Top 5 Marketing Automation Trends In 2017


Marketing Automation is no longer just a buzzword, in a digital era, it’s a prerequisite for efficient and effective marketing. And companies have gotten on board; according to emailmonday, on an average 49% of companies have adopted marketing automation, including 55% of B2B organizations. A trend that is likely to continue.

Given the many benefits it offers, it’s no surprise that marketing automation continues to receive attention, with new developments creating ripples ever so often.

Marketing Automation Trends to lookout for in 2017

We’ve identified the top trends that are set to change the marketing automation landscape in 2017:

  1. Integrated Marketing Automation – A Smart Insights study found that only 2% of companies that use marketing automation software make the most out of it. Optimal use of marketing automation calls for integration, and marketing automation allows for the integration of multiple campaigns across multiple channels. This ensures a consistent interaction with customers through their journey from prospect to customer and beyond. Customers want to be remembered and they expect companies to know who they are, be aware of their relationship with the company, and be taken care of. The overall experience of the customer is improved when a company’s multiple channels talk to each other and exchange information, like pieces of a puzzle coming together to create one synchronized image.
  2. Content Marketing and Marketing Automation – According to Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights, “The challenge in 2017 won’t be lack of engaging content. It’s surfacing it through the customer journey.” By integrating your content strategy with marketing automation you can ensure that the right content reaches the right customer at the right time. This allows for personalization of the message that is tailored to the customer’s requirement. Again, this adds to the customer’s experience as you are able to engage with them at their convenience, instead of spamming them with endless messages that are more likely to put them off than interest them.
  3. Predictive Analytics – Imagine the amount of time and effort you would save if you knew which leads were likely to convert into a sale and when. When predictive analytics and marketing automation come together, you can target your prospective customers based on their intention to buy, thereby striking the right iron when it’s hot, and increasing your chances of success.
    Additionally, being able to predict your customers’ behavior helps you take appropriate steps to fulfil their needs, leading to customer satisfaction and retention.
  4. Account Based Marketing – According to Marketo, “Account-based marketing (ABM) is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each account.” For companies looking to target specific high level businesses as clients, this strategy supported by marketing automation yields outstanding results. A study by Altera Group states, “97% of respondents said ABM had a somewhat higher or much higher ROI than other marketing initiatives.”
  5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – The digital world that we live in generates tons of data. And AI in marketing automation works to make sense of this data such that it is of use to marketers. AI could save marketers time by tracking campaigns and forecasting their outcomes, predicting consumer behaviour, creating and pushing relevant and personalised content, as well as several other essential marketing activities. And given the unlimited scope of AI, it can be tasked to replace a majority of human driven contact, thus, leaving marketers to focus on more creative pursuits. As Mike Rhodin, Senior VP, IBM Watson group, eloquently said, “The creativity and ingenuity of humans, when freed up from mundane repetitive tasks, has always led to new innovation, throughout history.”

These developments showcase the potential of marketing automation to be a game changer.

What lies ahead

Image Source: Marketo

It won’t be long before implementing marketing automation becomes standard practice, much like having a website. A cornerstone of digital marketing, marketing automation is a sound investment for any company interested in getting ahead of the curve.


  1. Martech Today
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Email Today
  4. Smart Insights
  5. Marketingmag
  6. Marketo
  7. Image Source: Cloudfront

Why You Should Align Your Sales and Marketing Strategy?


Sales and Marketing are two sides of the same coin. In the simplest of terms, while marketing focuses on creating awareness and evoking a desire to buy a particular product/service or brand, sales focuses on converting a potential customer into an actual one. That being said, it’s pretty obvious that their ultimate goal is the same: business growth. Coming together with a common goal of increasing revenue, these two pillars of a successful business can drastically increase marketing ROI, sales productivity, and profits.

There is immense scope for improving business performance by aligning sales and marketing functions; an idea that is often overlooked due to deep-rooted misunderstandings.

Why is it then that marketing and sales teams view each other as competitors, as opposed to collaborators?

A difference in their approach is one reason. Marketing strategies are created for the long haul: building brand awareness, recognition, and retention, developing a solid foundation, nurturing leads etc. Sales strategies tend to be short-term, dealing with meeting monthly, quarterly, and yearly quotas. They need aid from the marketing team that will help them close a sale today.

Another reason for discord between sales and marketing teams is the difficulty in measuring the results of marketing activities, unlike the quantifiable outcomes of sales efforts. This often leads to marketing efforts not being taken seriously or considered important by the sales team.

Demand Gen & Inside View conducted a survey amongst sales and marketing professionals to understand the main issues faced in aligning marketing and sales. The results provide proof of the problems stated above. 49% of those surveyed cited communication as the main challenge, followed by broken or flawed processes (42%), use of different metrics (40%), lack of accurate data on target accounts (39%) and reporting challenges (27%).

Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it.

Benefits of aligning marketing and sales

Before stating the measurable benefits of aligning sales and marketing, let’s go over the real and potential losses that arise out of non-alignment. As per

Wheelhouse Advisors:

  • Companies are losing closing to $ 1 trillion per year due to lost sales and wasted marketing expenditure.
  • 79% of marketing leads don’t close.
  • Only 27% of leads given by B2B marketers are pursued by the sales team.

The advantages on the other hand are:

  • According to Wheelhouse Advisors companies that ran sales and marketing strategies in tandem achieved 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher win rates.
  • A report by Aberdeen Research states that companies that have aligned sales and marketing saw an average of 20% increase in annual revenue, as opposed to a 4% decrease in companies that didn’t.

As per Sirius Decisions research B2B organizations having well-aligned sales and marketing functions saw 24% more rapid growth and 27% more rapid profit increase over a period of three years.

The good news

There is an increasing desire to work in collaboration, especially being voiced by Sales. A survey of 300 Sales heads by Sirius Decisions states, “The top third of the sales cycle has gone away. Salespeople believe that the beginning of the traditional sales process has evaporated and that buyers are self-servicing their needs instead of engaging with salespeople.” This shift in buying behavior has Sales all the more dependent on Marketing.

Time to get onboard

Given the real and quantifiable benefits of aligning your sales and marketing strategy, especially in today’s digital era where consumers are well informed and knowledgeable, it is imperative to implement policies and create an environment that brings these two vital functions together. A well thought out integrated Sales-Marketing plan is what will make the difference between growth and sustainable growth.