3d illustration: drawing from the sale of stock exchanges, businIn case you haven’t noticed, marketing automation is on the rise in most industries – helping companies achieve goals faster and more efficiently. Whether it’s online marketing automation solutions that work with email and web leads or voice-based marketing automation that work with phone calls,, the vast majority of businesses are utilizing these technologies to automate marketing, drive lead gen, and grow revenue.

Don’t believe me? Here are some quick facts to make a case for marketing automation solutions:

  • Marketing automation can increase qualified lead generation by 451% (The Annuitas Group)
  • In the first 6-9 months, marketing lead automation can boost revenue by an average of 10% (Gartner Research)
  • Marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5% and reduces marketing overhead by 12.2% (Nucleus Research)

Marketing automation can align marketing and sales teams with enhanced communication and transparency through integration with CRMs. Furthermore, marketing automation generates unique data reports and analytics that provide insight into campaign performance to drive smart decision making. When these data points are collected, reported, and analyzed, sustainable growth can be achieved in a shorter period of time at a lower expense to the company. Not too shabby.

Assuming you are now convinced of the value of marketing automation, let’s talk about steps to ensure the technology is customizable and working for your business.

Step One: Understanding Your Needs and the Technology’s Capabilities

It is not enough to read reviews of marketing automation solutions and select the most popular product. Take the time to review your company’s goals, strategies, and resources, and compare these demands to the design, requirements, and abilities of each solution being considered. For many companies, this may mean the best technologies are customizable and scalable to meet both short and long-term needs.

The Gleansight Benchmark Report suggested many businesses do not fully optimize their marketing automation tools to extend beyond standard initiatives such as revenue tracking, lead quality, and cost reduction. Marketing automation can also be leveraged to connect disparate technologies that support marketing projects, aggregate data, and analyze results to create a complete big picture of spending and ROI. This creates a strong link between marketing and sales when customized into an existing business model.

To achieve the highest possible ROI from marketing automation, decision makers must understand their organizational alignment and processes to determine where the gaps lie and how best to increase efficiency. The top marketing performers in the benchmark study showcased preconfigured cross-channel campaigns that automated responses to customer behavior data collected for fast, accurate turnaround. Without customization, this interconnectivity would be difficult to achieve for most business models. Likewise, underusing a marketing automation solution reduces its potential ROI.

Step Two: Avoid Common Obstacles or Pitfalls

Marketing automation technology will continually work through its assigned tasks and generate data. What some companies encounter is an inability to incorporate this information into existing marketing processes. Prior to launching the technology, marketing teams should audit their protocol to ensure there are resources to analyze the data and convert it into usable content or to support decision making. Otherwise, the company will be running the solution without a benchmark from which to measure results.

Furthermore, marketing teams can set attainable, measurable goals that may be achieved once the marketing automation solutions have been added to the mix. This may be easier once team members are more familiar with the technology and understand its capabilities. When the team identifies areas in need of improvement and establishes a goal, it will be easier to determine how marketing automation fits into processes for a more efficient transition.

Step Three: Measure, Measure, and Re-measure

Marketing automation is designed to simplify campaigns, generate strong data, and improve performance in the short and long term. The efficacy of the technology must be measured by creating benchmarks and performance metrics that can be tracked, compared, and analyzed throughout a campaign’s lifecycle. How else will your company know if the technology is worth the cost or if the team is optimizing it efficiently?

Performance metrics can be finite such as daily lead revenue or cost-per-lead measurements. They can also examine the larger picture such as quarterly sales numbers. When pieced together, marketers can present a complete image of how campaigns have performed, where improvements should be made and how to invest in future initiatives to drive growth.

When communicating results, significant variances from historical data and projections for the future, marketers must place this data in detailed context so other departments can understand and utilize the information for their own projects. For example, a sales team may gain deeper insight into customer behavior if call tracking data is showcased in the context of overall lead generation statistics. Knowing where sources are coming from will help increase sales conversions, and marketing automation offers the ability to identify these specific details.

To understand more about how voice-based marketing automation can complete online marketing automation technologies to improve campaign ROI, check out our whitepaper “Tracking Phone Leads: The Missing Piece of Marketing Automation.”