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N500 - A Study of Cloud-Based Marketing Automation Service Provider

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Question

Marketing Automation

The effectiveness of implementing a marketing automation system in customer engagement. Discuss. Also look into the decision process and factors affecting the selection and implementation of the solution within an organisation.

Solution

Introduction

Automation provides an opportunity to measure the steps and outcomes of a process. Globally, digital technology has evolved with innovative techniques. Yet, investments in digitising marketing activities are less compared to other business functions. Companies have to prioritise functional optimisation to enhance revenue generation.
Marketing automation systems are technology platforms designed to assist marketers in managing, measuring marketing activities and nurturing potential customers across different marketing channels. The system uses customer intelligence gained from the various marketing channels, especially the top-of-funnel activities, for the benefit of marketers. Among the CRM-related systems, marketing automation systems are reported to be the fastest growing segment in the last five years. (Steele & Kumar, 2014) On an average, the market penetration rate of marketing automation systems among companies lay at 10% globally. (Kotsier, 2015) The penetration level is subjected to revenue earned with the higher adoption rate among higher revenue companies and lower adoption rate among companies in the lower revenue-bucket.
The purpose of this research is to understand the buyer decision-making process in selecting, implementing and measuring the success of a marketing automation system. This study is carried out through researching a leading cloud-based marketing automation system service provider, Accenture Australia. Accenture is able to achieve market leadership through its agency relationships with marketing automation cloud and software providers. Accenture is considered for this research due to its partnerships with industry leaders in marketing cloud providers such as Adobe, Oracle, and SalesForce (Frank et al., 2014) and marketing automation software providers such as IBM, Marketo and Teradata (Nicastro, 2014). It is rated as one of the industry leaders by rating agencies when compared to its competitors such as Deloitte, PwC, Cognizant and Capgemini (Sullivan & Thompson, 2013). (Accenture, 2015)

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Marketing Structure

The internet has developed an opportunity for marketing, by the vast experiences its offers to people, which engage them, induce to buy and act as brand ambassadors. It offers a 360-degree view of customers; gives an understanding of their requirements and experiences; and helps in developing platforms to deliver relevant and systematic experiences.
Though most of the companies have relevant customer data, they lack in analytics. Companies have set up operations around their go-to-market marketing channels and its marketing levers.
In recent years, companies are creating predictive patterns for successful customer engagements. Companies have to develop a set of marketing generalists. Marketing generalists are people with the ability to understand marketing function as a whole and its intricacies. Service providers can act as consultants in such scenario, to enable focus and alignment. There are leading service providers who have the capability to offer a comprehensive customer engagement platform. However, the decision lies with the top management to implement optimisation both at customer and organisation levels. (Copeland & Tabeling, 2014)

Integrated Marketing Platforms

Integrated digital platforms dwell on the customer life cycle from introduction to sales and then to post-sales experience. In almost all organisations, the customer lifecycle is handled by various entities from marketing to sales to services to IT and more. This gives rise to skills and governance issues while using an integrated digital platform. The marketing entity also takes upon the role of customer experience entity as the data required in understanding customer requirement is available in the marketing organisation.
An integrated approach also required a skill set mix involving product groups, geographic locations and business functions. Such a skill set mix is achieved through establishing an in-house Centre of Excellence to leverage skills or outsourcing to an external provider. Through an integrated digital marketing platform, companies are able to experience a 10% increase in the loyal program sign up rate, 100% website lead conversion, 33% increase in the brand campaign conversion rate and report generation by 20%. (Roytman & Chandra, 2013)

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