Is Marketing Automation Up To The Challenge Of Video?

Jun 22, 2023

Poonam Murgai

Marketing Automation has been around for over twenty years and has gained wide adoption across multiple industries. But, as I will illustrate in this post, it really has not changed very much, in spite of all the advances in information technology that we’ve seen over the years.

Twenty years ago, most information was transmitted via text and images, either on early versions of the web or even in print. Today video has become the dominant medium by which enterprises communicate with their customers. And video is dramatically different from print - it has the ability to get customers engaged with a company’s message in ways that other media simply can’t. 

Has marketing automation kept up with the capability of video to engage viewers in real time? I don’t think so. This post will explore where marketing automation began and how it needs to change to be effective in an age where video is the dominant marketing medium.

  1. Has marketing automation evolved?
  2. What’s missing from Marketing Automation?
  3. Marketing to sales workflows are not real-time
  4. What’s required for Video Marketing Automation

Has marketing automation evolved?

The concept of Enterprise Marketing Automation was first introduced by a company called Rubric.  It solved two important problems

  1. to make marketing programs more efficient and 
  2. to improve the communication between marketing and sales using automated processes. 

The goal of marketing automation software was to collaborate, plan, execute, manage and measure marketing campaigns. It helped close the loop between sales and marketing. Marketing programs, like an email campaign, for example, generated leads (MQLs) that could be forwarded directly to the sales team. The success of the resulting sales efforts was measured and incorporated into analytics.  These allowed executive management in both marketing and sales to understand the ROI of marketing efforts, and use this data to provide impetus and refinement for new marketing initiatives.

Today, to quote from G2 on marketing automation software:

Marketing automation software automates marketing actions or tasks, streamlines marketing workflows, and measures the outcomes of marketing campaigns. These tools provide a central marketing database for all marketing information and interactions, helping marketers create segmented, personalized, and timely marketing experiences for customers or prospects. These platforms provide automation features across multiple aspects of marketing including email, social media, lead generation, direct mail, digital advertising, and more.

A key component of marketing automation tools is the provision of analytics features to determine the success of an entire campaign across segments and channels. These features measure the impact of campaigns on marketing team KPIs and campaign ROI, as well as the impact of campaigns on company revenue.”

As we can see from this write up, a lot of concepts in Marketing Automation have remained the same in spite of the fact that the landscape has changed dramatically.  Social media and digital marketing are essential marketing disciplines now.  The dominant digital medium being used for content marketing now is video.

What’s missing from Marketing Automation?

Here’s what’s missing when you use video content to kick off a marketing automation sequence:

  1.  The only analytics you get from video today are aggregate analytics on total and unique viewers, watch time, viewer drop off and variants of those metrics. If you have CTAs on your video, you might also get the number of hits on your CTAs.Aggregate analytics are great for content strategists. However they don’t give you the data that you need to send to the sales team. Sales needs lead scoring. Aggregate analytics don’t do that. Per-viewer data does because it translates directly to leads.
  2. There is no measurement of the impact of a video on revenue. The company may have spent a lot of resources on creating the video, but they're unlikely to have any measurable idea of the resulting ROI.  Other established  forms of marketing like email campaigns, for example, generate per viewer data that can be correlated with sales efforts by most marketing automation tools. It’s important to note that the reason why an email campaign can be correlated with sales efforts is because email campaigns generate per-viewer data. You know that a particular viewer opened an email and perhaps clicked a link in it - which made them a lead. Wouldn’t it be cool if you knew that about a video?

I would argue that marketing automation has evolved but in many ways not much has changed over the years.  Today an organization knows what it spends on video but has no idea about the quantifiable gain from it and how to realize that gain by converting leads to customers.

Marketing to sales workflows are not real-time

Today, leads and analytics are collected from a marketing campaign and exported to the CRM software used by the business.  In the most efficient rendition of this, the marketing automation system and the CRM system are integrated seamlessly.  This means, in principle, that leads are available for Sales to act on immediately.  In practice, there is always some lag time between the time a lead is received by sales and then acted on. Every day, or even hour of delay means that your lead has moved on to paying attention to something else, so the likelihood of converting that lead to a prospect diminishes.

What’s required for Video Marketing Automation

The dominance of video calls for a major upgrade to conventional marketing automation. Video can transform our ability to engage with viewers in real time and convert them from prospects to leads. These are some of the attributes that a video marketing automation platform should have. Video Marketing Automation is a mouthful by the way. In what follows, I’ll refer to this as a VMA platform. Also, this is not an exhaustive list. As you read this, you’ll think of other features. Reach out to me on LinkedIn and let me know :)

  1. Collect per viewer analytics on a per video basis. Now you can track individual viewers in much the same manner as you can for an email campaign.
  2. Add chapters to your video. Many video platforms, including YouTube and Vimeo, provide this functionality. Then choose a VMA platform that collects analytics on a per chapter basis. Now not only will you know who watched your video, you’ll also know which parts of the video they watched. Did they just watch the product features chapter, or did they review the deployment section as well? Did they re-watch a particular chapter? This information will be invaluable when sales gets in touch with a lead who watched your video.
  3. Provide ways for viewers to engage with your team in real time. Good VMAs should let your viewers engage with you on chat or book a meeting for later. The best time to convert a viewer into a lead is when they’re already engaged with your company!
  4. A capable VMA should collect viewer information when they want to engage with you, not earlier. That’s when they’re most likely to give you good information about themselves. It should give you the capability to collect information that tells you whether they are a tire kicker or a decision maker. A viewer’s employer name and title will often give you clues to this. 
  5. Choose a VMA that integrates with your CRM in real-time so that you can record all the engagement interactions that take place. Structure your CRM integration so you can record what the viewer has watched. Your sales team will thank you. They won’t have to make a cold call ever again.


If you’ve read through this far, you’re probably wondering which Video Marketing Automation platform does all this. Check out AudienceGraph.

AudienceGraph is a Video Marketing Automation platform for videos hosted on Youtube, Vimeo and many other hosting platforms that use the standard video player in most browsers. AudienceGraph provides the ability to track viewers on a per video and per chapter basis. Aggregate viewer analytics are available so your content team can shape their future content strategies.

AudienceGraph enables you to engage in real time with your viewers via chat. You can create and present CTAs that are tied directly to the content the viewer is watching at that time. You can also let AudienceGraph’s AI select CTAs that are most appropriate for the viewer’s journey.

And, as any good Video Marketing Automation platform should do, AudienceGraph can push information in real time to almost any CRM or sales automation platform.

Poonam Murgai is a co-founder and COO/VP of Engineering at Graph, Inc. In her free time she is passionate about capturing the world around her through photography. LinkedIn logo

About AudienceGraph

AudienceGraph transforms your video from passive content to a revenue engine that engages every viewer on topics that matter to them right now. Its AI engine works in real time across millions of viewers to optimize engagement and drive revenue.

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