Taking Marketing to the Next Level Through Automation
Foreword by Laura Ramos
Vice President, Industry Marketing for Services, Xerox Corporation-North America, and former Forrester Research B2B marketing analyst
During the past four years, I had the privilege of studying and writing about business-to-business (B2B) marketing best practices at Forrester Research. I surveyed and spoke with thousands of B2B marketers about their processes and best practices. Through this work, it became clear to me that marketing’s influence is declining as business buyers go online to research purchase decisions using peer insights and independent experts. Years of being the department with hard-to-quantify outcomes make it difficult for marketing to specifically and concisely demonstrate its true impact on the business. New campaigns, clever advertising, and delving into social media mask over problems and won’t spur the profound changes required to avoid what may seem like an inevitable slide toward obsolescence.
To remain viable, marketers must invest in technical capability that lets them work smarter and run leaner. Specifically, top marketers I know set up marketing-specific data management systems to improve insight, automate lead development and cultivation, integrate digital and traditional channels, embrace social media, and continuously measure and quantify the results.
However, technology investment without the proper skills, planning, change management and execution rarely succeeds. Most marketers must also rely on key marketing services partners to advise – and outsource – the needed process change. I hope, as you read the following white paper, you will come to share my view that marketing stands on the verge of a major transformation. But that needed change comes through rigorous, data-driven assessments, expertise in new process design, workflow optimization inside and outside the firm, modern marketing automation capabilities, marketing logistical management and customized tracking tools that validate marketing’s forward progress.