A new Spear Marketing report, the State of Marketing Automation Maturity, shows that B2B marketers are not fully leveraging their marketing automation software due to poor data quality and a lack of lead nurturing efforts.
In some notable areas, adherence to best practices is relatively uncommon, even in areas that one would otherwise assume to be a primary business case for marketing automation.
- 40% of respondents employ no type of autoresponder (follow-up email) to new leads
- More than half (54%) of respondents indicate that more than 25% of their database is old, inaccurate or otherwise unusable
- 74% indicated that fewer than 50 percent of their email campaigns are triggered or automated vs. simply “one-off” (batch) programs.
Any amount of under-utilization of marketing automation prevents companies from generating a maximum return on their investment.
Based on this survey, the average marketing automation user has a long way to go before utilizing the software in a way that would help him or her achieve the most business value.
Where are the opportunities for marketers?
What do marketing automation vendors and customers alike need to push marketing automation maturity to the next level? Here are some suggestions from the report:
- Filling the “talent gap” by making it easy (and inexpensive) for new and prospective hires alike to get up to speed on (and hands on with) marketing automation software.
- Increasing ongoing training and education for existing customers, not just in technical know-how, but also in strategy and best practices.
- Promoting and cultivating the development, growth, and awareness of third party professional service partners — consultants and marketing agencies — who can help clients achieve greater levels of sophistication.
Based on this report, it’s time to clean up your data and start leveraging the full lead nurturing capacity of your marketing automation system.