Friday, 12 July 2013 00:42

Ignore marketing automation ‘at your peril’


There’s been a prediction that businesses will make a ‘leap of faith’ in the next six years by investing in marketing automation, as internal pressures to automate marketing and fears of competitive disadvantage grow.

In its latest global report, analyst firm Ovum says that marketing automation is becoming a “business imperative for attracting and keeping customers,” and is central to the long-term survival of the modern enterprise.

The global analyst firm predicts that over the next six years a “critical mass” of businesses will make that leap of faith,  and that a so-called “cadre of enlightened CEOs and CMOs will drive the digital agenda and adoption of marketing automation.”

“Marketing professionals that ignore the significance of automation in the face of stakeholder pressure to be accountable, measurable, and transparent do so at their own peril,” warns Gerry Brown, senior digital marketing analyst at Ovum.

“Automation can provide a much-needed boost to marketing’s credibility. It can change the common perception of marketing being a cost center to becoming a valued source of incremental revenue, profit, and customer loyalty.”

According to the Ovum report, users will develop a taste for marketing innovation using marketing automation technology tools, while improved industry benchmarks, campaign experimentation, and revenue predictions will encourage “what if” scenario planning and real-time, event-driven decision-making within marketing.

Brown says that organisations will need to adjust their structure to accommodate digital marketing, replacing traditional hierarchies with more collaborative models that cut across organisational silos.

“Organisations will also need to recruit a different mix of analytical, technical, and creative talents within marketing to fully exploit the opportunities offered by digital marketing.

“However, while marketing automation technology is showing explosive growth, it’s not for the fainthearted. Marketing automation also requires dedication and sustained resource commitment to make it fly, especially in the area of data management,” Brown concludes.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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