The past 6 months have been crazy at WebEngage. For the uninitiated, we have evolved from being a website engagement tool (dealing with Web Surveys, Notifications, and Feedback widgets) into a multi-channel marketing automation suite. As a tool, WebEngage has always been a favourite of Product Marketers, so when we ventured out to take on the marketing automation space, we wanted to keep on being the favourite.
To know what our customers wanted, we did the easiest and the most reliable thing we could do – we asked them. And, they responded in large numbers. This post is about the insights we could gather from the survey.
Stats in a snapshot
- Multi-Channel Engagement is a challenge for 43% of the respondents, second highest amongst challenges like lead generation, product discovery and others.
- Ability to integrate with other key technologies is the biggest factor that affects the purchase decision while buying a marketing automation suite.
- Ease of Usage is a coveted factor for all marketing automation suite.
The biggest marketing challenges
You could go on pitching your solution, but it may never hit the spot. As the famous quote goes around – Your solution is not my problem. To eliminate the mismatch, we started out by asking what was the biggest marketing challenge they were faced.
Question: What are the top 3 online marketing challenges in your industry?
Insight: ‘Online lead generation’ and ‘product discovery’ have always featured on the leaderboard of marketing challenges. The new entrant, ‘multi-channel engagement’ is a result of the evolution of marketing channels, both in number and context. The user expects a coherent communication across channels, which becomes cumbersome to scale.
Factors that affect the purchase decision
Marketing Automation has been a buzz word for long and every brand wants to implement it. Since the process is quite integral to how the brand does its marketing, there are a lot of factors that come into picture when it comes to buying a marketing automation tool or platform
We asked our marketer friends to rank the most popular factors that influence the purchase decision in the case of a marketing automation tool.
Question: How much of these factors affect your buying decision of an Automation Tool?
Set up and Licence cost: In the SaaS industry, the price isn’t a fixed number when it comes to the enterprise software, but the price band is. Although the majority of customers vote as the price being both an important factor in purchasing and adoption, I would suggest against altering it.
Ability to integrate with other key technologies: As the ability of integration goes; every marketing engine works in an ecosystem of CRMs, Email clients, SMS ESPs and other vital tools. Tools that have been the course of the day and even if your suite is capable of substituting all of them, change is never welcomed until necessary.
Lack of in-house expertise: Implementing a marketing automation suite either requires a regular tech involvement or rigorous product training and often, both.
Factors that hinder adoption
Once the challenges are identified and brainstorming about making a purchase is done, the next logical step is adopting a tool accordingly. Still, there are so many factors that hinder the adoption of a marketing automation tool.
We asked the people facing the issues on a first-hand basis. Here is the response:
Question: Which of these are the biggest hurdles in implementing an Automation tool?
The scale of rating ranges from 0 to 5, where 5 means the strongest and 0 means the weakest.
Insight: The top 3 ranking factors are: Ease of Usage, Depth of Features, Product Pricing. Most of the automation suites out there have a long list of features, more that you can possibly use, impacting the ease of usage and obviously contributing to a high price point. The key takeaway is to build a product that can strike the balance between these three.
The challenges have been similar since online marketing matured. Lead generation is a perennial problem for businesses and it is a part of a growing business. Similarly, product discovery and shopping cart abandonment are challenges synonymous with the E-commerce industry.
The real automation challenges are multi-channel engagement and sending triggered and targeted messages. Creating a solution for them and coupling this with factors such as ‘ease of usage’ and ‘integration capabilities’ gives you a suite that would be every marketer’s dream.
I would go back to the phrase with which I started this post – ‘The past 6 months have been crazy at WebEngage’. It has been crazy because we wanted to build something that would break silos among channels, platforms, and devices. A suite that enables you to understand your users across devices, create smart segments lets you build contextual campaigns across channels. All of this, while keeping it easy – as easy as drawing a flowchart and fitting in seamlessly in the marketing ecosystem that already exists.