Effective marketing is based on the collection, processing, and visualization of numerous key figures. For example, the effect of conventional TV or print campaigns can be determined to an extent by analysing Google searches or website traffic.
However, in order to draw conclusions of strategic significance, differentiated analysis has to be carried out. And new metrics that go beyond rudimentary figures such as number of visitors and click-through rate are required even for slightly modified campaigns.
Dialogue with customers is becoming increasingly granular and individual, while the number of potential advertising channels and methods has multiplied. Particularly in B2B marketing, it is often difficult to filter out those prospective clients that offer the greatest potential. Therefore, priorities must be set. Customers have to be preselected based on subject area and led into a deeper dialogue to better understand their particular interests and needs. The data obtained in this way is then used to score the customers’ interests.
In addition to the vast amount of data from different sources, the information has to be processed in real time to align the dialogue and offering with customer interests. That’s why marketing automation has become a necessity. Software is used to manage the processes and thus simplify handling of comprehensive customer profiles and information in the marketing process. It enables extensive automation of the production and placement of advertising material, as well as personalized addressing of customers, while taking into account the information collected by way of email marketing. The software solution then checks the results of this and initiates follow-up processes.
Currently only about 16 percent of B2B companies around the world use marketing automation according to research conducted by Sirius Decision in June 2014. However, the differences between various B2B industries are sometimes tremendous. For example, 65 percent of all IT companies are already relying on marketing automation, whereas only 4 percent of financial services firms do so.
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