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Marketing Automation Not Happening In B2B Firms

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 6/13/2014

Dismal adoption rates for marketing automation technology in the B2B sector raise serious questions about firms' ability to meet market expectations.

Marketing automation is a hot topic in technology circles. But while many brands prepare to wow customers with next generation solutions and features, a new study shows that very few B2B firms have adopted marketing automation tools--threatening their ability to compete in an evolving digital marketplace.

B2B Marketing Automation Adoption Slow

In many industries, marketing automation is seen as a must-have technology because it enables marketers to deliver personalized messaging to customers and prospects. Personalization enables B2B brands to improve customer acquisition, revenue and other essential business outcomes.

However, citing a study by SiriusDecisions, AdAge recently reported that just 16 percent of North American B2B firms have adopted marketing automation solutions. In the finance and manufacturing industries, adoption rates fall into the single digits; in healthcare, a negligible 2 percent of B2B businesses have implemented marketing automation tools.

"I always knew the adoption rate was low but I didn't think it was that low, to be quite frank," said Jay Famico, technology practice director at SiriusDecisions.

In the B2B sector, enthusiastically embracing new technology has always been a characteristic shared by market leaders. But currently, B2B businesses are behind the curve and will need to scramble to implement solutions capable of delivering more personalized customer experiences. In many cases, companies will also need to recruit talent (in-house or third-party) with the skills to leverage marketing automation technology for maximum business advantage.

"This will manifest in an uptick in the number of job postings that request marketing automation expertise," Famico added. "Marketers who lack marketing automation expertise will need to gain this competency or risk being marginalized."

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