The ‘holy grail’ of marketing automation envisaged by marketers sees the complete elimination of internal data silos to build a 360-degree view of the customer, and the utilisation of this intelligence to enable deeper, personalised engagement with prospects and clients.

But how close are today’s marketers to realising this?

This is Econsultancy’s first State of Marketing Automation in Australia and New Zealand report, published in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud.

The research is based on a survey of over 350 marketing professionals based in Australia and New Zealand, and evaluates current adoption levels, tools and processes employed as well as barriers to effective use of marketing automation.

Key insights from the research include:

  • The majority of companies are choosing to manage their marketing automation in-house. Three in five (59%) organisations have an in-house team managing marketing automation activities, with only a fifth outsourcing them to an agency. Large organisations (with annual revenues of more than $50m) are more likely to outsource their marketing automation.
  • Budgets and internal buy-in are there, but a capability gap is hampering the potential of marketing automation. Encouragingly, a lack of budget and organisational buy-in prevents only a minority of organisations (20% and 12% respectively) from implementing their automation strategy. The most common barriers are related to data integration and inadequate resources.
  • There’s a pressing need for data unification. Only a quarter of companies are working towards the creation of a unified database. Furthermore, nearly half of companies say that integrating data is the most significant barrier to effectively implementing a marketing automation strategy.
  • Cloud-based SaaS platforms lead the way at an enterprise level. Large organisations (with annual revenues of at least $50m) are more likely to use cloud-based SaaS platforms that include automation (38% vs. 28% of smaller organisations).