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Research uncovers complexities of Marketing Automation in Europe

10 August 2016–Oxford–Marketing automation in Europe is not a one-size-fits-all approach, companies have unique challenges, sales cycles are longer and more complex, finds Forrester’s July, 2016 report Vendor Landscape: European Marketing Automation Vendors, 2016 Forrester Research, Inc.

Following another Forrester survey last year that found the most pressing issue for 50% of European marketers is that they “don’t have the right technology”, things have moved on and now European companies have stronger plans to invest in marketing software than their North American peers.

However, significant differences remain between the European and North American markets and it’s important that brands understand these to ensure they engage with the right providers. For example, European businesses: have more federated marketing organisations with fragmented target markets;  rely heavily on channel partners; focus on relationship marketing ; must comply with complex data security and privacy regulations making large-scale automation difficult.

Local marketing automation vendors are flourishing in Europe and often provide unique solutions that successfully address the specific needs of European marketers.  Forrester identifies these vendors in the report, – Adestra being one. The report states that Adestra “provides a SaaS-based email marketing platform that incorporates advisory services through in-app live chat, fast phone, and email response. The solution is well suited for small and medium-size businesses, but the vendor’s customization features and service offering mean it is also successful with enterprise clients, especially those marketing departments that lack the skills to take full advantage of the benefits of the technology solutions available to them.”

Forrester’s report goes on to explain that companies need to plan for systems integration. Marketers aren’t going to buy everything they need from one vendor, whether international or country-specific. To get the most out of their technology capabilities and investment, marketers should:

Henry Hyder-Smith, CEO at Adestra comments: “We’re pleased to have been included in this important Forrester report. We believe it highlights the idiosyncrasies of marketing automation in the European and North American markets – in both of which we operate and provide services to a range of well-known brands. It’s essential for today’s marketers to research potential automation and integration providers and check their geographic as well as technical capabilities.”

It’s no surprise companies have difficulty implementing automation projects. For example, the Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2016 found only 7% experience very successful implementation programmes. The advice is to take a long-term view and make incremental steps to build it into your strategy, one programme at a time.

The key point here is to ensure a provider can integrate with other parts of a company’s marketing stack, now and into the future, while focusing on the individual characteristics of their market.

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