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Marketing Automation News & Analysis

3 Ways Marketing Automation Boosts Business Efficiency

"The attention economy is not growing, which means we have to grab the attention that someone else has today." — Brent Leary

I remember Brent Leary, a partner at CRM Essentials and a well-known subject matter expert on CRM, making that bold assessment a few years ago, and it still rings true today. 

The battle for customer attention has never been more intense. Fortunately marketers are finding a few ways to help ease their efforts to retain customers. 

Marketing automation is one of those effective digital balms. 

Here are three ways automation unleashed valuable analytic strategy. The key is through timing and segmentation, which leads to analytic decisions that highlight meaningful operational support.

'We Rule B2B Marketing Automation, We're Salesforce'

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Salesforce officials are confident about their marketing technology.

"The thing that distinguishes us most is that we're Salesforce," said Adam Blitzer, senior vice president and general manager for Salesforce Pardot.

When you work on the massive CRM platform that is Salesforce, it's OK to be a little confident.

Salesforce integrates its CRM technology with its Pardot marketing automation. It acquired that technology with its $2.5 billion ExactTarget package.

The San Francisco-based provider today released what it calls "the next generation of Sales Cloud B2B marketing automation."

The Intelligent Engagement Studio and Sales Cloud Engage will deliver adaptive lead nurturing, visualized campaign testing and mobile marketing tools, the company boasted.

Oracle Fattens Its Marketing Cloud #MME15

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Oracle takes its turn on the marketing cloud technology stage today by announcing enhancements to its marketing cloud suite.

The news comes during its Modern Marketing Experience conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based tech giant announces integrations that marry its marketing technology acquisitions with its e-commerce and web content management systems.

"We have comprehensive solutions for any type of industry," John Stetic, vice president of products at Oracle Marketing Cloud, told CMSWire in an interview before the conference. "And the scale at which we can operate really does differentiate ourselves. We're Oracle from an enterprise scale point of view. We can orchestrate great experiences and unify data at an enterprise scale across all different types of industries. No one else can do that to the extent we do."

Do We Expect Too Much of CMOs?

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You may have noticed that the relationship between buyer and seller is in major flux. This turmoil impacts the position tasked with leading firms’ marketing efforts and held responsible for leading firms’ marketing efforts — the CMO. Today’s Chief Marketing Officer tops a pyramid of people, technology and behavioral science focused on getting the brand’s message to its intended audience in order to convince that audience to buy.

Many CMOs are finding it difficult to shoulder the blizzard of responsibilities descending on their desks. The CMO’s average tenure is just 45 months -- considerably shorter than their CEO, CFO and CTO counterparts. 

Given this level of turnover, it’s fair to ask why, with all the new and sophisticated technological resources available, so many CMOs can’t seem to get their feet on the ground.

Oracle: Our Real World Data Cloud Can Help You Simulate Audiences

Oracle’s recent launch of its Data Cloud service for customer data is not just another acquisition, renamed and relaunched with Oracle’s red banner. It’s not just one more step toward parity with Salesforce — the company founded by the Oracle CEO’s former protégé.

It's an acknowledgement from one of the companies that established data as a business that deep behavioral analysis of customer behavior is not only common — but a commodity in itself.

Give Users a Vote: Why Testing in Email Matters

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Consumers want their voices heard.

Social media marketers have turned to crowdsourcing to include customer's voices. But email marketers have been giving people the opportunity to vote for years.

We're not talking about direct surveys, although those can work. What we're talking about is measuring the votes that customers make every day when they choose to click or not click -- using A/B testing. 

Build Audiences, Not Visitors

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One statistic that gets thrown around too easily these days is how much of a buyer’s journey is completed before the first sales contact. Some analysts claim that it’s 60 percent. Some say it’s as much as 74 percent.

Regardless of which number is right, it comes down to this: buyers turn to external and brand-produced content more and more to reach a buying decision.

Complete the Digital Marketing Puzzle, One Integration Step at a Time

2015-12-February-Crossword.jpgBeing a marketer today can be a challenging task, particularly because today’s savvy customers have already completed about 80 percent of their purchase research by the time they even contact you. This shortened sales cycle means that if your data isn’t organized across systems to make your customers’ history and preferences easily accessible, lost sales opportunities and lower customer satisfaction will inevitably result.

Addressing the Gap Between Marketing Automation and CRM

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In this era of economic growth, the Sales Enablement Trends 2015 Report (registration required) by Qvidian was sobering. While B2B companies continue to grow at any cost, sales teams still struggle with quota attainment and can’t ramp up fast enough. Companies are trying to fix this by automating virtually every marketing process, sales process and touch point.

The result? We’re drowning in data and analyses.  Big data and predictive analytics are providing a lot of information, but scant meaningful insights that can be acted on with consistent successful results. The problem is data is siloed and analyzed as such. Even when broader data is analyzed, it’s never all of it. Some gets left out because it’s outside the organization’s four walls or it wasn’t considered relevant. That creates a condition of being directionally correct but precisely wrong.

The problem persists because companies don’t really know their buyers -- a fact that they are finally coming to terms with.

Honey, Did We Shrink the Marketing Technology Landscape?

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Don't be intimidated by Scott Brinker's latest marketing technology landscape.

Many of the 1,876 vendors will fold, others will merge and be acquired and the landscape will shrink because of it, some industry players told CMSWire.

"Many will fail," said Charles Nicholls, senior vice president of product strategy for hybris and SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce.

"In the Wild West, new vendors are experimenting with new ways of doing things. Not all of these work -- look at Facebook storefronts for example -- and some will flop spectacularly. Caveat emptor, there are many snake oil salesman promising the earth. Look for a solid measurable return-on-investment (ROI) that you can prove before committing."

Revenue Marketing: Creating Sales and Marketing Alignment

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The art of contacting and connecting with customers and prospects has become infinitely more sophisticated and effective through the buyer’s journey. We can thank advances in marketing automation, big data, predictive and behavioral analytics for this new level of sophistication.

Salesforce Offers a Peek at the State of Marketing

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It's a big world of marketing technology, as we reported earlier this week.

It's an even bigger world of people that marketers are trying to connect with through those technologies. The more marketers know about those people and where they get information, the better.

"Everybody is dealing with the rapid evolution of marketing," said Jeff Rohrs, vice president of marketing insights at Salesforce, which this week released the Salesforce Marketing Cloud 2015 State of Marketing Report, its annual flagship research report based on data from more than 5,000 global marketers. "... The good news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers. The bad news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers."

Marketing Tech Landscape: 'Inspiring, Frightening' [Infographic]

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Almost 2,000 technology demos and requests for proposals. Why not? Your team can handle it.

The landscape for marketing technology has exploded in the past year, nearly doubling to more than 1,800 software vendors.

Scott Brinker is the guy who's chronicled this tech climb. He's the author of the Chief Marketing Technology Blog, organizer of the Marketing Technology Conference and the co-founder and chief technology officer for Boston-based ion interactive. 

But he may as well be the Godfather of Marketing Technology, the man who has boldly gone where no other marketing tech industry person has gone -- diving into this crowded landscape and discovering a space as crowded as sardines.

"It's somewhere between wonderfully inspiring and downright frightening," Brinker told CMSWire.

5 Technology Skills Every Marketer Needs Today

Marketers today are at a serious crossroads. Take this recent Gartner report, which shows that CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs by 2017. Few marketers are technologists or IT specialists, but technology is changing everything about what they do and how they do it. The 21st century marketing landscape requires a whole new way of thinking about interacting with customers, adapting to technologies and translating insights into a return on investment for the entire organization. How can marketing professionals supplement their existing skill sets and get up to speed quickly and dynamically?

A Look Back: Innovation or Hype in Digital Marketing?

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Digital marketing is hot. Has been for years now, and 2014 was no different.

But by hot, what do we mean?

Hot as in products are killing it for organizations -- churning out ROI like it's going out of style? Hot as in innovation is at an all-time high, with different products and features hitting the market daily? Hot as in having a digital platform is a MUST for any marketer?

Some of this is happening, we're sure. But in 2014, it seemed like digital marketing was hot simply because, well, people were talking about it.

We really didn't see a leader. A clear visionary. An innovative concept that no one had that just flipped the industry upside down, much like when a Harvard dropout wanted to connect college kids online more than 10 years ago.

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