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Marketing is taking a bigger seat at the revenue table, according to a new study released by B2B marketing automation vendor Bizo and enterprise software giant Oracle. In fact, marketing departments now account for up to 60 percent of business revenues.

And almost all marketers — 94 percent — use lead nurturing.

While 34 percent of respondents to the 500-executive study say that 25-50 percent of their marketing budget goes to prospecting new leads, 36 percent say that much more of their budget is allocated to building relationships with existing customers.

lead nurturing

There are a couple of caveats to the study, of course.

VB’s marketing automation index report highlights 20 different marketing automation solutions.

The survey respondents were executives at companies in Bizo’s marketer database, which naturally will over-represent companies currently using marketing technology, and specifically marketing automation. And those companies, of course, are self-selected, since the type of company that can benefit most from marketing automation is most likely to gravitate to those tools.

multiple marketing channels

Still, the results indicate that marketing is taking a new, more prominent role in direct revenue generation — once the province of the sales department. And that companies can expect marketing to be more than fluff and “awareness-building,” even if it isn’t strictly speaking traditional performance marketing.

Unsurprisingly, 72 percent of the marketers in Bizo’s database use marketing automation for lead generation, and most of them use multiple channels, including email, social media, paid search, and retargeting, to nurture their prospects through the sales funnel.

Multi-channel strategies are important, because it’s increasingly difficult to get email addresses.

For most marketers, only 1-5 percent of site visitors provide email addresses in response to content marketing strategies like free white papers. And even when they do, email open rates are lower than 20 percent. Hence, anonymous lead nurturing via techniques like retargeting visitors to your website become critical.

“Relying solely on email for lead nurturing is preventing B2B marketers from getting to the next level of business impact,” David Karel, CMO of Bizo, said in a statement. “With only five percent of website visitors willingly providing an email address, marketers’ need to find other channels … multi-channel nurturing represents a massive opportunity to reach prospects beyond the inbox and really boost the return on their marketing spend.”

In other words, Bizo is saying: Dump your email marketing program and enter the 21st century — perhaps with a B2B marketing tool like ours.

Here’s the study’s data, in visual form:

Bizo Infographic

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