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Marketing automation adoption is high among business-to-business (B2B) marketers. According to April 2015 research by Regalix, 79% of B2B marketers worldwide used marketing automation. And in a November 2014 study by Webmarketing123 among B2B marketing professionals in the US only, 55% said they had a marketing automation system in place—well ahead of the 35% of business-to-consumer marketers polled.
Regalix’s study found that B2Bs were all about leads when it came to marketing automation. When asked about the key marketing automation objectives their company was trying to pursue, the top three responses each related to this process: improving lead nurturing (82%), improving lead quality (76%) and increasing lead generation (74%). Upping sales revenues was the No. 4 objective, at 53%, while no other option broke the 50% mark.
Other research by Regalix conducted in March 2015 supports automation’s critical role in the leads process. When asked about the changes in contemporary lead conversion techniques, 59% of B2B marketers worldwide cited a strong dependence on marketing automation tools—the highest response.
Further results from the April study indicated that B2Bs’ marketing automation objectives were being met. When respondents ranked the benefits of such technology, four of the top five related to leads. Increased lead generation was No. 1, at 84%. Better prospect and lead insight (73%) followed, tying an increase in efficiency, as automation frees up time spent conducting tasks manually. Enhanced lead scoring, nurturing and distribution (71%) and improved lead quality (69%) rounded out the top five, the latter tying integration with other data sources (69%).
As B2Bs reap the desired benefits of marketing automation, spending is set to rise further. Fully 62% of Regalix respondents intended to increase their marketing automation budgets in the next 12 months. Similarly, in a November 2014 study by Salesforce Marketing Cloud, marketing automation tied content marketing for the No. 1 area where B2B marketers worldwide planned to up spending, cited by 66%.
To take advantage of the influx in B2B dollars, marketing automation sellers should focus on promoting their technologies’ ability to improve the leads process from beginning to end.
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