Week in B2B: Hidden Truths About Marketing Automation, More (!!) Reasons to Think About Big Data

the-week-in-b2b-lgChoosing the right marketing automation platform is a complex task, especially since every vendor has unique strengths and weaknesses that aren’t obvious at first glance. VentureBeat dug into the complexity with a new index report ranking the top 10 marketing automation companies. 1000 companies were polled to assess the best and worst elements of each platform, and the results were surprising. If you’re looking to move beyond top-of-the-funnel marketing messages and gain real insight into the value of these technologies, this is a must-read.

Speaking of marketing messages, eMarketer warns that one of everyone’s favorite 2013 buzz phrases, “real-time marketing,” won’t do much good without a system in place to gather robust metrics and evaluate success. Their report on the effectiveness of real-time marketing highlights the current issues and priorities for marketers as well as best practices.

Gartner also found measurement to be a challenge for many companies. In fact, the firm reports that 33% of enterprise companies will face a “data” crisis in the coming years. We’re at a point when companies know how to collect data, but aren’t sure which data to collect. As a result, they’re storing huge quantities of data without regard to whether that data provides a business advantage. DMNews shares Gartners three-step strategy for avoiding a crisis.

Speaking of big data (aren’t we always?), how about that Oracle/BlueKai acquisition? This week, the tech giant announced plans to acquire the data management platform (DMP) and in doing so, took a significant step into the ad tech space. AdExchanger offers a breakdown of how this will shake things up in the industry. For B2B marketers, this is a foreshadowing of more ad/tech marketing convergence and more choices to make when it comes to solving sophisticated data problems and deriving actionable insights.

In all likelihood, the growing capabilities of marketing automation and CRM will enable B2B marketers to scale their campaigns in a way that changes not just marketing, but business overall. We’re just starting to see great examples of business intelligence in action, and the tools will only continue improving. DocuSign is one such example of a company leveraging technology to innovate. Software Advice, a company who reviews marketing automation tools, reports that DocuSign is able to target 1 Billion leads and offer a personalized website experience using robust website and account analytics. A detailed outline of their process and programs is included in the article.