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Exponential adoption not exponential growth is key in 2011 for marketing automation

I have been reading a lot of blogs, views of consultants & research reports over the last couple years on the growing need for marketing automation in companies to manage customers better.

This is an irony that has always suprised me - the companies that have made the marketing automation investments don't use them enough and the ones planning to invest don't really plan well on how to get enterprise-wide acceptance.

It was interesting for me read an article by Carlos Hidalgo

  • “Less than 25% of organizations that have implemented a [marketing automation platform] fully currently utilize its potential.”
  • According to a recent study, 78% of marketers state that generating high-quality leads is still their biggest challenge.
  • Various reports have between 70-90% of leads still being ignored and going to waste.

This was quite relevant points that corraborated with what I have been observing over the last few years.

Here's what I would like to see in 2011 for exponential adoption first,  lest marketing automation will die its natural death:

  1. Organizations must break-down silos and exponentially adopt marketing automation across various departments as customers don't do business with departments in companies!
  2. Determine metrics that are relevant to each of the departments and all these must roll-up to an enterprise-level metrics on lead management( lead capture, lead nurturing & scoring),  lead fulfillment and post-sales customer management.
  3. Practice byte-sized execution plans across mutliple customer-facing departments and clearly think multi-channel -  web,  mobile, call centre etc.
  4. Create a marketing budget across customer acquisition and customer retention and look at the ROI across both these parameters.
  5. Build a "marketing automation tree" across both acquisition & retention and determine when the grid-lock link breaks across various stages of customer interactions.
  6. Build a test and control group for various marketing automation campaigns to clearly benchmark success &  incremental lifts - to enable other deparments see the benefits for quick adoption.

To be successful, there must be a sound foundation, definition of the business process across marketing, sales & customer care - alignment across these departments  is critical &  key to exponential adoption of marketing automation across companies.

The right way for marketing automation to grow is to now focus on exponential adoption as it will act as the much needed catalyst for growth in the coming few years.