Only 2% of B2B Marketers are Using Marketing Automation to Its full Capacity

In both B2B and B2C businesses, marketing automation is an incredibly valuable tool for you and your business. Communigator have teamed with Smart Insights to reveal findings from a study conducted at the end of 2019 on how marketers in B2B businesses are using this technology and the reasons as to why some are not making the most of this commodity. To view the full study, click here.

As providers of marketing automation software, Comminigator conducted this study to find out why and how applications and attitudes towards this software have changed since 2016. In 2016, 18% of businesses were not taking advantage of marketing automation, in 2019 the figure stood at 1 in 8.

Marketing automation aids small businesses to remain relevant and competitive in the market and larger businesses can utilise these tools to help maintain the demand from high levels of customers. 

In some cases, traditional strategies are still relevant and marketing automation can’t always replace a human touch, such as the use of cold calling methods. You can see Communigator’s top cold calling tips here

How Was the Overall Effectiveness of Marketing Automation in Businesses Ranked?

Firstly, respondents were asked whether they optimise all the features available to them within marketing automation, in 2016 the figure stood at less than 5%. This percentage has remained relatively consistent leading up to 2019 but a decline has been witnessed in those who declared they use just the majority of features. The number of this has dropped by more than half, from 30% in 2016 to less than 15% in 2019.

What Types of Automated Email Marketing Techniques Were Used? 

When asked which techniques these businesses utilised in marketing automation, the most popular technique for both 2016 and 2019 is the sending of an initial welcome email to those who have signed up.

The only form of email that has seen an increase in these three years is the sending of nurturing of emails that are based on the browser and content history of the user.

The majority of businesses are deciding to focus their attention on active customers who are showing an interest in a product or service, rather than trying to target inactive users to entice them back to the business.

How Was the Level of the Type of Email Targeting Rated?

Targeting emails based on user activity is an effective method of marketing automation. In 2016, 29% of businesses did not tailor their output to reflect the activity of users. This then leads to all recipients receiving the same email and can result in missed conversation opportunities.

This can be attributed to a lack of knowledge within the workforce for how to implement this tool and how effective it can be to tailor your customers’ emails.

However, this method has still seen a massive rise in 2019, from only 4% of businesses using this in 2016 compared to the current 18%.

Which Types of Lead Scoring Techniques Did Businesses Use?

The process of giving a user a ‘score’ based on website activity is known as lead scoring and has remained the favourite method since 2016. If utilised properly, this can be very effective. Businesses can use lead scoring to filter through their users and judge who is sincere in purchasing their service or product.

Registering clicks within emails remains the most favoured method within lead scoring and these scores can be used to determine even more precise information on a website’s user.

How Were Activities Rated in Relation to Their ROI for Businesses?

Artificial intelligence was still within its infancy in 2016 and therefore information on the thoughts of AI on ROI was only able to be obtained in 2019. Artificial intelligence can use users’ existing data to create actionable insights for that specific user. Personalising landing pages proves as one of the most powerful ways of utilising this. This is typically a form of manipulating a homepage in reflection of previous page visits.

Communigator aims to collect more data in the future to assess how this technology progresses.

What are the Biggest Barriers to the Adoption of Marketing Automation Functionality?

A major factor that needs to be discussed is why are businesses not taking advantage of the tools available within marketing automation and why has this technology seen a decline since 2016?

We are fully aware that these methods have proven effective and emails can be tailored incredibly specifically to each user.

The study revealed the largest barrier for this was the lack of knowledge among staff and the hesitation of the potential hassle of integrating outdated systems with this new technology, often seen as an arduous task.

As with any commodity for any business, a lack of resources contributed largely to this as well. No time, staff or budget means these techniques are unable to be implemented.

Which Persuasive Techniques were Used to Encourage Email Sign Up in 2019? 

As effective as marketing automation is, all these tools would be rendered useless if we are unable to obtain contact details of customers. The question is, how are users being persuaded to part with their contact details?

Key pages with sign-up messages are the most popular method of obtaining this, 56% of businesses are choosing this technique. 44% of businesses are offering free contact in exchange for contact details.

Sign-in via social media is the lowest scoring in popularity. This can be attributed to new GDPR laws, meaning social media platforms are encrypting these details and providing now useful information.