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Emily Nash

By: Emily Nash on November 30th, 2017

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Compare and Contrast if You Are Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation | Drip Campaign | Evaluate Marketing Automation

mailto:demo@example.com?Subject=HighRoad Solutions - interesting article

You may think the number one goal for marketing automation is lead generation, and it’s not far behind; however, 43% of heavy users of marketing automation claimed optimizing productivity as the most important objective according to this study by Adestra Message Focus. With small teams charged with email, marketing automation is seen as a tool that will level the field. There’s no competing with Amazon’s 300-plus professionals solely focused on email marketing, so for small teams wearing multiple hats at once as is often the case with association professionals, it may be easy to see why productivity is such a major KPI.


Increasing productivity is of course related to greater leads. The more personalized and automated responses that are generated to members and potential members at the time an action is taken, the more data and time team members have to respond to greater insights. With greater data, team members can start asking more questions and coming up with solutions to say, how to add automated campaigns that make it easier to purchase or become a member, for example.

B2C vs B2B Marketing Automation

In B2C organizations, your marketing automation campaigns help to bring members and potential members back to purchase again and again, to join your association, and to sign up for events. For trade associations reaching out to larger organizations for membership (B2B), the idea is to move leads down the funnel through a drip model meant to qualify prospects and give prospects an opportunity to convert. The idea is that your messages build on points of contact over time; setting the stage for greater engagement, conversions, and measurable ROI.

Focus On Three Objectives Max With Marketing Automation

Not every association is the same and so not every business objective has to be your objective. According to top users on marketing automation in a study conducted recently by Adestra, you should simplify and focus on three of these seven objectives. Like we said earlier, the top objective is productivity as reported by 43% of the survey respondents, followed by ROI. The next lead objectives are the management of campaigns, improving database quality, acquiring more customers, measuring performance, and lastly, aligning marketing and sales. When adopting marketing automation, increments are key. So the idea is to understand what top performers are reporting as KPIs and to choose a total of two or three from this list to start.

Top Marketers Bridge Sales and Marketing

If you think your sales cycle is complex, you are not alone; 62% of top marketers report a complex sales process. Optimize your automation programs to lead the prospect to the point of intent; at which time it becomes pertinent to bring a human to talk to the prospect. Top marketers also use personas as part of the marketing side of qualifying leads to help with understanding each contact within the organization and their specific role in decision-making, using the product, or advisor on the project.

Find Out the Top Challenges to Achieving Marketing Automation Success

The blocking points to achieving success through marketing automation according to top marketers include increasing ROI at the highest reporting of 46%. The next significant challenges include: improving campaign management, measuring performance, and optimizing productivity. No surprises there; however, the lesson is that marketers should forge strong relationships with membership recruitment and sales to achieve better ROI.

What’s the Most Important Evaluation Criteria?

It can be understandable that ease of implementation sits at the top of the list of top marketers at a reported 64%. Next, the criteria includes, availability of technical support at 42% and cross-platform integration at 41%. The next three on the list tie: industry ratings, analytics capabilities, cost of ownership and/or pricing. Considering the top reported criteria, it makes sense to prepare internally as a team with a clear goal and strategy before going down the road of a new product adoption such as marketing automation.


Over the course of this review of an Adestra survey of top marketers using Marketing Automation, we have learned that organizations need to think strategically and set goals to help drive the adoption forward of the new platform. It is helpful to think of the ROI of adopting automation in terms of hours going in as ROI coming out over time. Lastly, it is encouraged that organizations reach out to peers who have already implemented marketing automation and learn from their lessons. At HighRoad we are happy to provide case studies on successfully completed projects to showcase what to expect.

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About Emily Nash

With a unique background in start-ups-to-studios, and consulting-to-corporate settings, Emily specializes in solving for unknowns, pioneering new services, and collaborating with marketers and strategists. In her community, she served on the board of American Institute for Graphic Arts as their Communications Director to help promote networking and mentorship opportunities for area designers and creatives. She’s also a co-producer for Rethink Association, a podcast for associations.