Why the original silver bullet of marketing needs DAP

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Marketing automation platforms (MAPs) were a silver-bullet solution for marketers - automating repetitive, monotonous, tasks, at scale, and opening the door to personalisation.  

Quickly becoming a dominant technology, they provided a seemingly all-access pass to new customers. New strategies were adopted, digital channels unlocked, and enhanced measurement capabilities meant all roads led to ROI, as teams flourished and new roles and units within the marketing function formed.  

But, that was 20 years ago.  

Marketing has changed dramatically since then. Buyers have become increasingly elusive and self-sufficient, and B2B purchases are made by buying groups, not individuals, meaning tactics to target them are constantly evolving.  

MAPs isn’t on the tech stack scrap heap though, but is its future guaranteed in a marketing technology marketplace that has exploded to - according to the 2023 MarTech Landscape - over 10,0000 vendors? 

For now, the stats still swing in its favour:  

  • 76% of companies using marketing automation see a return on investment in their first year (according to Adobe’s Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation) and 12% had returns in less than a month.  
  • 91% of marketers say that marketing automation is essential for their business (Oracle 2022 marketing automation stats round up) 
  • And 84% of marketers describe their marketing automation as successful to some extend (The State of Marketing Automation Ascend2)  

But there’s some concerns. More than half, (54%) of marketers don’t feel like they’re utilising their MAP tools to their fullest potential (The State of Marketing Automation Ascend2) and 70% report their biggest automation challenge is data quality (The Future of Marketing Automation: Bold Predictions for a Bold Year 2021 Demand Gen Report).  

In short, there’s a few gaps that the platform doesn’t plug and with resources continuing to be rationed as budgets shrink, now isn’t the time to let tech stacks idle and not fulfil their potential.  

What do Marketing Automation Platforms actually do? 

In short, all the things you don’t want to, saving you time to do the things you need to.  

MAPs is a processing plant staffed by software that eliminates the monotonous marketing work that gets the ball rolling - social posts, email marketing, even ad campaigns. The tech behind marketing automation makes the job - forever expanding as the data collection net widens - easier, and most importantly, faster, increasing lead speed. And it sweetens the journey for the customer, by providing a more personalised approach. Workflows are streamlined and customers get what they need across the journey.  

So, what’s the problem? 

Well, since MAPs took centre stage, the whole game has changed. Gone are the days when individuals do the buying, now its groups of 6-10 people, providing a real challenge for marketers trying to rapidly adopt account-based marketing tactics to ensure an engaged omnichannel customer experience. 

MAPs has tried to keep pace, to position itself as an all-in-one marketing tool, but unfortunately that’s just not the case. In Oracle’s Marketing Trends 2022 research, B2B buyers were asked, “Which marketing solution can you absolutely not live without?” Only 28% said MAPs. Customer data platforms, email marketing platforms and content management systems all scored higher.  

Integration is another problem: 64% of marketers said their marketing automation tools are only somewhat integrated, or not unified at all, with the rest of their tech stack (The State of Marketing Automation Ascend2).  

As a consequence, some marketers are turning to ABM marketing platforms. Forrester’s Q3 2020 Global B2B Marketing Tech Tide Survey revealed that nearly half of all ABM platform users are open to consolidating their tech to focus on their ABM solution — and ditching their MAP — within three years.  

But, here’s the pinch. ABM isn’t up to it - yet. The platform needs to evolve dramatically to provide the full-scale automation MAPs offer. And, in the rush to do so, they risk bloating the technology with features that confuse and complicate more than they help, something that has plagued MAPs for five years and left frustrated B2B marketers constantly on the backfoot, and left ROI on the table.   

The MAP gap needs to close, but three problems persist: Automation platforms can be too complex, costing users time and resources to maintain. And they’re only as good as the data they work with. If it’s bad the whole process gets poisoned. Then there’s the flexibility issue - the platforms just can’t accommodate every aspect of a B2B marketing strategy.  

Right, so MAPs may have had its big moment, but the potential replacement tech isn’t quite up to the task yet… and, just like last year, and the year before, we’re being asked to do more with less, so what’s the solution?  

Demand more from MAPs and accelerate ROI 

Well, it isn’t replacing MAPs with an alternative platform, its supercharging it so you can guarantee you’re reaching the right people, on the right accounts, at the right time, with the right message, and that’s exactly what Integrate’s Demand Acceleration Platform (DAP) does. 

Integrate’s DAP provides real insight, reflecting every interaction a person, or account, has with your company, so marketers can constantly tweak tactics for maximum engagement. It provides a 360-degree view of the buying journey by connecting and aggregating individual, buying group, and account-level data from TALs and other marketing channels and systems. Supports scalable execution of cross-channel demand and ABM programs from a single platform; guarantees standardised and validated data directly into MAP and CRM systems and identifies the campaigns, sources, and content that deliver the best results and provides receipts for every action.  

DAP and MAPs are a dream team  

Demand acceleration platforms are not a MAP replacement, rather they’re the final piece of the puzzle, a master-connector.  

DAP is the bouncer, policing processes to ensure only those customers that meet a marketer’s requirements are let in, and ensuring we know everything about them - who they are, where they’ve come from, what they want and when they need it. And if something changes, well, they’ll let you know. DAP is the clipboard king and ensures bad data won’t dent your ROI in the longrun.  

Marketers can still use MAP to schedule email nurture programs, organic social posts and create event registration pages, but with DAP you can take it one step further and optimise the paid elements of your strategy. Working alongside your owned channels, DAP can run paid social media, content syndication and display campaigns. So, it quite literally pays to have both.  

When the market is all about doing more with less, DAP allows marketers to make every action count. The marketing motor that is MAPs doesn’t need replacing, and more tweaks to the platform will just keep you off the road to ROI even longer. DAP is the upgrade, the service, that makes the entire process run smoothly. It sets the pace.  

Learn how you can add DAP into your techstack and make your MAP work harder by scheduling a demo today.