Marketing Automation Vendor Selection:Busting the Myths
David M. RaabRaab AssociatesMarketing Profs B2B Forum
(1) Intro trouble in paradise; - these should be great times for marketing automation: 50% growth rates, ever wider adoption, IPOs and acquisitions
25% Dissatisfied Buyers
(2) - but theres trouble in paradise[vale received]- recently conducted survey where asked about marketing automation, and - found 25% of users felt it wasnt worth the investment -- not just vague dissatisfaction - other surveys show similar results
- research also probed correlations between satisfaction levels and user behaviors- found certain practices are more common among less satisfied users; strongly suspect they caused the dissatisfaction- looking at this, see six myths that block marketing automation success
Myth: All systems are the same.
(3)- systems are all the same - easy assumption, since they all look the same- but think about your own business: you may look like competitors but know youre different
Reality: Variations MatterVEST Vendor Matrices by Customer Type
(5) - but theyre really not [VEST data overview and matrices] - VEST slide showing features by system; note variation - VEST matrices, showing that systems differences matter different systems rate best for different users
Consequences: Careless selection
Selecting Too Quickly
Considering Too Few
(7) [consequences: careless selection; consider too few, pick too quickly] when people assume systems are the same, they dont look very hard - relate time spent, nbr considered to satisfaction 1. best/worst practices for selecting a systems
Consequences: Wrong Criteria
(9) [consequence: wrong criteria] ignore features; focus on ease & cost - explain satisfaction color coding - people who select on technology are unhappy, - those who select on feature breadth are happy - cost, learning, support dont have much impact on result - THIS IS IMPORTANT: shows that people who dont pay attention to features are likely to pick the wrong system (lacking features); - as with picking too carelessly, means you can make a mistake because systems arent all the same..are NOT saying you need every feature; in fact, picking the right features is critical.but theres more to worry about than features, which brings us to our second myth6
Myth: Integration is easy.
(10) 2- integration is easy (since its a standard system feature)- think integration is easy because its a standard system feature
Reality: Integration ranks above missing features as a problem.
(11) [Obstacles to Use]- but in fact it ranks as the second most common obstacle and causes the most dissatisfaction- also remember it was the most common evaluation criteria: - so, unlike features, this is one that people did look for in advance- what I take away from this is that its really hard to know in advance how well integration will work because - you cant test it like features - integration depends on other systems outside of marketing automation, which may not be integration-friendly - marketers arent very good at such things - (well see some support for that later when we look at big vs. little companies, and find that big companies have fewer integration problems)- but just because its hard, doesnt mean you shouldnt try. We did see that people who had integration problems were a little happier if they had evaluated against integration than if they hadnt. It may simply have been that no system could integrate with their current infrastructure. But at least you want to know about that in advance.
Reality: External systems are a poor substitute for internal functions.
(13) [typical systems integrated]- if youre wondering what systems people integrated, heres that data: - 70% integrated CRM, and apparently that was mostly successful - the real dissatisfaction came from people who tried to integrate BI and email, and thats probably because those are core MA functions.so if youre integrating an external system, that suggests you had a MA product that didnt do what you needed once more reinforcing the importance of selecting against features - conversely, people who integrated with CMS and SEO were happy, presumably because they never expected their MA system to do that- remember, this doesnt tell us anything about people who tried and failed to do an integration presumably, they were unhappy
Myth: Failure is the users fault, not the systems.
(14) - failure is the users fault, not the systemsFollows from the others: if any system can work, then failure must be the users faultCommon complaint, especially from vendors (not surprisingly)
Reality: Obstacles that matter are beyond user control.
(15) - [obstacles to success ] obstacles that matter are beyond the users controlmost common obstacle is learning the system, but that has high satisfaction, so shows is overcome. Same for other high-sat items like organization barriers, staff training: use controls those and they are overcomemost harmful obstacles are integration, software cost, building infrastructure those are beyond user control once system is chosen
But certainly is possible to do things wrong point is, things the user controls can be fixed after the fact; system cannot you cant unchoose the wrong system
Related FindingsTraining spend has little impact> users spend whats needed
Ease of learning criteria has little impact> users learn whats needed
Most satisfied considered only 2 systems> value is in prepping for the comparison
Most satisfied deployed quickly> because had prepared in advance
Most satisfied did not use outside resources> because trained their staff
(17) other findings, not shown, make the same pointRelated findingsTraining spend has little impact> users spend whats neededEase of learning criteria has little impact> users learn whats neededMost satisfied considered only 2 systems> value is in prepping for the comparisonMost satisfied deployed quickly> because had prepared in advanceMost satisfied did not use outside resources> because trained their staff12
Myth: New users should crawl, walk, run.
(18) crawl walk run works
Reality: Best to hit the ground running.
(19) - one of the more surprising findings: - satisfaction went up with number of features [nbr features to start] [deployment time] - interpretation is, reflects better preparation - supported by finding that satisfaction was higher with faster deployment - also reflects preparation
Caution: Some phasing still needed.
(20) [feature use]- dont misinterpret: is still logical sequence for feature deployment- satisfaction data is tricky but basically shows that people want basic features from the start, are okay if never use some advanced, but are unhappy if have to drop
Myth: Bigger companies do it better.
(21) 6- big companies are smarter
Reality: Satisfaction is similar for all sizes.
(22) [satisfaction by size]- in fact, satisfaction is similar across sizes; - was more by impact by industry: more common industries had higher sat (consulting / business services, IT vendors, telecom/ISP) presumably because had more experience
Bigger firms select more wisely
(24) [evaluation critieria by company size] 7. what big companies do better than small companies and where they fall short- big companies do better job of selection, but still are less satisfied - big companies use more technical criteria inc. integration, external connectors, APIs, features - big companies are less likely to focus on cost or ease of usenot shown: - big companies select more slowly - big companies use more features & are more satisfied with advanced features
but they face more obstacles.
(26) [obstacles by company size]- big companies are less likely to have complexity and integration problems but very unhappy when they do- big companies have more problems with organization, staff, training issuesnot shown:- bigger companies deploy more slowly, use slightly fewer measures- biggest companies (1000+) are more likely to use outside resources & are less happy when they do (suggests problems)
Myth:Marketing automation creates prospects and saves money.
(27) 3- MA drives efficiency (least successful goal;20
Reality: Marketing automation doesnt generate traffic or leads.
(28) - [success measures] not web site traffic, conversion rates, or nbr of leads (beyond MA control e.g. mostly about new names) - better on email response rates, other, campaigns per month (more within department control)
Reality: Marketing automation nurtures leads and passes to CRM.
(30) [goals vs satisfaction] - identify prospects and work more efficiently are least satisfied goals - both reflect unrealistic expectations - MA is basically about nurture and integration, doesnt create new leads - MA creates more work; efficiency requires process change22
Reality: Most companies add staff.
(32) [staff vs satisfaction] - 2/3 add staff or consultants; happiest if they dont is another myth that should use same people for both -highest satisfaction from using - consultants for deployment (=setup), - new staff for on-going (different specialties);
Myth:Marketing automation has stopped evolving.
(33) - MA is over (has stopped evolving)24
Reality: Change continues.Environmental changeIPOs, acquisitions, investmentsShift upstream opens market spaceGrowth in B2C may impact B2B Scope expanding to full customer journeyScope expanding to ad techScope expanding to external dataBig data adds more analyticsShared customer databasesIdentity resolution via devices, tags, reference sets
(35) - external / environmental trends - been lots of IPOs, acquisitions do slow things down, but also bring new resources - market dynamics: big companies move upstream, opens space for new/SMB entrants - also seeing a lot in B2C, which might eventually flow back into B2B (B2C are more flexible) - see need to integrate customer journey / experience; requires coordination across marketing / sales /service - big data has some impact, more on analytics (but requires self-service; is outside of MA data) - extention to prospecting - ad tech integration is happening and is huge - social and other data is worth mentioning again: for sales & service enablement as well as marketing; distinguish enhancement of known from net new prospects (remember thats a weakness of MA)25
Reality: Change continues.System changeSocial, content, predictiveMobile formats, apps, targetingCross-channel executionUnstructured dataAdvanced attribution
(38) - internal trends - social, content, predictive - translate offers across media - semantic analysis (manage unstructured data, auto-select campaigns/offers) - advanced attribution - mobile & local marketing26
(39) What do you do when the myths are gone?27
Choosing Well: Basic FeaturesEmailBuilder, templates, personalization, dynamic content, spam scores, reuseLanding pagesBuilder, progressive profiling, question types, next stepsBehavior trackingCookies, device IDs, anonymous to known, associationCampaign flowsBranches, test splits, actions, triggers, schedules, real time, contact limitsLead scoringData scope, rule complexity, depreciation, point caps, CRM integrationConnectors, custom tables, actions, APIs, sales interfaceAnalyticsCross-channel, cross-campaign, attribution, forecasting, trendsTechnologyCustom tables, APIs, data store, on-premise, data cleansing, enhancement
(42) Features that Matter: Basic3. what features drive success (selection criteria vs satisfaction) what features should you look for? - basics: email, landing pages, user tracking, campaign flows, lead scoring, CRM integration, analytics, technology 4. cutting-edge social and content features (not in survey..from VEST
Choosing Well: Advanced FeaturesSocialShare to social, tracking, postingSocial forms, track influence, external dataMonitor & respond, promotionsContent Builders, external discovery, shared libraryClassification/tagging, SEO scores, item-level resultsMulti-format (mobile, video, images, geo, etc.)PredictiveBuilt-in or 3rd partyData types, prebuilt connectorsAutomated set-up & building, model types, self-adjust, user controlreports, explanations
(45) Features that Matter: Advanceda. social features - common: share to social buttons, track social response, create social posts - frequent: social forms; track influence; build profile from external - rare: monitor and response; create promotions e.g. contests, social sign-onb. content marketing features - external content discovery - content library available to campaigns - support for video, mobile, geo-specific, other new formats - standard tagging for content selection & analysis - track response by content item across campaignsc. predictive modeling - rarely built in; usually 3rd party, which assembles data and does modeling - key considerations: types of data imported esp. via standard connectors; degree of automation in initial set-up and in building new models; types of models e.g. only response or also recommendations (best choice among many); self-adjusting over time; explanation of results;
Preparing Well: IntegrationAssess existing systemsAvailable data, access methods, potential frequency, data qualityDefine your requirements (theres that word again)Data sources, types of data (structured, unstructured, semi), data volumes, speed, scalability batch vs real time, triggers mapping, transforms, process flow, validationtech skillsSelect an approach (or several)System-specific connectors, generic connectors, open APIs, platform systemsMake part of marketing automation requirementsTest early and often
(49) Integration PlanningSo, how can you avoid integration problems? 5. how to integrate marketing automation with other corporate systemsa. integration options:- prebuilt connectors to specific systems- generic connectors e.g. Actian, MuleSoft, Jitterbit, Boomi, Scribe, SnapLogic, IBM-Cast Iron, Zapier- open APIs (be specific about data import, data export, system functions, latency, volume limits, handling of custom data, REST vs SOAP - platforms: from vendors w/open APIs; push-button (but often limited in depth)b. integration considerations- systems supported- types of data handled (structured, unstructured, semi-structured)- data volumes, speed, scalability- batch vs real time; triggers- features for mapping, transforms, validations, process flows- tech skills required
Preparing Well: ProcessSystematic processDefine real requirementsFocus on featuresTest integration in advancePlan slowly, deploy quicklyExpect changeLook for flexibility as well as featuresPlan to rep...