HomeBlog Is Marketing Automation on the Decline?

Is Marketing Automation on the Decline?

October 20, 2016 | By Jen Horton

  • Marketers are repeatedly being asked to justify the value received from marketing automation platform (MAP) investments
  • As innovation continues across the broader MAP ecosystem, marketers are curious about the next set of capabilities they should be looking for
  • The MAP marketplace continues to innovate and presents new and interesting opportunities for the utilization of the technology

The exploding marketing technology market has caused many organizations to question the role of – and even the need for – a marketing automation platform (MAP) as an enabler of their marketing capability. Some organizations may even feel that overall investments in MAP are on the decline as b-to-b marketers reallocate their spend to newer platforms that can offer MAP-like capabilities.

At SiriusDecisions, marketing automation is a topic that we discuss with clients every day. We have many clients without a MAP in place that are considering the value it could bring to their organization, clients that are going through their very first implementation, clients transitioning (again) to other platforms, and as always, clients looking to improve their adoption and usage of capabilities to their marketing programs and demand management processes. As we have just completed our briefings and interviews for our 2017 SiriusView for Marketing Automation Platforms as well as a research study of over 315 b-to-b organizations and their utilization of MAP, here are four questions that I found organizations are currently wrestling with:

  • Is it worth it? Justification for investing in MAP is needed to make the purchase decision. Justification is then required post-purchase to ensure that it was the right decision. More justification is then needed at every renewal. Marketers are repeatedly being asked to justify the value received from MAP investments, and some are even required to report these findings to management and the board.
  • Do we have the right platform? The competitive nature of the marketplace, dissatisfaction with vendor service and support, and the myriad of technology options available have marketers continuously re-evaluating MAP vendor and partner relationships. Given the complexity and risk associated with change, we are always a little surprised by the lack of perceived loyalty to their MAP providers.
  • What should we be doing next? Whether the decision is to stick with an existing MAP provider or migrating to a new one, many organizations that have been using a MAP for more than a year are looking at how to evolve and improve the business processes that MAP supports. Organizations that are further along in their adoption journey recognize that the automation is as only as good as the process design it automates.
  • What should we be adopting next? As innovation continues across the broader MAP ecosystem, marketers are continuously curious about the next set of capabilities they should be taking on. Whether that’s applying MAP to new use cases, adopting more advanced capabilities for existing use cases or adopting new capabilities. Predictive, account-based marketing, content marketing and contact data management are top of mind for many b-to-b organizations.

The MAP marketplace continues to innovate and presents new and interesting opportunities for the utilization of the technology. Please join us at TechX, where Laura Cross and I will be presenting our findings on the state of marketing automation heading into 2017. We will share how b-to-b organizations are justifying the value of MAP investments, how they are adopting and utilizing MAP and emerging trends.

Jen Horton

Jen is a marketing executive with more than 15 years of experience in high-growth b-to-b organizations. An early adopter of marketing automation technology and closed-loop lead management processes, she is passionate about sales and marketing process improvement, sales and marketing effectiveness measurement, demand generation strategy and execution, product and solution marketing, sales enablement and customer experience marketing. Follow Jen on Twitter @jenhorton