That's according to new research from Ovum's Digital Marketing and Connected Customer practice which suggests a critical mass of businesses making a leap of faith to invest in marketing automation, as internal pressures to automate marketing and fears of competitive disadvantage grow.
In a new report - Ovum argues that organisations will need to adjust their structure to accommodate digital marketing, replacing traditional hierarchies with more collaborative models that cut across organizational siloes.
Organizations will also need to recruit a different mix of analytical, technical, and creative talents within marketing to fully exploit the opportunities offered by digital marketing.
“Marketing professionals that ignore the significance of automation in the face of stakeholder pressure to be accountable, measurable, and transparent do so at their own peril.
“Automation can provide a much-needed boost to marketing’s credibility. It can change the common perception of marketing being a cost center to becoming a valued source of incremental revenue, profit, and customer loyalty.
“However, while marketing automation technology is showing explosive growth, it’s not for the fainthearted. Marketing automation also requires dedication and sustained resource commitment to make it fly, especially in the area of data management."
The Ovum worldview of the marketing automation sector breaks in two: best of breed vendors and traditional enterprise IT solutions providers:
The former leads in innovation, the latter in product suite integration and vision for enterprise marketing and how it fits into a wider process of sales and customer experience transformation.
The balance of power will shift through merger and acquisition, suggests Ovum:
Enterprise vendors will increase their market share and domination of the marketing automation market by acquiring bestofbreed vendors and building larger integrated product suites. Suites will be preferred by enterprises that have found that innovative point solutions create longer term problems of scalability, robustness, and ease of integration.
Digital technologies and practices will meet traditional marketing automation and form a new paradigm:
In the future, enterprises will use marketing automation platforms for more than just marketing communications. Sophisticated realtime pricing and product mix calculations, for example, will be in demand.
Digital marketing will be embedded in operations, and data will drive actions both inside and outside the marketing department.
Pre-campaign predictive data and advanced social media technologies will redefine the interface between marketing and sales and their respective roles.
The research house makes three key recommendations to the digital decisions maker:
Invest - or miss out:
Investment is required in the management of core customer and prospective customer data assets that define the value of the enterprise channel and ultimately drive the ROI available from a marketing automation platform.
Experimentation and testing of marketing initiatives will become the norm, and use cases will become wider and deeper, especially when it comes to exploiting Big Data.
Clean, highquality data sourced from multiple systems within the organization, including CRM, sales, and finance, will ultimately be the platform upon which enterprises will develop highly effective, targeted, and personalized campaigns.