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Email is one of the most widely used and established of all platforms and has long been the cornerstone of many business-to-business (B2B) marketing plans.
Given the maturity of this medium, spending on email
remained flat for years, though its efficiency did draw
some B2B dollars during the economic recession, according to a new eMarketer report, “B2B Email Marketing: Benchmarks and Best Practices for 2014.”
But even as new digital marketing and advertising platforms, formats, and channels draw companies’ attention and budgets, email remains vitally important
and is arguably more valued by B2B marketers now more
than ever before. While its core function has not changed
substantially, there are new developments and challenges
marketers must address: mobile, content marketing and automation.
For B2B marketers that use email—and indeed for any B2B marketer today—personalizing messages
and integrating channels are vital, and automation is
essential for executing those tactics.
With content marketing now table stakes for email
marketers and mobile making it critical that B2Bs reach
the right individual with the right message at the right
moment, it becomes nearly impossible to personalize
email marketing without some form of automation.
B2B marketers recognize the value of marketing
automation solutions, but many have been slow to fully
integrate the technology into their sales and marketing
efforts. Data released in November 2013 by BtoB Magazine showed just 26% of
US B2B marketers had completely integrated automation into
their sales and marketing initiatives at the end of 2013.
More than half (52%), however, expected full marketing
automation adoption for this year.
Automation solutions are often broad and can be applied
across multiple channels and formats, but for most,
email automation is vital. B2B marketers surveyed by Regalix in March 2014 reported
that among marketing automation features, email
automation was the most important to them.
One significant insight from the Regalix data is that
marketers say the email technology they need is not
simply mechanisms to automate and manage email.
Instead, they want sophisticated systems to manage
cross-channel campaigns and deliver personalized,
targeted experiences to customers.
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