Is your marketing automation platform producing the anticipated results? If not, you’re not alone. Some 85 percent of B2B marketers feel they are not harnessing the full potential of their marketing automation platforms, according to SiriusDecisions.

So, what’s going on? Fully 71 percent of marketing influencers polled by Ascend2 for its Marketing Automation Trends Survey this year report using marketing automation to some extent. Yet, the majority of them are at least somewhat dissatisfied.

Consider, conversely, that of the 36 percent of Ascend2 respondents who say they make “extensive” use of marketing automation (MA), 91 percent also answered that MA is “very important” to marketing performance.

This indicates that marketers who are able to optimize the technology are getting great results—increasing lead generation and improving lead nurturing—which begs the question: How does one optimize the technology?

Certainly if you don’t have the requisite skills in-house, you should explore outsourcing the tactical and operational support you need for a successful MA implementation to an experienced and expert service provider. Some companies that make MA solutions offer professional services to support their platforms; others offer platform-independent services.

According to 52 percent of Ascend2 marketers polled, the most significant barrier to MA success is the lack of an effective strategy. Overcoming this need is the reason why 63 percent of companies outsource all or part of their MA strategy planning.

Here are some of the latest MA trends key to achieving business goals with marketing automation:

  1. Open platform: The best platforms provide users with pre-built integrations to work with marketing technology tools already in place. This means that functionality can be added and quickly employed without IT support.
  2. Dynamic campaign management: MA allows you to build out campaigns that include multiple variations of results, and can handle complex logic. These campaigns have the ability to adapt and respond to real customer activities, not some limited and prescribed customer journey. A simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for marketers to design campaigns—no extra schooling required.
  3. Integrated content marketing: Tightly integrated MA and content marketing in the marketing technology stack enables easy alignment of content with buyer personas. MA platforms allow marketers to set actions as triggers to ensure prospects and customers get the right information at the right time.
  4. Account-based marketing: With ABM, the focus switches from the individual profile to the account level, changing how marketers communicate with important customers. Contacts are mapped to parent accounts, so campaigns can be targeted at an account’s entire buyer committee to deliver a consistent experience across the organization. The prospect lead score becomes an account score.

To achieve top results from your marketing automation platform, be sure you utilize its full capabilities to best advantage. Get help if you need it from an MA service provider.  Marketers who optimize the technology are seeing great results, like increased sales revenues.

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