Five Critical Trends in Marketing Automation for 2015
- SiriusDecisions has identified five significant trends for marketing automation in 2015
- B2B marketers are realizing that they require better-targeted communication channels
- MAP vendors’ analytic capabilities and offerings have matured
SiriusDecisions recently published its industry report on marketing automation platforms (MAPs) “SiriusView: Marketing Automation Platforms 2015.” Through vendor briefings, inquiries with our client base and benchmark surveys, we have identified trends in the marketing automation space. Here are five of the most significant, two involving marketing automation marketplace trends and three centering on marketing automation features:
- Acquisition growing pains. Over the last three years, the marketing automation market has rapidly consolidated (e.g. Oracle acquired Eloqua, Salesforce purchased ExactTarget/Pardot, IBM acquired Silverpop, Adobe bought Neolane, SalesFusion purchased LoopFuse). However, acquiring a company does not immediately marry the two organizations (and products) together. Product portfolios, user interfaces and overall branding needs to be unified. For many of the vendors, this has not yet happened. Though this will improve in 2016, vendors new to the MAP marketplace will have a more difficult time.
- Predictive lead scoring. In 2015, the use of predictive lead scoring has rapidly grown. Overall, marketing automation vendors have opted to partner with predictive lead scoring vendors rather than to acquire or build their own predictive scoring capabilities. SiriusDecisions believes this will begin to change in the coming year and MAP vendors will incorporate predictive capabilities into their core offerings, driven by customer demand and/or eroding wallet share.
- Usability. Previously, only technically inclined marketers were capable of actively working in a MAP. Most MAP vendors have made significant improvements to their user interface and user experience (UI/UX), giving non-technical marketers the ability to design execute demand creation programs. However, not all MAP vendors have focused on their UI/UX and these vendors that have failed to innovate will lose market share until they realize that product usability is not a nice-to-have but a must-have in today’s MAP marketplace.
- Ad integration. B2B marketers are realizing that they require better-targeted communication channels beyond email. To expand reach and improve response rates, they are increasing their investments in digital advertising. MAP vendors have started to integrate access to demand management, advertising and lead management platforms that augment anonymous visitor data with first-party data. SiriusDecisions expects that advertising technology and marketing automation will continue to merge, giving marketers a complete data picture of their digital buyers.
- Advanced analytics. Over the last two years, MAP vendors have focused on funnel reporting, campaign and conversion analysis, as well as automated testing (e.g. A/B, multivariate testing). As the MAP market has matured, so too have MAP vendors’ analytic capabilities and offerings. SiriusDecisons anticipates that MAP vendors will package advanced capabilities in a way that makes them easier to use in demand creation programs.