In May, I will be speaking at CEBIT 2015 on marketing automation.

As I begin putting a presentation together, I am reminded of the hundred or so people who listened to my presentation on sales automation last year, and their lack of knowledge on the topic of marketing automation. Only four people put their hands up out of two sessions to the question of whether or not they had marketing automation implemented in their businesses.

This year, I expect it to be significantly more but doing a bit of a field study on the implementation of marketing automation in B2B businesses, I am fast realizing that there are still a lot of marketers who are completely ignorant to the role of marketing automation in the marketing strategy.
Marketers, did you forget something?

This failure is not necessarily their fault, but has been created by the fact that so many marketers are so busy doing their jobs, that they don't find time to conduct research and explore what technologies are out there that can in fact make their jobs easier.

If I look around my office, I know that I have to literally force employees to sit down to training sessions and webinars on marketing with specific reference to marketing technologies. It's not that they don't want to learn more or do the best job they can. It's simply about time. But the reality is that they would have more time, if they invested in learning.

The number of companies using marketing automation is still low in comparison to marketing spend particularly in the SMB space.

It is proven that by implementing marketing automation correctly, your business will increase its sales performance. Adding a blog to a website, ensures that on average your website will have 55% more visitors and 97% more inbound links than if you did not. You will also have on average 434% more indexed pages on search engines. (Forrester)

79% of top performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than 2 years (Gleanster: 2013), and that statistic is now quite old. 

Getting started with a marketing automation implementation isn't exactly easy, but the pain is certainly worth it. We know that by doing email marketing, the average ROI is 4300% (Direct Marketing Association). It is also reported that email marketing is the number one most effective tactic for lead nurturing by top performing B2B marketers. (Forrester)

So next time your marketing manager or marketing agency comes to you with a marketing campaign, don't be shy in asking them what role marketing automation plays in your marketing strategy, and ask them to complete a marketing audit on the currency of case studies, in-person events, blogs, email campaigns, eBooks, videos, webinars, website articles, research reports and white papers to ensure that your marketing materials are relevant to segmented databases.

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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