The number of small businesses using marketing automation software is growing. The growth really began last year. After continuing to hold marketing automation at arm’s length, small businesses are realizing that relying on manual marketing methods such as pen and paper, spreadsheets, and an occasional email to manage their marketing activities are not working. They aren’t bring in the leads they need to sustain the growth they want (and need).
Basically, they are adopting marketing automation software because they want to improve lead management.
How Do We Know This?
Last year a report was released by marketing automation software research firm Software Advice, a division of Gartner. The report was based on an analysis of 365 phone conversations between small-business software buyers and Software Advice consultants.
For the purpose of the survey, small businesses were defined as those with $50 million or less in revenue, and 67% of respondents had revenue of $1 million or less.
The survey found that in 2015, 47% of small-business buyers are still using manual methods to manage their marketing activities; 17% use industry-specific software; 15% use CRM software; 8% use email marketing software; and only 2% now use marketing automation software.
Why More Small Businesses Are Using Marketing Automation Software
But now, small businesses are increasingly researching and using marketing automation software.
The top reasons cited for evaluating marketing automation software are improving lead management (27%); not being satisfied with their current system (15%); need better or more features (13%); and company growth (10%).
The top features small businesses are looking for in marketing automation software are contact management (74%), email marketing (55%), lead tracking (43%), “drip” marketing campaigns (39%) and follow-up management (38%).
Why Has It Taken This Long?
In general, most buyers still request traditional marketing — email marketing, for example — but only 4% request social-media marketing functionality. At first glance, this seems surprising. However, with so many social-media marketing fails circling the headlines, it’s quite possible that many first-time marketing automation software buyers are wary of entering this space.
Who’s Leading The Charge?
The top industries shopping for marketing automation software for the first time are real estate (37%), consulting (11%), manufacturing (5%), retail (4%), insurance (4%) and software/IT (3%), the survey found.
Why real estate? Real estate is a people-oriented industry and many agents may be hesitant to replace that human element that is so valuable to them. In addition, real-estate transactions involve many different people and lots of paperwork — digitizing and automating all of this isn’t simple. That said, many real-estate buyers are looking to move away from industry-specific software that isn’t fully meeting their needs.
For more information on why more small businesses are using marketing automation software marketing automation services in the Houston area, call ITVibes to boost your sales and get your brand noticed.