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16 March 2016

The House of Marketing's view on the state of marketing automation in Belgium

The House of Marketing is the proud organizer of the Yearly Marketing Survey. This year’s edition has been organized with the support of Sortlist and Bloovi. Over the years, this survey has become the reference in the marketing community and a source of inspiration for many marketers. So, how does the marketing consulting company itself view the results of this 13th edition? An interview with Marketing Manager Karolien Vanhelden.  

What are for you the key takeaways of this edition of the Yearly Marketing Survey?

Karolien Vanhelden: “Marketers this year are showing extreme confidence in their budgets and team size. So it is easy for me to surf with them on the crest of the wave generated by their positive feelings!

In our Marketing Zoom 2014 study, cooperation between marketing and sales was the key area of improvement. So I am now very happy to see that marketers are increasingly playing an equal role to sales and that marketing has a leading role in sales conversion.

However, I was surprised to see that the adoption of marketing automation by Belgian marketers is already quite high. And I just wonder if marketers are really aware of the wide range of possibilities and do not associate marketing automation with e-mail optimization only. In any way, implementation clearly remains a hurdle.”

If marketers struggle with implementation, how should marketing automation then be tackled?

Karolien V.: “A lean start-up approach and the human aspect immediately come to mind.

The House of Marketing believes in tackling marketing automation in a lean way. Taking a pragmatic roadmap, we always advise our clients to think big, start small and scale fast. Testing, learning and adjusting very quickly lead to first successes.

But the most important is the human aspect. Unlike purely inside-out technology driven companies, The House of Marketing always starts with a customer-focused marketing approach. Customers want to be inspired, which requires much more than just technology alone.”

So, what are marketers then losing sight of at the moment?

Karolien V.: “Building further on my previous answer, having a single view on the customer and taking into account the context in which the customer operates are essential for the success of marketing automation. That is why we always talk about the importance of creating a Chief Customer Officer role within organizations.

Last year we already highlighted that marketers were struggling with the ‘how’ versus the ‘what’. Very slowly but surely marketers are now designing a customer strategy, a data strategy and a content strategy. However, given the fast-evolving world, success lies more and more in the execution. It remains important to outline your strategy – not a 5-year plan – but marketers waste too much time to detailing the strategy and then come to realize that it cannot be implemented.”


What steps will The House of Marketing take in response to the survey results?  

Karolien V.: “We will start with letting our clients discover the wide spectrum of marketing automation. We want to show them that marketing automation not only improves efficiency, but can also generate more profit. For this purpose we are developing a maturity assessment and a ROI calculator. We also partnered up with several technology specialists to be a neutral trusted advisor. Finally, we will apply our philosophy of bridging the knowing-doing gap. Because in addition to helping our clients with the general set-up of marketing automation, we handle implementation as well. This enables us to show marketers that they can create impact by embracing technology!”


Triggered by this research and want to gain more insights in the state of marketing automation in Belgium? Don’t wait any longer and download the magazine with mindblowing insights, not only about marketing automation, but also about media evolutions and ad blocking. 

Download our Yearly Marketing Survey 2016 magazine