MPULL, a cloud-based marketing software solution incorporating operation and resource management and lead nurturing, began development of its end-to-end solution, which having been in its beta phase for over two years now, is now being used by South African brands.
"An IDC study carried out in 2012 shows that 29.2% of companies' annual marketing budget is set out for digital marketing allocation, which includes a portion for marketing automation that covers resource and operations management, multi-channel marketing and lead nurturing. Though most marketing automation solutions integrate into CRM systems, from where they source customer and prospect data, they do however differ in functionality entirely," explains Daryn Smith, director at MPULL.
"Any marketer can tell you stories of campaigns that almost failed because process was not followed. However, by using a system to manage marketing strategy, it allows companies to ensure that all resources are correctly allocated, there is no duplication and brand standards are met - all critical to the success of a campaign." Emerging markets need ROI
Many companies operating in the automation space are operating out of Silicon Valley, California, and focus on developed markets. "The need for marketers in developed markets to be more prudent with their strategies, with a focus on showing return on investment (ROI) is possibly because of the difficult recession they have faced - but demonstrating ROI is just as critical in emerging markets as well," says Smith.
With a strong focus on assisting African brands in automating their marketing function, the company assists and guides companies in building robust marketing processes and workflows - advising them on campaign development and execution. For brands that are looking to outsource this function, it also offers a managed service.
The benefit of using marketing automation extends beyond the ability to track the effectiveness of campaigns, but also manage ROI and calculate exactly how much it costs to acquire or retain a customer. From an operational standpoint, brands can become more agile, quickly building the operational elements of a campaign, such as landing pages using templates. In addition, every campaign can include a lead nurturing aspect where companies spend so much on acquiring leads, but only a small portion of these leads are qualified and the rest need to be led down the path to purchase.
"With marketing being the last business function to be automated, 2013 is set to be the year where marketing teams begin maturing," concludes Smith.