Recent research shows that the majority of B2B marketers are now using Marketing Automation (MA). (MA Sophistication Index 2016: https://www.b2bmarketing.net/en-gb/member-resources/ma-sophistication-index-2016-17 )
This trend is very apparent with our customers, as nearly all of them are using Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot or Hubspot, to help improve their communications across website, email and social channels.
However we have also seen some organisations reduce investment in other areas of their marketing in the hope that MA will fill the gaps and all the possibility opportunities will "bubble up" to the surface using their MA "platform".
The reality is that MA is a great tool that can improve your communications, tracking and scoring of leads. However, you still need human interaction to find the right leads and nurture these into opportunities.
We saw a good example of this in a recent campaign we worked on which produced 10% conversion to opportunity, from leads that had not responded to the MA series of communications and were therefore deemed to be not interested.
I'm not saying don't join the majority and implement MA strategies, to help you with improving your nurturing, but I'd strongly suggest you don't do this at the expense of the tried and tested channel of human contact as people still buy from people!
Automation has secured this position because, quite simply, it works. Eighty-one per cent of users say it has helped them reach their marketing goals and 63 per cent report it has increased marketing-generated revenue.