The marketing automation industry is expected to grow by 50 percent come 2015. As more companies see the benefits of investing in these tools, it’s becoming harder to imagine a world without them.
Approximately one quarter of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are utilizing marketing automation tools. Companies that use them to nurture prospects see a 451 percent increase in qualified leads. It would seem that marketing automation tools are the key to success in terms of prospecting, qualifying leads and closing deals. However, “automation” is still being defined, according to Forrester analyst Cory Munchbach.
Recently, Munchbach wrote a piece for CMSWire that closely examined the transformation that marketing is undergoing as a result of new technology. Similar to sales, marketing is becoming more alive – gone are the days when campaigns, landing pages and internal content were static. Today it’s all about putting marketing in context, and automation tools are speeding along this process.
Marketing Content is Coming Alive
According to Gartner, about 85 percent of customers will maintain relationships without talking to a human by 2020. Technology may come as a blessing to those who have been waiting for a way to automate tedious processes, but it’s critical to understand its role. Email tracking tools and inbound marketing platforms are not meant to replace the marketing team, but rather complement its efforts.
The biggest takeaway is that these new tools allow marketers to create content and campaigns that can be changed on a dime. They can be expanded upon and updated to correlate with changing buyer demands, which has not always been the case in the past. Furthermore, tasks such as creating a newsletter or email blast now take minutes rather than hours. This frees up marketers’ schedules and encourages more work with the sales team to get on the same page.
Sales is Increasing Its Impact
Because marketing is able to keep collateral up-to-date through the use of new technology, sales is reaping the benefits. Marketing now has the tools to ensure that content and campaigns are always on target in terms of the buyer persona. As a result, sales is equipped with the content they need to provide viable solutions to prospects.
That being said, reps still need to understand their audience. Approximately 40 percent of salespeople don’t understand the pain point of their buyer persona. Reps who do have a grasp on it are 28 percent more likely to reach quota. Technology such as CRM is putting the data that salespeople need directly into their hands, but they need to have an idea of what to do with it before sitting down with a prospect.
Today, sales and marketing teams are gaining something back that they lacked before: time. With this, they have more opportunities to research their buyer persona, set long-term goals and ensure that their content provides the answers that prospects desire.