Marketing

Why marketing automation installs fail (study)

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Shockingly, if you choose the wrong marketing automation system, you won’t be happy with it long-term.

So how do you choose the right one?

Obstacles to UseWith marketing automation growing at 60 percent annually on a still-small base, a lot of companies are presumably choosing their first systems. Leading marketing automation analyst David Raab surveyed 156 of them (with VentureBeat) to find out how it’s going, including what went right — and what went wrong.

“Industry deep thinkers often say that deployment failure has more to do with bad users than bad software,” Raab said. “But … it turns out that 25 percent of users cited “missing features” as a major obstacle, indicating that the system they bought wasn’t adequate after all.”

In other words, a lot of companies are buying the wrong systems.

That’s not the only cause of defeat, of course. But it is the single most important cause of marketing automation failure — a failure, Raab said, that could have been avoided if companies chose solutions that suited their needs better. Interestingly, one of the top challenges that is often cited as a problem with marketing automation — creating enough content to feed the marketing machine — is cited as an obstacle only by people who are highly satisfied with their systems.

Which suggests the content problem can be overcome but that the fit problem is more significant.


Raab’s report is available via VB Intel:
5 Worst Mistakes in Selecting a Marketing Automation System


The core challenge is that marketers make poor choices when selecting a marketing automation system, according to the study, including deciding too quickly, considering only one system, and not evaluating features in depth.

“These could have been avoided if marketers had chosen a different product that better suited their needs,” Raab said.

One key driver of satisfaction appears to be a thorough evaluation focused on the depth and breadth of features in a system. In fact, companies that focused on features in their product evaluation were much more likely to be satisfied with the system they eventually chose:

Evaluation Criteria

“These findings all point to concluding that the primary driver of marketing automation success is careful preparation, which means defining in advance the types of programs you’ll run and how you’ll use marketing automation,” Raab said.

The full report is available on VB Intel.

More information:

Marketo (NASDAQ: MKTO) provides the leading marketing software for companies of all sizes to build and sustain engaging customer relationships. Spanning today’s digital, social, mobile and offline channels, Marketo’s® customer eng... read more »

Pardot is a B2B cloud marketing automation software provider that increases revenue and maximizes efficiency for companies with multi-touch sales cycles. Pardot's platform features CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead... read more »

Act-On was created to empower small and mid-sized businesses to effectively market online at a fraction of the effort and cost incurred by larger enterprises. Little beyond email marketing existed to serve small marketing teams until A... read more »

HubSpot is the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform. Since 2006, HubSpot has been on a mission to make the world more inbound. Today, over 10,000 customers in 65 countries use HubSpot’s software, services, and suppo... read more »

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1 comments
Satya Krishnaswamy
Satya Krishnaswamy

I completely agree with David's findings. At NextPrinciples, see that just as with traditional CRM, many companies are jumping on the marketing automation bandwagon without a clear idea of what capabilities they need.


Whether it is marketing automation over traditional or social channels, companies need to make sure the solution they choose has the ability to cover the entire process in a seamless and integrated manner. Also, the solution should be rich enough to scale with the company's growing needs.