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Keith Dawson of the CMO Site shares some successes within the marketing automation space and predictions for the future. CMOs are being asked to do more with fewer resources, and marketing automation is the best way to effectively stretch the impact of marketing dollars. IBM believes this, and has acquired several companies in the marketing automation space, including Unica, Coremetrics, and Sterling Commerce.

Among Unica's existing clients was E*Trade Financial Corp, which used their marketing software to automate repeated campaigns, processes, and data outputs. As a result, in each of the last three years, E*Trade's marketing output has increased by 30 to 63 percent. In addition, E*Trade saved 1500 man-hours on campaign execution in 2010.

IBM's research indicates that in the next few years, CMOs will need to grow in scope, scale and skills. Also, venture capital is betting on real-time marketing, predictive analytics, and cloud computing.

Companies like Capital One, LL Bean and Best Buy are among the 2500 companies that use IBM's marketing automation. Bath & Body Works increased search conversion by 31 percent and order size by 5 percent. ING adjusted its Web offers to be more dynamic and quadrupled the revenue generated over previous offers.

Small business can get these same level of results with marketing automation, but probably needs to start wit point solutions to address the toughest problems.

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Chandler Austin

Written by Chandler Austin