Despite an enthusiasm for marketing automation most Australian users still describe their skills in the area as “basic.”

According to a report from Econsultancy  produced in partnership with Oracle Marketing Cloud, 71 per cent of Australian and New Zealand organisations said they had been successful in implementing their marketing automation campaigns.

But a sizeable 65 of companies rate their marketing automation capabilities as basic.

The figures are contained in the State of Marketing Automation in Australia and New Zealand report, which surveyed more than 350 marketing, digital and commerce professionals from Australia and New Zealand.

Three in five (59 per cent) organisations have an in-house team managing marketing automation activities, with only a fifth outsourcing them to an agency. Organisations with annual revenues of more than $50 million are more likely to outsource their marketing automation (31 per cent compared to only 13 per cent of smaller organisations), indicating that cost may be a factor for keeping it in-house.

Econsultancy State of Marketing Automation in ANZ
Source: Econsultancy State of Marketing Automation in ANZ

The leading automation activity is automated/triggered email messaging, with three quarters of organisations engaging in the activity. Marketers think they’re doing it well too, with 93 per cent saying their automated email messaging as okay, good or excellent.

68 per cent of organisations surveyed said they are planning to increase their marketing automation investment. On average businesses will increase that spend by 43 per cent.

“Marketers in Australia and New Zealand are making headway when it comes to stewarding marketing automation within the organisation. However, a lack of data capabilities prevents them from executing their strategies effectively. Data is no longer used to just enhance marketing automation; it is a key success factor,” Jefrey Gomez, Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Econsultancy, said.

Econsultancy State of Marketing Automation in ANZ
Source: Econsultancy State of Marketing Automation in ANZ

The biggest obstacle for marketers is demonstrating marketing ROI. Three in five organisations hold it as one of their top three marketing challenges and one in three said improving their ability to show ROI of marketing activities was a primary reason for investing in automation.

“In order to achieve this [ROI demonstration], marketing and sales need to be in alignment and this is where marketing automation plays a key role, encouraging the two functions to work better together,” a statement from the company said.

According to the report, in terms of implementation the biggest barriers are data integration and a lack of resources.

Only 44 per cent of responding organisations rate their ability to gather data from multiple devices and platforms as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, with just over half (56 per cent) rating it as ‘average’ or ‘poor’.

A quarter are working towards the creation of a unified database.

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