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Why Marketing Automation Isn’t Going Away and Will Continue Expanding Well Into the Future

Why Marketing Automation Isn't Going Away and Will Continue Expanding Well Into the FutureAccording to recent reports, marketing automation is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it is poised to continue growing bigger well into the future. The key to expanding usage; however, appears to be marketers becoming more comfortable with the concept of marketing automation. A study conducted by Ascend2 found that less than 25 percent of marketing professionals around the world used marketing automation on an extensive basis last year. Interestingly, 35 percent of respondents who were not using marketing automation stated they plan to use it in the future. That’s why we confident saying marketing automation isn’t going away. Here’s some more insight into the marketing automation industry that we’ve been talking about for years.

Among those using marketing automation or who have plans to use it in the future, objectives tend to range. The most common objectives for implementing a marketing automation strategy typically include lead nurturing, customer engagement, and marketing productivity. Personalization is currently a popular objective, but only about 25 percent of those surveyed rank it is an important objective.

Changes Looming on the Horizon for Marketing Automation Industry

As we move forward, we are likely to see a number of changes in the evolution of marketing automation, including the platforms becoming more scalable, faster, and more responsive. In addition, we will likely see marketing automation platforms become optimized for tracking vast amounts of data regarding customers and leads.

One of the most important changes that is likely to take place in the marketing automation industry is a shift toward predictive first. Future platforms are likely to be thinner as well as more intelligent, capable of accommodating more specialized applications. As a result, these platforms will be able to utilize far more data for delivering more relevant recommendations. Predictive intelligence will make such platforms easier to use as well as capable of adapting with your business as it grows and evolves. Consequently, you never have to worry about tweaking the system to accommodate growth. Such predictive systems not only have the ability to learn, but can also adapt and even make improvements on their own with each of your customer’s actions.

Comprehensive recommendations will provide the ability to leverage full visibility across the marketing and sales funnels to determine and recommend the best content to share or actions to take. By spanning both marketing and sales, such customer predictions are able to actually learn from historical sales data in order to develop models of good sales leads. That intelligence can then be applied to the top of your sales funnel, touching every aspect of your marketing programs and filter down through the funnel to complete the sales cycle.

While marketing automation has come a long way, it is quite likely that we are only now just beginning to see how this technology can transform marketing, particularly in the B2B sector. Over the course of the next year, it is quite likely that we could see a revolution in the B2B sector fueled by marketing automation. Discover more about the future of marketing automation and what it can do for your business.

Remember When your Marketing Automation Company Focused on Marketing?

What is a Vendors Focus on Marketing Automation?It seems that the trend in the Marketing Automation Industry is for companies to become a Jack of All Trades. We all know how that story ends.  If you don’t, please ask the next guy you see with a Member’s Only Jacket and Blackberry.

There are ways to tell your Marketing Automation “partner” is out for their best interest and not yours:

  1. They tout their CMS, even though 86% of the market uses WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.  Good luck getting apps for that CMS, and if you do… they are going to make a pretty penny off you.  If you don’t believe me, go look for apps in the Blackberry store.  People don’t develop apps for closed environments with small market share.
  2. They sell you on their CRM tool as an advantage of buying their Marketing Automation Platform.  Awesome!  Now you get to tell sales that they are locked into a substandard CRM because your Marketing Automation provider decided that it would be more profitable for them to sell a CRM than to integrate with the best players in the space.  Not a good business decision, and a horrible way to go about aligning sales and marketing efforts.
  3. They only offer one Email Service Provider.  All-in-One solution providers LOVE locking you into their ecosystem.  Even the best email solution providers today, may not be the best ESP’s tomorrow.  Never buy from a company that is owned by an ESP (they are the copier salespeople of the industry) as they have not prepared for technical Armageddon.
  4. SEO and Marketing Automation are two very different beasts, with two unique skillsets.  Your marketing department probably needs both; but they probably also need toilet paper and computers.  I wouldn’t buy any of these items from the same company for obvious reasons.  Bottom line:  Either your MA or SEO will suffer (or both) if you buy from one  vendor.  You will save a ton of money and get much better results by choosing best of breed in each category.
  5. Your Marketing Automation product is being offered by an agency that is super proud of its “partner” status.  The translation: They have invested a ton of time and money in a solution that might not be a good fit for you.  Unfortunately, these “partner programs” dictate that they will recommend the company that they are invested in regardless of the value that it drives to your business.   If you have doubt, demand an agreement with your agency that they will not have a financial benefit from working with any software provider.  That should not only include your account, but all other account that such an agency works with.   Otherwise, the Agency may shift its dollars.

You should also avoid the “All-in-One” solutions that focus on Real Estate, Flower Shops, and Supplement Companies.  Even if you conduct business in these areas.  There are a ton of these companies that prey on Mom and Pop shops.  They advertise on Facebook and other consumer focused websites because they are looking for people that don’t have experience and won’t ask the tough questions.  Some of their users will claim success because they don’t know any better.  Others will be outraged that they were not able to achieve the required level of support, expertise and functionality for $ 200/month.

  • A solid solution provider will help you build a story.
  • Help you tie together all of the technologies that benefit your organization.
  • Create a compelling narrative that you can share with prospects.
  • Have a vested interest in your organization’s success.

If you have any questions about Marketing Automation or how your company could strengthen its efforts, I welcome your request.  Even if my company, Lead Liaison, isn’t a perfect fit for you…I’ll point you in the right direction.

Don’t wait any longer.

The Future of Marketing Automation

The Future of Marketing AutomationTo understand the future of marketing automation, you must understand the importance of the technology and how it can make your marketing process more powerful and efficient. Your competitors have probably already added marketing automation to their business repertoire or they’re evaluating the software for future use. If you haven’t taken steps to look into how marketing automation can change how you do marketing, you’re already one step behind and at a huge disadvantage.

As of December 2013, nearly 60% of top performing companies in the United States were using marketing automation. This number will only increase as the benefits of marketing automation become impossible to ignore. The marketing automation industry is valued around $10 billion so, obviously, something is working. But what does the future hold? Well, for starters, expect to see a significant increase in the use of mobile technology in marketing automation. Today, customers expect to interact with Marketer’s and their favorite brands on the go – and because the majority of customers are on the go – you can’t afford not to take advantage of this technology. Wearable technology use will grow from 22 million in 2012 to 177 million, by 2018. In five short years, marketers can expect that the way they gather data will be substantially changed by wearable technology, creating a significant marketing opportunity.

But marketing automation will also transition to better customer service, based on aggregated data. For example, if you’re a customer who’s just signed up for a freemium trial and you call in on an unrelated question, it’s not a mistake if your customer service representative offers you a deal to extend your freemium offer or offers you a discount to convert to a paying customer. It’s all about good analytics and allowing companies to track where their customers are in the purchasing process to make sure you’re offering the best deals and service available. Software will also become much easier to use with interfaces that are easier to understand and user-friendly. Since smaller businesses might not be as familiar with bigger and more complicated systems as a large company (not to mention that they may not need a large, overly complicated system), smaller businesses tend to need skill development, training, and help with resources.

As technology becomes smarter, you’ll see that marketing automation will use new ways to determine the purchasing habits of your customers. This means that businesses, regardless of size or output, will be able to figure out who their most valuable customers are and how to engage them in ways that make the most of their spending, buying power, and habits.

Marketing Automation Software Competitive Analysis Report – Lead Liaison and University of Dallas

University of Dallas

University of Dallas and Lead Liaison Provide Marketing Automation Competitive Analysis Report

The marketing automation software market size was approximately $750M in sales revenue last year (2013), which represents an astounding growth of 50% year over year for the past several years. By the end of 2014, the market is expected to grow to $1.2B, 60% year over year. According to IDC, marketing automation will be growing faster than any other CRM segment over the next three years. Gartner finds marketing automation will lead CRM application segment growth with a 10.7% compound annual growth (CAGR) through 2016, reaching a total market value of $4.6B.

A research study performed by the University of Dallas, Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business, called the Marketing Automation Software Competitive Analysis Report, revealed that smaller marketing automation providers offer the same amount of features to small to medium sized businesses as larger competitors. Their offerings prove to be advantageous to small companies looking to save money and increase reach to potential leads.

The study compares four companies, Act-OnSharpSpringeTrigue and Lead Liaison. The companies were chosen because they specialize in offering marketing automation solutions to small to medium sized businesses. Standard offerings for marketing automation software include email, social media, search engine optimization, blogging tools and CRM integration. Act-On is considered a leader in the market by its competitors as they offer a full package for automation software and have been used by departments in larger organizations. The study found that Lead Liaison, a marketing automation upstart in Allen, TX, offers almost all the same capabilities as the leaders in the market and provides distinct advantages to small to mid sized businesses. A rich and easy to use interface, comprehensive lead qualification, and a multi-channel communication engine that sends email, text messages, direct mail and other physical marketing items standout as superior capabilities. The research study also revealed unique services tailored for small businesses, such as content creation, where Lead Liaison offers businesses a portal to generate marketing and leadership content for SEO purposes – necessary for small business with resource constraints. Act-On and Lead Liaison offer flexible payment plans including an offering on a monthly basis. This provides small companies with tight budgets the flexibility to manage cash flow and reduced risk by knowing they don’t have to commit to a contract for several years. These platforms are valuable to the small to mid sized market as they help attract customers and increase sales and awareness.

The research study also offers guidance on what small businesses should consider before choosing a marketing automation solution. Some areas of consideration are; update your CRM data, dedicate time for training, develop a sales and marketing process, develop content to provide to customers and prospects, and understand how others have implemented marketing automation. Please feel free to download the report published on 1/21/2015.

About Lead Liaison:

Learn more about Lead Liaison’s solution for marketing automation for universities and education providers. Lead Liaison provides cloud-based marketing and sales automation solutions that help businesses worldwide attract, convert, and close leads. The company markets to small to mid-sized businesses and focuses on providing a user-friendly and innovative Revenue Generation Software® platform. Their software delivers powerful solutions that accelerate sales, improve efficiency and build stronger relationships with prospects, customers and partners through the use of automation.

About University of Dallas:

The University of Dallas is a co-educational, Catholic university founded in 1956. Our students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs through the Constantin College of Liberal Arts, the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business, the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, the School of Ministry and the Center for Professional Development. The University of Dallas has its main campus in Irving, Texas, and an international campus near Rome, Italy.

The main campus, in Irving, is only minutes from downtown Dallas in a city of 200,000 residents. The campus is an oasis of nature in the center of Metroplex, on 225 rolling acres that overlook both the Las Colinas Urban Center and the skyscrapers of Dallas. The University of Dallas is about 10 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Press inquiries:

Amber Turrill
VP, Corporate Communications
corporate(at)leadliaison(dot)com
888.895.3237 (888 89 LEADS)

2014 Marketing Automation Industry Report

2014 Marketing Automation Industry ReportTexas-based marketing automation company Lead Liaison was recently featured in Marketing Growth Strategy’s 2014 Marketing Automation industry report. This publication covers the top companies in the marketing automation vertical and profiles size, featured products and relevant contact information.

The report highlights Lead Liaison’s ‘impressive user interface’, business model and consistent growth since inception. Lead Liaison’s robust marketing features and support capabilities are also highlighted. Screenshots from the Lead Liaison interface demonstrate the platform’s flexibility and user-friendliness.

With the addition of even more helpful features to its interface and industry-wide recognition as an increasingly strong leader in the marketing automation space, Lead Liaison is set for more success and notability throughout the remainder of 2014.

Download Marketing Growth Strategy’s 2014 Marketing Automation report using the form below:

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25 Lead Management Statistics That Prove Marketing Automation Works

25 Lead Management Statistics That Prove Marketing Automation WorksAre you a numbers person? Do you want figures that show how lead management through marketing automation actually provides better results? Take a look at these marketing automation and lead management statistics. What marketing automation statistics do you have to share?

  1. Sales teams process over 58% of marketing-qualified leads (MQL) with a close rate of more than 23% – AcquireB2B
  2. Lead scoring provides an ROI of 138% versus companies that don’t score leads (78%) – MarketingSherpa
  3. Lead nurturing programs result in 2x open rates and 3x click-through rates compared to one-off email blasts – Silverpop
  4. 47% higher order value on nurtured sales versus non-nurtured sales – Silverpop
  5. 75% of companies using MA see ROI within 12 months, 44% within 6 months – Focus Research
  6. Companies using MA source 45% more pipeline than those who don’t use MA – Marketo
  7. Sales agents spend 22% more time selling when MA is deployed – Marketo
  8. MA drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead – Nucleus Research
  9. 28% of marketers saw an increase in revenue per sale attributable to marketing automation – Chief Marketer
  10. 350% return on investment and 100% annual revenue growth while saving $400K and generating $2MM in incremental gross revenue – Acteva
  11. 70% companies declare that MA met or exceeded ROI expectations – Focus
  12. Mature marketers achieve 32% greater revenue through the use of MA than non-mature marketers – Marketo
  13. Full deployment of MA reduces close rates from 1:221 to 1:20 – Marketo
  14. Companies using MA for nurturing experience a 451% increase in qualified leads – The Annuitas Group
  15. MA provides 225% increase in prospect volume that convert to sales opportunities – ShipServ
  16. 3x more leads passed to sales after one month – Marketo
  17. MA reduces ignored leads from 80% to 25% – Bulldog Solutions
  18. Companies that automate lead management see over 10% increase in revenue in 6-9 months – Gartner Research
  19. 47% of MA-nurtured leads make larger purchases than non-nurtured leads – The Annuitas Group
  20. Companies achieve a 15% savings on creative productions with MA – Gartner Research
  21. Companies that deploy lead nurturing through MA generate 50% more SQLs at 33% lower cost – Forrester Research
  22. MA-generated personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates over 10% – The Aberdeen Group
  23. Event-triggered messaging saves approximately 80% of direct mail budget – Gartner Research
  24. MA-generated emails with high relevancy drive 18x more revenue than traditional email blasts – Jupiter Research
  25. Companies using MA achieve 5% less marketing waste than non-MA companies – Gartner Research

As more companies adopt lead management through marketing automation, there will be more statistics to share!

We Have Lift Off: Marketing Automation is Taking Off!

Houston, Houston, we have lift off!!! Marketing automation is taking off. David Cummings wrote a nice article on his blog the other day about the coming wave of marketing automation adoption. The post clearly lays out the opportunity for marketing automation vendors like Lead Liaison. More importantly, businesses have a great opportunity to bring new technology in house to improve efficiency and drive revenue, faster. David identifies the gap in companies using CRM systems but not marketing automation systems. He references the following figures for CRM usage:

  • Salesforce.com: ~140,000
  • SugarCRM: ~10,000
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM: ~40,000
  • Netsuite: ~13,000
  • Total: ~200,000 companies
David points out that 9,000 of these companies also use a marketing automation system. That’s a 4.5% penetration rate, leaving 95.% of companies not using marketing automation. In David Cummings post he only considers the opportunity for companies using a CRM. Believe it or not, but many of Lead Liaison’s customers don’t use a CRM at all. Looking at some numbers provided by a leading analyst in the space, David Raab, we see these figures are consistent with those reported by David Cummings; however, David Raab uses a broader scope to segment all businesses in the US with more than $5M in revenue into three categories, small to mid-size, large and enterprise companies and look at installs/adoption across each segment:


By looking at this data we see only 6% of all businesses more than $5M in revenue use marketing automation. The lowest penetrated space is the $5M to $20M range. Only 9% of all companies $20M to $500M use marketing automation. About one out of every three enterprises use marketing automation. Assuming an average selling price (ASP) of $10K for small to mid-size companies and $30K for large businesses, that leaves $4.4B in total available market (TAM) for marketing automation vendors. We’re excited about the growth opportunity here at Lead Liaison and look forward to having all of our new customers take our marketing automation platform to the next level.

If you’d like to see a demo of Lead Liaison’s marketing automation system for your business contact us!

 

Marketo IPO, Eloqua and Pardot Buyouts, Silverpop Funding are Signs of a Booming Industry

Marketo IPO, Eloqua and Pardot Buyouts, Silverpop Funding are Signs of a Booming IndustryThe B2B marketing automation space has established itself as one of the most vibrant industries in the United States. Recent activity, including a $78 million Marketo IPO, a $100 acquisition of Pardot by ExactTarget, a $871 million acquisition of Eloqua by Oracle, and a $25 million venture funding of Silverpop, suggests the marketing automation industry is growing at a breakneck pace.

Marketing automation has become the bellwether of online marketing for B to B marketers. Companies in business-to-business industries from IT consulting to manufacturing have been adopting lead generation and management applications at a furious rate since 2009.

The industry is still in its infancy. None of these big hitters is even 15 years-old: Eloqua and Silverpop were founded in 1999, Marketo and Pardot in 2007.

These marketing automation industry players are leading (in terms of capitalization) a group of smaller but no less effective MA vendors. For example, Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation™ cloud-based platform is a competitive lead management solution because it allows marketers to expand their email delivery without overage charges. There are several other examples of competitive advantages that smaller players have which MA vendors like HubSpot, Pardot, and LeadLander do not provide.

Since 2005 digital marketing has grown substantially. PPC advertising, social media marketing, and SEO have all played a part in marketing B2B solutions. However, marketing automation software appears to have one important differentiator from other B to B digital marketing components: while buying behaviors may change (such as reduced PPC click-through), capturing and managing Big Data for marketing purposes is not vulnerable to changing online behavior trends. The function of marketing automation will remain viable for B to B companies for decades. Perhaps this is why companies like Marketo, Eloqua, and Lead Liaison are forging a sustainable path for this booming industry.

Salesforce.com Understands the Power of Marketing Automation

Salesforce.com Understands the Power of Marketing AutomationLast week’s announcement of the $2.5 billion acquisition of ExactTarget by Salesforce.com had the marketing automation space buzzing – with good reason. Sales force optimization remains a key objective for most companies, and marketing automation is quickly asserting itself as a primary contributor to sales force effectiveness.

Salesforce.com has long recognized the benefits in automating customer relationships, but the move last week confirms that the company views the marketing cycle as an important contributor to optimizing B-to-B sales force automation. It’s clear Salesforce.com understands the power of marketing automation.

It Starts With a Click

Rare is the sale today that doesn’t start with a mouse-click. From the Pew Research Center to Gartner, study after study shows the marketplace, b2b or b2c, conducting online research prior to a purchase. Through its acquisition, Salesforce.com recognizes the benefit in tracking lead behavior from the first point of contact.

80% Do Not Buy at First Contact

Marketers understand that most prospects require multiple touch points to be effective. Using a marketing automation system like Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation™ platform, an enterprise sales force can manage each relationship prior to the sales engagement. Lead nurturing through MA saves sales agents time; Salesforce.com has shown that it understands how critical lead nurturing is to sales force optimization.

Cold Opportunities Get Hot

Research has shown that just because a prospect doesn’t convert immediately into a sales opportunity, that prospect should remain a lead. Sirius Decisions found that nearly 80% of qualified leads that don’t buy initially go on to make a purchase within 24 months. Marketing automation provides the tool to maintain TOMA throughout that period. This factor, among others, has led vendors like Lead Liaison to focus on SFDC integration in order to provide a seamless transition between platforms.

Changing Marketing Automation Landscape

As MA becomes an integral part of sales force automation, companies like Salesforce.com, Marketo, and Lead Liaison must continue to improve their offerings to adapt to evolving marketing and sales practices. But as the evolution of marketing automation continues, one business principle remains constant: providing quality support following implementation is important to effective sales force automation. Without customer-centricity, some MA/CRM vendors may face the same fate as early dot.com failures – even in the wake of a $2.5 billion transaction.

Magic Quadrant for Lead Management

What is Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Lead Management all about? Some high profile names such as Marketo, Eloqua, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com were mentioned. Lead Liaison was not in the Magic Quadrant for Lead Management, but that’s easily to explain. We’re still a relatively young company and have yet to clear the $20M revenue threshold that’s required to be part of the report. The future looks incredibly bright though as we’re blazing our own trail of innovation in the marketing automation industry. If you don’t have a copy of the lead management report we can give you a quick summary.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Lead ManagementIn all honesty, 95% of the report is about vendor profiling. 12 companies are placed across four quadrants, called leaders, challengers, niche players and visionaries. I think it’s fair to say if Lead Liaison was added to the report we’d be in the visionaries category. The other 5% of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Lead Management covers a few areas we’re fond of. Namely market definition/description, market overview and primary characteristics of CRM lead management. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of those two segments of the report for those of you who want to skip the vendor spiel:

Market Definition:

  1. Lead management integrates business process and technology to close the loop between marketing and sales and to drive higher-value opportunities through demand creation, execution and opportunity management.

  2. The input to lead management processes is unqualified contacts and opportunities from various marketing sources.

  3. The output to lead management processes is qualified, scored, nurtured, augmented and prioritized selling opportunities handed off to direct or indirect sales channels for action and closure.

Market Overview:

  1. Investments in CRM marketing automation and applications and services (including lead management) grew by more than 20% in 2011 and 2012. Gartner expects investment to continue to rise during the next several years. This means more and more companies recognize the importance of marketing automation and lead management in particular because it does three primary things as described below.

  2. Marketing automation and lead management increases enterprise growth, attracts and retains new customers and maximizes productivity of sales organizations.

  3. Factors driving the growth of marketing automation and lead management are the overall growth and success of the CRM markets and investment in digital marketing.

  4. Recent M&A and IPO activities underscore market interest in this sector (Marketo IPO, Eloqua bought by Oracle, Pardot bought by ExactTarget).

  5. B2B marketers are adopting marketing channels normally used for B2C marketing such as social media.

Three Primary Characteristics Define CRM Lead Management:

  1. Focus on business and marketing processes

  2. Focus on products or services that represent a sizable investment  (also known as “considered purchases”). Businesses selling high-value products or services tend to get a higher return on their investment.

  3. A handoff of qualified leads to a direct salesperson or an indirect sales team (value-added reseller or distributor), an inside sales team, or an automated channel.