The topic of marketing automation has been leading conversations this week across multiple B2B and marketing publications, and we love it!
Forrester analyst, Cory Munchbach, recently wrote in his CMSWire article, “Marketing Automation: The Future is Out of Context” that marketing has fundamentally changed from campaign-based marketing, where companies sought to create awareness to drive sales, to contextual marketing, where marketers attempt to capture the customer’s context and engage with them in real-time. However, as Munchbach points out, “Connecting with customers in this way requires an overhaul of marketing: different skills, streamlined processes and, most importantly, better use of marketing technology.” How will marketers effectively target consumers with various new aspects that now come into play?
The answer to this dilemma is marketing automation. Munchbach does an excellent job at entailing the things that marketers need to know in the marketing automation space:
– “Your favorite automation vendor may not be independent for long”
– “Everyone wants in on the automation game”
– “Automation is still stuck in campaign mode”
Another notable article, written by Brennan Carlson from Lyris, describes the importance of educating people who use marketing automation software as the industry moves toward the “age of the consumer.” As Carlson points out, “This revolutionary shift in power and connectedness has given birth to an unprecedented increase in data and a digital landscape of apps, sites, communities, communication channels and technology platforms that converge to deliver effective digital experiences.” Simply put, all of these changes have led to confusion around what marketing automation really is.
Carlson effectively explains the evolution of marketing automation, “As a software, it
was designed for B2B companies to manage a relatively small volume of high value leads at the top of the sales funnel… However, marketing automation as a concept is much broader than the few vendors that identify themselves as such, with offerings tailored specifically for SMB, mid-market and enterprise, as well as B2C scenarios and different industry verticals.”
Although, the key takeaway from this article is when Carlson states, “Regardless of definition, there are a few trends that predict how marketing automation will intersect with and be required for value-creating digital experiences in the future.”
The last article that we want to share is by DMNews reporter, Perry Simpson. He recently posted a piece around Customer Centricity for B2B Brands. His article describes a recent study from strategic branding firm Siegel + Gale, showing that B2B brands with customer-centric approaches are “seeing a boost in the bottom line.” The article outlines four questions to determine the relevancy of a B2B brand to its customer. Are you relevant to your customers? Here are those four questions for you to think about.
– “Do you engage consumers to generate demand with your customers?”
– “Are the experiences you provide—from communications to products and services—consistent and simple?”
– “Do you use design to clarify and differentiate your offerings?”
– “Do your family and friends understand what your company does and how it makes a difference?”
If you’d like to learn more about how you can turbo-charge your marketing automation platform with intent data, contact us today.