Monday, March 17, 2014

Marketing Automation Dissatisfaction: Are Users Buying the Wrong Systems?

I took a preliminary peek at the results of the marketing automation deployment survey that VentureBeat and I have been fielding for the past few weeks. There are some hints of really interesting insights, but we don’t have enough responses yet to publish. Like the sheriff in Blazing Saddles who held himself hostage, I'm writing this to encourage more people to complete the survey so we can release it.

First, some context. One of the rarely-spoken truths about B2B marketing automation is that a sizable minority of users – roughly one-third in most surveys – are not happy with their results. I wrote about last year in a pair of posts (here and here).  One purpose of the new survey was to probe for the reasons. We tested a number of possibilities: buyers are picking the wrong systems; they lack the skills to operate their systems; systems are too hard to use; marketing automation programs don’t deliver enough value to be worth the effort.

The results are open to interpretation but one figure jumped out at me: 25.9% of the respondents cited “missing needed features” as a top-three challenge in successfully using their systems. This wasn’t the most common answer but it still means that one-quarter of the users bought a system that didn’t meet their needs – that is, they bought the wrong system.

Answers about time spent on the search, number of systems considered, evaluation critieria, training, and staffing seem to consistent with this view. We’d gain some clarity if we could split the responders into groups: for example, were people who looked at more systems or searched for longer periods more happy with their selection?

This is where you come in, Dear Reader. We need more responses before we can publish the full results or do deeper analysis. If you’ve recently purchased a marketing automation system, please take the survey yourself and encourage others to do the same. Everyone who takes the survey will get a free copy of the report.

1 comment:

joemktg said...

Greatest. Blog photo. Ever.