingly overlapping with the capabilities of products in the marketing automation space (and vice versa). Meanwhile, some marketing automation providers like Marketo are making a strong push to incorporate MRM capabilities into their platforms. As David Cummings wrote earlier this year, the numbers suggest that we’re just at the beginning of the coming wave of marketing automation adoption.
This means that the pie can grow tremendously, even as more contenders seek to have a slice. In my opinion, David is one of the best authorities on marketing automation (and related categories), and he’s extremely generous in the depth of his analysis that he provides for free on his blog.
If you feel I missed a company that should be represented in one of the categories above, please let me know in the comments. I actually think that’s a good thing for the creative energy of how things are evolving.
At the moment, I’m leaning towards having a Personalization category that I thought would be a good place to feature you. Automated marketing responses based on personalization and loyalty rewards would describe what we do better, so I’m curious to see where you would position us. So it would be interesting to see if you will have a better category recommendation for us. For those interested, we have a library of ROI case studies that demonstrate our platform success and also forward-thinking annual reports that we sponsor.
There are so many MA platforms that are cropping up, the change in adoption rate still doesn’t make a big difference.

Marketing automation streamlines sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions. It provides insights on enterprise visitors – those who disclose their identity and those who abandon your website. It helps marketing teams design, deliver and track campaign and customer behavior, using analytics to predict outcomes.
Systems between marketing and sales must be integrated, organizational relationships may need to be altered and ongoing executive expectations need to be continuously managed. Just because a company buys marketing automation software does not necessarily qualify them to use it. Developing a personal rapport with businesses has been an enduring characteristic of successful B2B marketing, so it seem counterintuitive to rely on automated emails and social media platforms.
In the past, if your business wanted to market to a wide audience, it took an armada of dedicated outreach specialists.
The system can either send out emails automatically or pass through an approval system to ensure relevance. The Internet has opened up a new sea of advertising space, and savvy companies are using technology to get on top of technology.
And VentureBeat readers mentioned Act-On more frequently in the free-form comments than just about any other solution. On the other hand, when not used exactly as prescribed by vendors—as is usually the case—CRM and MAS can also be very dangerous, leading to misguided marketing decisions that wreak havoc on your bottom line.
Many companies develop nurture programs or a series of automated communications designed to help prospects self-educate. Alternatively, a lead may be disqualified altogether, in order to prevent any future engagement (e.g.
Because BrightFunnel is predictive from day one, we help you not only prove results, but also plan future actions. The SMB segment of the market is particularly diverse with products that cross boundaries from traditional labels. You could argue that the long-term effect of this may be consolidation, but there’s no doubt that the short-term effect is an expansion of choices in the space. It’s going to become more important for them to understand the depth of functionality being offered by each part of the product to ensure that the solution is adequate and cost effective. We make it really simple for them to build and launch rich media re-targeting, email, and display campaigns to boost top of funnel leads and accelerate their pipeline. The platform that owns all of the prospect and customer profile, and the interaction data that is generated at every touch point regardless of digital channel, by integrating with the broadest set of third party marketing platforms and tools, stands to reap huge rewards. Marketers will need lots of help to ensure the seamless flow of marketing process, data, and content across their systems so they deliver a superior customer experience on each touch. Personally, I believe that Marketing Automation will be divided in multiple ways: customer type, industry, size, business domain. Marketing automation eases and simplifies the lead management process, making it easier to track the activities of leads and scoring these leads based on their interactions with your website.
It’s also important to create a methodology that supports both process and execution in order to effectively measure what works and what doesn’t.  Executing a marketing campaign without measuring or analyzing it, lacks intelligence to identify what criteria will lead to success. B2B marketers sometimes neglect to recognize this and start looking for results too early, reverting to old practices (sending email blasts and buying lists that don’t work) instead of taking control of the buying process and increasing opportunities for ROI. Marketing automation software handles some of the menial tasks that take up marketers’ time. A web display marketing campaign used to require hours of research to find relevant sites at appropriate rates. As a prospect interacts with marketing activity—triggered by nurturing or done organically—they’ll continue to accumulate points until they reach an agreed-upon threshold that deems them sales-ready. Certainly making me re-think some of the possible ways that an equilibrium could be reached — and on what time scale that might be.
We see ourselves trying to solve the integration challenge in a small way, specifically in the demand generation and lead management phase of the customer life cycle. This technology typically works in connection with CRM systems like Salesforce, and is most effective when integrated with a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy. It helps marketers prioritize their leads, keeping the communication channels with the lead open, informing them when the prospect is “hot” and ready to be sent to the sales team. Professionals can pass along first-contact emails to marketing automation systems, enabling professionals to focus on prospects that have expressed interest. The longer you wait to adopt technology-driven marketing strategies, the lower you’ll be on the digital marketing totem poll.
A simple analogy would be to think of marketing automation software as an all-in-one integrated solution (integrated marketing) for automating and managing marketing campaigns and processes. Automation systems can also remind professionals when it’s time to check in with a client, follow up with a prospect or search for new leads. However, it’s a little off putting that many automation services are still centered around email and offer little to no cross channeling. Marketo can connect with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics systems, further simplifying the outreach process.

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