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  • Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Beyond Marketing Automation: Building a Complete Marketing Infrastructure

    This started as a post about Empathy Logic, a company that

    merges data from marketing automation, CRM, Web

    tracking, order processing, social monitoring, and other

    systems; lets marketers segment and select from this more

    complete set of data; and sends the resulting lists back to

    message delivery systems such as email and Web sites.

    You might think that Empathy Logic isnt needed because a

    marketing automation system is supposed to build that

    integrated database. But B2B marketing automation

    products are largely limited to data they generate internally

    or import from CRM. The B2C marketing automation

    systems can usually attach to any data structure but rely on

    some other system to create it. So, yes, theres a need for a

    company like Empathy Logic. (Before I change topics, other

    key points about Empathy Logic are: product is about one

    year old; uses Pentaho open source software for data

    integration and business intelligence; runs on the Amazon

    EC2 cloud infrastructure; and charges $10,000 to $20,000

    per month for its services.)

    Empathy Logic got me thinking about a topic that doesnt

    get discussed much in B2B marketing automation circles:

    the place of marketing automation in the larger marketing

    system architecture. B2B marketing automation vendors

    generally position their systems as a replacement for

    separate applications including email, forms creation, Web

    analytics, content management, and reporting. This may

    leave the impression that marketing automation is the only

    system a marketing department needs. Marketing

    automation vendors have little incentive to correct the error,

    since mentioning integration would only slow the sales

    cycle. (For more about integration requirements, take a

    look at our recent workbook on the topic.)

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    Customer Experience Matrix This is the blog of David M. Raab, long-time marketing technology consultant and

    analyst. Mr. Raab is Principal at Raab Associates Inc. The blog is named for the

    Customer Experience Matrix, a tool to visualize marketing and operational interactions

    between a company and its customers.

    Page 1 of 29Customer Experience Matrix: December 2011


  • Raab Associates does have its own model of a complete

    marketing architecture. But before presenting it, let's look

    at some other opinions. I found three surveys that address

    the issue.

    The most intriguing was published last September by Adobe

    and Econsultancy. The focus is online marketing (remember

    that Adobe owns Omniture, Day Software, Demdex and now

    Efficient Frontier) but the survey is especially interesting

    because it asked about adoption, value received, and effort

    required. The original report presented these separately but

    Ive combined them in a bubble chart:

    This is worth some exploration. Youll see that marketing

    automation is at the bottom meaning its the least

    resource intensive of the technologies listed. But its also

    farther left than most, meaning its also among the least

    effective at delivering profits. (Im going to assume that

    significant impact on the bottom line meant significant


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    Page 2 of 29Customer Experience Matrix: December 2011


  • positive impact.) Im really feeling a bit disrespected here:

    marketing automation is easy AND ineffective? Maybe the

    survey-takers are getting poor results because theyre not

    putting in the necessary resources. Or maybe they're

    mostly Web marketers who aren't really all that familiar with


    Either way, the respondents still gave marketing automation

    a better effort / value ratio than attribution, buzz monitoring

    and social media management. Maybe they understand

    those better and see how much work is involved. But

    campaign management, which I think is email campaigns

    but might be Web ad campaigns, also rates as harder than

    marketing automation. Doesn't marketing automation

    include email and a whole lot more? I have a hard time

    understanding how email alone could be harder.

    This survey also addresses the ever-popular question of

    adoption. This group reported that 38% were using

    marketing automation. Thats considerably higher than most

    estimates but its among the lowest rates on the chart. In

    that sense, at least, it supports the general belief that

    marketing automation is still in its early stages. Ive

    provided the actual numbers below:

    If you looked carefully at the previous survey, you probably

    noticed that a few important applications were missing, such

    as Webinars. Oops. A survey last February by Act-On

    Software had a more realistic range of applications.

    December (9)

    Beyond Marketing


    Building a

    Complete M...

    Influitive Helps

    Marketers Build an

    Army of Advoca...



    Interface Should

    Focus on Cus...


    Automation Skills

    are Scarce:

    Vendor Str...

    Social Media

    Features in


    Automation Syst...

    LeadLife Bundles

    Services with



    SDL Buys Marketing


    Vendor Alterian

    for ...

    Assess Marketing


    Vendor Services


    New Workbook:

    Estimating the

    Cost of Marketing


    November (8)

    October (6)

    September (5)

    Page 3 of 29Customer Experience Matrix: December 2011


  • The Act-On survey isn't perfect for today's purpose: it was

    sent to small and mid-size business, listed several marketing

    automation components separately (email, lead nurturing,

    and lead scoring), lumped all of social media into a single

    category, and ignored Web analytics entirely. Still, it gives a

    pretty reasonable idea of the relative utilization of different

    methods, most of which would involve different marketing


    I found a one more survey that listed marketing systems,

    from the CMO Council in July 2011.

    August (5)

    July (3)

    June (6)

    May (5)

    April (6)

    March (8)

    February (7)

    January (6)

    2010 (75)

    2009 (96)

    2008 (60)

    2007 (146)

    2006 (74)

    About Me


    David Raab is consultant

    in marketing technology

    evaluation and analytics.

    He is Principal at Raab

    Associates Inc., which

    publishes the B2B

    Marketing Automation

    Vendor Selection Tool.

    Mr. Raab has written

    hundreds of articles for

    industry publications.

    Many of these are

    available without charge



    Page 4 of 29Customer Experience Matrix: December 2011


  • This is by far the broadest list. It includes CRM, call center,

    master data management, talent (staff) management,

    ecommerce, and product life cycle systems. That the

    question describes them all as marketing automation

    solutions gives some idea of how broadly the term is

    sometimes defined which I still suspect is a major reason

    that many surveys show that marketing automation has

    such a high penetration rate. Unfortunately, this survey

    didn't ask directly about usage.

    If we look across all three surveys and add Raab Associates'

    own research, a reasonably complete set of components