ActiveCampaign’s recently released report indicates that marketing automation is the next big transformation for small and medium-size businesses, with 64 percent of SMBs planning to adopt the technology over the next two years. Previously, many of the SMB firms have relied on email marketing for years.
The report revealed that it has become easier for SMBs to make the leap as automation tools have evolved from bulky enterprise solutions to subscription-based cloud platforms. However, unlike email marketing, marketing automation comes with a huge adoption hurdle in the form of a “blank slate” – many SMBs are unaware from where to start. In fact, 40 percent say marketing automation is currently out of reach, and 26 percent of current users say their software is too complex.
Jason VandeBoom, CEO and founder, ActiveCampaign, said, “Marketing automation was once a software category reserved for large companies with big budgets, but that’s no longer the case. For SMBs, however, our findings reveal the biggest issue in adopting martech is a fear of getting started.”
According to him, to combat the intimidation factor, SMB marketers must look for a solution that maps out processes for them that proactively makes recommendations and understands their unique business needs.
He adds, “In overcoming the intimidation factor of marketing automation, SMB marketers will certainly reap the rewards. With a better understanding of the simple, user-friendly and affordable solutions available and the benefits that come with using these solution to their full potential, adoption of this technology needn’t be a challenge, regardless of company size.”
Other key findings from the report include:
- Only 30 percent of SMBs that use email marketing software also have marketing automation software in place
- Only 7 percent of SMBs adopted email marketing and marketing automation at the same time
- More than half of SMBs (56 percent) with marketing automation software in place used email for three years or more before moving onto marketing automation software
- Among SMBs with email marketing software in place, more than half (54 percent) say it’s the only martech tool they use or it serves as the foundation of their marketing program
- 76 percent of small businesses use more than one marketing software tool and 35 percent plan to invest in more marketing technology
- 40 percent of small business marketers feel that marketing automation is out of reach
- As employee count rises, so does the user adoption rate of marketing automation software