Marketing Automation Use in the Technology Industry

Act-On
Marketing Automation

Technology customers want meaningful and authentic experiences before, during, and after the purchase. As a result, marketers are charged with figuring out how to deliver on these sky high expectations. One tool that provides an edge in the quest to connect authentically and fruitfully is marketing automation (MA).

The majority of marketers (80%) report an increase in leads due to automation. What’s more, marketing automation users experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. 

Whether your marketing team is already using automation or is considering bringing marketing automation software into your tech stack, you might wonder, “How is marketing automation used in the technology industry?” 

Read on to learn more about marketing automation for technology companies, some of the largest challenges, and how to reach your customers and stand out against the competition.

How is the Technology Industry Using Marketing Automation? 

The technology industry has been a fast adopter of marketing automation, with one survey finding that 95% of tech companies use some type of digital marketing software. And, most tech companies go all in on marketing automation. 

A recent report found that 71% of organizations using marketing automation leverage it for email marketing, while 39% use it primarily for social media. However, only 17% of these marketers report using dynamic web forms to automate the processes of collecting crucial information for leads and creating tailored buyer profiles to ramp up customer engagement.

Moreover, less than one-quarter (22%) of those surveyed report using automation in their SEO efforts to optimize content, improve messaging, and enhance search rankings. Out of those surveyed, here is a quick breakdown of how businesses like yours are using marketing automation: 

  • Email marketing (71%)
  • Social media management (39%)
  • Landing pages (35%)
  • Campaign tracking (32%)
  • Paid ads (32%) 

Even though the vast majority of marketers are using marketing automation technology for email marketing, they’re also on the lookout for new opportunities that will help nurture leads and promote growth at every stage of the funnel. 

Transformation is Coming 

Even if you’re using marketing automation already, there is still more opportunity for growth. In fact, most marketers who are experiencing success in areas such as email marketing are leveraging that success in other marketing automation capabilities, such as account-based marketing

For example, one-third of marketers we surveyed report they plan to implement automation in their social media management (36%) and paid advertising (34%) in the coming year. Additionally, a high percentage of companies report they’ll leverage automation in account-based marketing, live chat, push notifications, and sales funnel communications in the coming year. Expanding the use of automation in these areas can give you a competitive edge and enable more meaningful customer interactions. 

The Largest Marketing Automation Challenges for Tech Marketers  

Shockingly, one-third of marketers report they don’t have the resources required to successfully manage their marketing automation solution. Additionally, marketers struggle with the following: 

  • Lack of training and knowledge base (31%)
  • Lack of budget to maintain (26%)
  • Complicated setup (26%)
  • Inability to integrate with other tools (20%) 
  • Decentralized data (19%) 

With nearly one-third of marketers citing the importance of training as a strategy to get the most out of a solution, it’s essential that your marketing automation provider have engaging, interactive resources available in a variety of formats. 

A lack of integration can be problematic when critical tools don’t “talk” to one another to enable productivity gains. Only 28% of survey respondents report their automation tools are “mostly integrated.” This creates a significant opportunity for improvement, with only 62% of B2B marketing professionals saying their tools are only “somewhat integrated.”

Real-life Marketing Automation Results from the Tech Industry 

Knowing that technology companies leverage MA to capture significant results is a good starting point, but what does that look like in real life? Check out a few examples from the trenches to better understand how tech companies harness this technology to boost leads, ramp up conversion rates and recapture productivity losses. 

Cloud Services Giant Boosts Conversion Rates by 20% with Marketing Automation

Cloud services provider, interworks.cloud, needed a robust platform to support multiple business units and deliver customized communications to diverse target audiences. Without the right platform in place, they struggled to monitor visitor behaviors accurately and leverage actionable lead scoring. Time-consuming manual processes created productivity challenges and prevented more strategic activities.

Marketing automation allowed the company to boost conversions rates by 20% using automated email programs with advanced segmentation capabilities. Additionally, the company experienced a 20% increase in SQL quality according to internal scoring standards. 

Construction Technology Uses MA to Increase Leads by 30% and Opportunities by 75% 

Jonas Construction Software struggled with communicating effectively with a broad range of industries and personas. Additionally, they weren’t properly capturing prospect information upfront and communicating on a regular basis in a personalized and automated way. 

The company leveraged MA to create 100 automated programs and deliver 6,000+ emails each month, increasing opportunities by 75% and leads by 30%. Persona-based lead scoring reignited 20% of cold leads and a streamlined workflow doubled the team’s productivity. 

Software Company Quickly Generates 1,000 New Leads with Marketing Automation 

Ultimo Software Solutions struggled to provide their sales team with a steady stream of qualified leads and wanted to improve the first steps of the sales funnel. They also wanted to implement a content marketing strategy and use MA to support those efforts. 

Marketing automation enabled Ultimo’s marketing team to quickly deliver 1,000 new leads to the top of the sales funnel. Email click-through rates also got a boost, 5% year-over-year, further helping to fill the sales funnel. In addition, the company has complete visibility into how prospects react to their content and can attribute those results back to marketing to iterate further and improve outcomes. 

Getting More From Your Marketing Automation Platform 

About one-fifth (20%) of marketers say they feel like they aren’t using marketing automation to its fullest potential. Transforming how you leverage this technology can improve nearly every facet of your marketing strategy. Consider the following ideas to get more from your solution

  • Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) for each goal. 
  • Get marketing and sales aligned on funnel stages and definitions and on lead-scoring criteria. 
  • Map your content to your personas and your funnel stages. 
  • Build a content calendar to keep new and targeted content flowing into your campaigns. 

Leveraging the full power of marketing automation isn’t possible until you tap into the right training, integrate it fully with your marketing tech stack, and align your sales and marketing teams around the software. As a result of taking these steps, you can quickly level up your strategy and deliver a more personal customer experience in your technology marketing efforts.

The State of Marketing Automation

According to our research, tech companies are also far less likely than those in other industries to purchase new marketing software in 2019. And while this might seem to imply that they’re behind the curve, it’s far more likely that many tech firms have already purchased some form of marketing automation software and are comfortable enough using it that they’re not interested in making a switch to a new, unfamiliar platform.

Still, while marketers in the tech industry seem to be outpacing their peers in other industries, there’s always room for improvement.

The Major Marketing Automation Challenge Facing Tech Marketers

Based on our research, the largest marketing automation challenge facing marketers (including tech marketers) is measuring return on investment, which is obviously hugely important. If you can’t measure success in dollars and cents, you can’t fix what’s not working, build off what is, or alert key stakeholders to major successes.

Impressions and click-through rates are great, but they don’t tell the real story in brass tacks the way that ROI does, so it’s important that marketing automation vendors develop platforms that easily integrate with several popular CRM systems for more accurate tracking. It’s also important to make sure that both sales and marketing teams understand each stage of the sales process and how leads are scored and passed from one stage in the sales cycle to the next.  

The greatest barrier to greater adoption of marketing automation for tech companies is clear. Marketers are struggling to prove the return on their investment, which makes it harder to win C-level support and constricts investment. Tech industry marketers are doing far better than most, but they won’t be able to maximize the immense power of marketing automation until they’re able to integrate their entire MarTech stack, align their sales and marketing teams around the software, and generate meaningful reports that speak directly to the impact of their marketing efforts.

If you’d like to read the State of Marketing Automation report in its entirety, please click the link below. Or, if you’d like to learn more about the Act-On platform and our commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction, you can take a virtual tour by clicking here

The State of Marketing Automation