NEWS: MA brings revenue increases – but only in the long-term

Businesses that have adopted marketing automation (MA) are realising benefits but only after significant time periods, according to the new Marketing Automation Benchmarking Report 2015 published by B2B Marketing in association with Circle Research.

The top three stated objectives for implementing MA were ‘better lead management’, ‘delivering more relevant messages and content’ and ‘increased revenue’. In terms of success, 63 per cent of respondents reported that they had delivered better lead management since adopting MA, and 59 per cent expected to see improvements in the future. For the increased relevancy objective, 51 per cent claimed to have realised it and 66 per cent still expected to. Only 30 per cent, however, reported having seen increased revenue. In line with the previous objectives, 69 per cent still reported that they anticipated revenue levels to increase with time.

This supports the notion that MA implementation does not bring immediate ‘soft’ wins, but requires long-term commitment to adoption, integration, testing and improvement. This is especially evidenced by feedback garnered from marketers who had adopted MA at different stages. Of those to have done so in the previous six months, only eight per cent had seen any increased revenue. However, the figure noticeably rises over time. After one year of MA use 32 per cent claim to see increased revenue. By the two-year mark the figure rises to 39 per cent and for those to have been using it for more than two years the figure is 40 per cent.

This pattern also hold true for meeting other common objectives. Only 27 per cent of those new to MA achieve ‘more relevant messages’ but this figure increases consistently with time to a position where 74 per cent of veteran MA users report success.

The message from the report is clear: MA is a challenge and success takes time, but it does come.