Marketing Automation will continue to evolve and grow in Europe. That is what David Raab, expert in marketingtechnologies and analytics, firmly believes. David: “although the system is still very young in Europe, it will continue to grow and gain more influence. It will not turn into a copy of the American system, but it will have slight differences and will be more customer oriented.”
American marketers are more familiar with Marketing Automation than Europeans. Still, David believes the Marketing Automation system is a phenomenon we marketers cannot ignore. “Marketers are starting to realize more and more that the buying process has changed. Buyers are more in control than they were before, and so marketers are looking to gain more influence at the first stages of the buyer journey”, says David. This is exactly the reason marketers are focusing their attention on Marketing Automation. David: “to achieve this goal, Marketing Automation is a means to an end for many marketers.”
America versus Europe
Marketing Automation is gaining more ground in America by the day. David: “there are about 30.000 American companies (with 5 million in revenue) that are using the tool. That is a slight 10% compared to the 300.000 eligible companies that would be perfect candidates for such a system.” The annual growth rate of this tool is currently at 50%, and it will continue to grow in the coming years.
According to David there are 3 main trends visible in Marketing Automation space:
- Marketing Automation is developing beyond email. Inbound marketing is playing a much larger role.
- There is more and more integration of Social Media, which allows marketers to understand their prospects better.
- Tighter and better integration with CRM systems.
America is currently steps ahead of Europe when it comes to the usage, implementation and integration of this tool, which is quite remarkable according to David: “if you look at the old days, you will actually see that Europe used to be ahead of America. That, however, is not the case anymore. Even though there is less integration and implementation, Europe will have a more customer oriented market in the near future.”
Is Marketing Automation something for your company?
That sounds great, but how do European marketers know if the Marketing Automation system actually fits their company? David considers it to be a perfect tool when you want to nurture your leads, understand and to engage with those prospects. He developed a tool, which allows marketers to decide whether or not a specific provider of Marketing Automation, fits their company profile.
David: “we developed this tool to take away the notion that there is one best product or one best provider.” Currently there are about a hundred different providers of Marketing Automation. Finding the right one can be quite a challenge.
David defines several ideal Marketing Automation system criteria:
- You have to be able to send and receive emails.
- The system allows you to create landingpages.
- You should be able to track your website visitors.
- The system must have a CRM system integration (like Salesforce.com)
- The system should provide analytic reports.
With these criteria, Marketing Automation is currently focusing on ‘the top of the funnel’, but that will change in the future says David. “Marketing Automation is currently only responsible for the first stages of the Buying Process. Future systems will adapt since marketers are trying to engage with their customers in later phases of the Cycle.”
By using this tool, you will generate more success in your company. It is the first step to becoming a ‘best-in-class’ company like American organizations that already make use of such a system. David: “in the end it’s not about what the system can do for you, but how you effectively use it.”