Marketing Automation Isn’t Just for B2Bs Anymore

Many consumer-facing companies are using it too

Because of complex sales cycles that often require multiple exchanges with prospects through email and other channels, business-to-business (B2B) marketers rely on automation technology to take repetitive tasks off marketers’ plates. It’s not surprising, then, that business and industry companies accounted for 41% of all companies using marketing automation worldwide in 2016, according to data from agency Bold Digital and marketing tech firm SimilarTech.

Marketing Automation Market Share Worldwide, by Industry, 2016 (% of total)

Business-to-consumer (B2C) sales cycles are typically much shorter, so the need for marketing automation technology isn’t as dire. But that doesn’t mean B2C marketers aren’t using automation. Companies in the internet and telecom space, for example, accounted for almost 10% of those using automation.

Other industries are implementing marketing automation as well. Retail (shopping) brands 5% accounted for 5% of users, and travel companies made up 2%, according to the study.

The adoption of automation technology could be even greater if it weren’t for tight budgets and other obstacles. According to a February 2017 survey from email marketing provider GetResponse, 36.1% of B2B and B2C email marketers said securing funds for marketing automation technology was a challenge.

Bad data could be a culprit as well—35% of marketers in the survey named the quality of customer data as a top challenge.

As the marketing technology landscape continues to grow, the increasing number of available automation tools can be overwhelming for marketers. More than one-third (35%) of marketers said having the knowledge to set up different types of automation was an issue, according to GetResponse.

This article was originally published at emarketer.com, by author Maria Minsker.

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