TechnologyAdvice is an educator, advisor, and connector of business technology that helps companies find the right technology for their business goals. Recently Josh Bland, host of TechnologyAdvice’s “Expert Interview Series” (dedicated to the nexus of marketing, sales, and technology) interviewed our own Paige Musto, Act-On’s Director of Communications.
Josh and Paige discussed marketing automation adoption rates, the customer journey, and the convergence of AdTech/MarTech.
Here are a few highlights from their conversation:
TA: What’s been causing the growth of marketing automation?
Paige: The marketing automation industry has been growing 50 percent year-over-year; however, penetration is still low in small and mid-sized sectors. Small businesses are about six percent penetrated, and it’s 10 percent in the mid-size.
I think really what’s causing the change is the new buyer’s journey. They’re going online and looking to their social network, they’re looking at third-party review sites, and they’re getting more information on their own before they pick up the phone to contact someone on the sales team.
There’s really been a change in how consumers are going about reviewing products and making purchases, obviously starting with a web search. A buyer isn’t reaching out to the sales team until they’re about 70 percent through the process.
As a company, it’s important to get in front of that buyer as they’re going down the discovery funnel and through the consideration process. Marketing automation really is that tool that is going to help companies deliver relevant content to the right buyer at the opportune time. The data being circulated is used for more personalized and effective marketing. There’s been an explosion with the technology and the need for it.
TA: What is the future of marketing automation?
Paige: I think the future is about delivering a unified customer experience. How are you making your offers and communication more personalized, more targeted, more relevant for the individual? This is where we’re going to see a bigger adoption or integration of what we call prescriptive/predictive analytics. On the side of content, as well as scoring.
Teams will use analytics to identify a contact that has the greatest likelihood of converting. They can also better prioritize based on data you have in your system, as well as deliver content for your prospects based on what their needs and challenges are. That’s where things are moving to. It’s going to be more of a predictive/prescriptive model.
TA: Could you take in data from something someone has done online and target content to them with email marketing or is that relegated to advertising?
Paige: I think there’s a convergence of marketing technology and ad technology. We’re already seeing it with social media/ad tech side and integration into marketing automation systems. I see in the future, these systems will all be tied and talking together. At the end of the day, your marketing automation is an engagement portal and is collecting all the data from the many touchpoints you’re marketing across.
It’s capturing this information on your buyers/customers which then can be used for further customization/targeting across different channels. As the industries mature and grow, we’ll start seeing a convergence of all this. Maybe marketing automation is the conduit platform that’s helping to orchestrate these massive advertising and marketing campaigns.
Get a glimpse of how marketing automation might help you pull all your marketing channels, and the customer data that flows from them, into one highly usable platform: watch our short on-demand demo.