SMBs are showing a significantly enhanced interest in the benefits marketing automation can bring to their organizations, and MSPs are in a perfect spot to help them out. As indicated by a new Techaisle survey, marketing automation is now among the top ten relevant technology areas of investment for small business and mid-sized business, and 36 percent of US SMBs are planning to use just such a solution.
There is hard evidence to support small business interest in this technology. The survey indicates 49 percent of current SMB marketing automation users say that they are able to better manage their sales leads, 46 percent have seen an improvement in demand generation and 42 percent have improved their ROI.
Although small businesses differ slightly from mid-market businesses in their primary business objectives for using marketing automation, the top three common objectives for all SMBs are identifying new customers, generating additional revenue from current customers and better managing demand generation activities.
SMBs Plan to Add Marketing Automation FeaturesOf the 16 different features usually available in a typical marketing automation solution, SMBs are currently using an average of 7.7 and plan to add another 3.6 over the next one year. The top five components currently being used are: email marketing, campaign management, message personalization, SEO and CRM integration. These small and midsized businesses are planning to add web lead capture, social media monitoring and analytics dashboard.
Those SMBs currently not using marketing automation but plan to start use capabilities such as social media monitoring, lead nurturing, monitoring web visits and CRM integration. And small and midsized businesses are literally putting their money where their mouth is, budgeting to spend from a low of $260 per month to a high of $3,950 per month, depending upon size of business and whether they are business-to-business or business-to-consumer.
SMBs Seek Outside HelpIn other good news for MSPs with marketing technology expertise, the survey shows that to derive full benefits of marketing automation, SMBs are relying on independent consultants, internal teams and marketing automation vendors for advice, selection as well as implementation. Mid-market businesses are also increasingly turning to established IT vendors directly (as opposed to marketing automation vendors) for implementation support.
Obviously, SMB interest in marketing automation has moved beyond then “trend” stage and is a real fact of the marketplace. There is a growing groundswell of actual usage as well as hard data on the benefits many of these businesses are getting from this technology. And while MSPs clearly face a lot of competition from vendors in terms of providing managed services and support (especially in the mid-market segment), they can leverage their close relationships and tailored services pricing and scope to help even the competitive odds in providing managed marketing automation services to these businesses. Whether MSPs get involved or not, these companies' usage of this technology will only continue to grow, so why not get involved?