The Efficiency of Marketing Automation

You may have heard about the power of marketing automation to increase efficiency, but how, exactly, does this happen?

One way this happens, according to Selligent and Lenskold Group, is when a company’s marketing automation provides a single customer view—combining customer interactions, insights and resulting actions—it is more likely to report having a “highly effective and efficient marketing.”

Lenskold Group also reported (emphasis added):

“A relatively obvious but significant finding is that marketers, using integrated marketing automation, are far more capable of measuring and improving lead quality (47% of respondents versus 24% of those that don’t use marketing automation).”

Speaking of lead quality, another obvious sign of efficiency is the ratio of quality leads that marketing delivers to sales. If you are delivering a higher ratio than pre-marketing automation days, then your system is directly responsible for closing sales leads more effectively and allowing salespeople to be more productive with their time (spending less time on the wrong leads vs. the right ones).

One example of efficiency I really like comes from Hubspot’s Pamela Vaughan, who encourages marketers to ask the question of their automation tool: “Does it enable a faster reaction to marketing environment changes?” In other words, are you letting the tool do enough work for you, in turn, saving time that can be used for broader strategy, competitive assessments and staff enrichment? If you’re not, then something is wrong.

Vaughan also smartly references marketing automation’s total cost of ownership as a kind of efficiency, considering the costs in relation to your goals: e.g. increased conversion rates, greater proportion of sales-qualified leads to marketing-qualified leads, increased staff productivity, the reduced/negated need to hire more staff. I have also written about the need to invest in skilled automation professionals (whether internal or external) to “operate the machine.” Efficient marketing automation by definition needs to be competent, which requires competent marketers.

Marketing automation can also itself be made more efficient by doing any of the following (courtesy of Kim Roman via MarketingProfs):

  • Welcome campaign creation (10-15 hrs.)
  • Webinar automation (3-5 hrs.)
  • Lead-scoring implementation (15-20 hrs.)
  • Automatic website visitor reports for salespeople (1-2 hrs.)
  • Data cleansing (1-2 hrs.)

I’ll leave with the following efficiency nuggets straight from Marketo:

“Companies can expect 3 core benefits: more pipeline, more productive sales reps, and higher revenue, as found in the ‘Marketo Benchmark on Revenue Performance’ (as of Sept 15, 2012 n=489).”

Hmm, more pipeline, productive reps and higher revenue … sure sounds like some kind of efficiency, doesn’t it? If that’s not enough, the same Marketo resource page cites Nuclear Research statistics on gains in productivity that companies can expect (emphasis added):

  • Increase in marketing staff productivity between 1.5 and 6.9%
  • Increase sales productivity by an average of 4%.


Check out our helpful 14-pg. marketing automation primer.

The Case for MA

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