Two-thirds of companies in Western Europe have active investment plans for marketing automation systems in 2014, according to the latest research from leading industry analysts, Ovum conducted the research on behalf of Marketo (NASDAQ: MKTO) provider of the leading cloud-based marketing software platform for building and sustaining engaging customer relationships. Enterprise purchasing decisions are being fuelled by marketing-led, customer centric business agendas combined with increased usability and functionality from marketing automation vendors.
Ovum conducted interviews with 1,380 enterprise executives with more than 500 employees, across 18 countries in Western Europe. More than half of respondents (53 percent) plan to enhance or transform their marketing automation systems in 2014, while one in seven (14 percent) plan to install a new marketing automation system.
“Product and market maturity are converging to form a ‘perfect storm’ with vendor functionality meeting strong customer demand,” said Gerry Brown, Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement & Marketing Technology, Ovum. “Enterprise business challenges and IT trends have aligned with the marketing automation value proposition. Enterprises need to create a clear line of sight between the strategic intent of the board’s vision, mission and strategy - such as delivering superior customer experience - and how that vision is executed. The need for competitive advantage, strong austerity measures around cost control and managing risk, and improving the quality of operational execution are the catalysts for evaluating marketing automation systems.”
Fergus Gloster, European Managing Director for Marketo, commented, “The ‘Transformers’, such as insurance companies, and media, retail and telecoms organisations are essentially traditional product or service oriented industries that will need to reinvent themselves in 2014 as commoditisation sets in. Marketing automation provides an efficient and innovative means of differentiation. By contrast, manufacturing firms in general tend to have the highest propensity to make minor modifications to their marketing automation systems, but the lowest propensity to transform their operations using marketing automation.
However, at Marketo, we are seeing evidence of forward thinking manufacturers, such as Panasonic, adopt marketing automation to drive sales, gain greater channel efficiencies, and increase market penetration. Although the higher education market is currently a laggard in this area, we believe the need to recruit fee paying students is starting to awaken new interest in marketing automation investment.”