Marketing Automation Takes Off

Marketing automation is one of the fastest growing segments in the CRM market, particularly with B2B organizations. However, it wasn’t that long ago that people weren’t even sure what marketing automation was or how it functioned. Now, marketing teams are aggresively seeking out these systems. Clearly, the marketing automation industry has a strong tailwind at its back, but where is it coming from?

The B2B sales environment has changed drastically with the introduction of the Internet to the personal and business space. Companies are finding it increasingly challenging to reach potential prospects, and they are coping by changing their sales and marketing tactics. There are several distinct trends that are driving the adoption of marketing automation, making it a necessary addition to any organization.

Software Advice, a free online resource for software buyers, outlines seven macro trends that they believe are pushing the growth of marketing automation. See what they are below, and read about them more in depth on their blog .

1. Buyers want valuable content.
The traditional marketing jargon needs to be replaced with original content that provides value and education to the buyer.

2. Buyers are hesitant to engage over the phone.
Sales professionals are constantly facing the issue of decreased sales engagement on behalf of the buyer.

3. Buyers require marketing accountability.
Traditionally, marketing ROI was difficult to measure on positioning, collateral and brand building.

4. A down economy results in longer sales cycles.
When money is tight, people are less inclined to buy. Sales professionals are faced with more and more prospects that are more risk-resistant than ever.

5. Consumerization of B2B sales processes.
B2B buyers want their sales process to mirror that of their B2C exchanges. They demand clear and concise pitches, simplified pricing, quick implementation and ease of use.

6. Marketing channels have transformed.
With the advent of the Internet, the way we communicate has drastically changed. This means that companies also have to change the way they market to reach buyers on all the various channels (i.e. email, website, social networks, etc.)

7. SaaS is the preferred deployment method.
Due to the high number of relatively new entrants to the marketing automation space, many of these vendors are built on a modern, software-as-a-service (SaaS) architecture. This deployment method enables users to get up and running faster than with traditional on-premise models. Also, with subscription pricing, the marketing team can easily add a digestible line item to their budget, as opposed to getting approved for a big capital expenditure.

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