Only 2% of B2B Marketers are Using Marketing Automation to its Full Potential

Only 2% of B2B Marketers are Using Marketing Automation to its Full Potential

Jan 22, 2020, 3:13:30 PM Business

Marketing automation is an incredibly valuable tool for both B2B and B2C businesses. Communigator has teamed up with Smart Insights to conduct a survey on how B2B marketers are using this technology and why some businesses are not making the most of this commodity. You can read the full study here.

Simon Moss, Marketing Director of Communigator discusses the findings:

Communigator, providers of marketing automation software, conducted a study to discover how attitudes and applications of this software have changed since 2016. Previously, 18% of businesses were not using marketing automation, by the end of 2019, 1 in 8 businesses were not doing so.

For a small business, marketing automation aids you to remain relevant and competitive. For larger businesses, this helps maintain the high levels of demand and numbers of customers. Using business automation saves you and your staff time by eliminating the needs to follow cold leads and wasting time.

Of course, we do understand there is still a need for traditional methods such as cold calling. you can see Communigator’s top cold calling tips here.

How Was the Overall Effectiveness of Marketing Automation in Businesses Ranked?

When those surveyed were asked if they optimise all the features available in marketing automation, in 2016 less than 5% used all these features. This figure has remained consistent over three years but there has been a decline in those who stated they used the majority of features. In 2016, the figure was 30%, now it has dropped to less than 15%.

What Types of Automated Email Marketing Techniques Were Used? 

Respondents were questioned as to which techniques they utilise in marketing automation, from both 2016 and 2019. The most popular technique has remained the same over the three years, which is sending an initial welcome email.

Nurturing emails, based on content and browser history is the only form of an email that has seen an increase between the two surveys.

Most businesses are focussing their attention on active customers who are already showing an interested in their product or service rather than trying to target inactive customers back to their business.

How Was the Level of the Type of Email Targeting Rated?

Marketing automation can be a valuable option for targeting emails based on user activity. 29% of businesses previously did not tailor their output in line with users’ activity. Therefore, all of those targeted receive the same email which can lead to a missed opportunity for conversions. This can be down to lack of knowledge for the process and effectiveness these tailored emails have on customers.

Nevertheless, there has been a massive just in the last three years. In 2016, only 4% were using tailored emails compared to 18% in 2019.

Which Types of Lead Scoring Techniques Did Businesses Use?

Lead scoring is the process of giving a user a ‘score’ based on-site activity and it still remains the most favoured method. Used properly, this is an amazingly effective tool. It means businesses can filter through its users and judge who is sincere in purchasing a product or service.

Clicks within emails remain the most popular method of lead scoring. These scores can be altered to determine even more precise information on a user.

How Were Activities Rated in Relation to Their ROI for Businesses?

In 2016, artificial intelligence was still in its infancy, therefore data on how effective businesses saw AI on ROI was only gained in 2019. By using users’ existing data, artificial intelligence can generate actionable insights for that user. Personalised landing pages is the most powerful way of utilising this, this generally is a form of manipulating the homepage to reflect previous visits to your site.

Communigator hopes to collect more data to assess in future studies as this technology progresses. 

What are the Biggest Barriers to the Adoption of Marketing Automation Functionality?

What we really believe is an important element to discuss is why are businesses not utilising all these tools available to them within marketing automation and why has this technology seen a decline in the last three years?

We are aware of the effectiveness of all these methods and how emails can be tailored in-depth for the requirements of each user.

The surveyed shows the biggest barrier for this was a common theme of lack of knowledge among staff members and the hesitations of integrating outdated systems with this modern technology, which can be deemed an arduous process.

A deciding factor for any business is lack of resources, no time, staff or budget to implement these new techniques.


Which Persuasive Techniques were Used to Encourage Email Sign Up in 2019? 

Most of the above methods would be rendered completely useless if businesses were not able to obtain contact details from potential customers, but exactly how are users being persuaded to hand over their contact details?

Sign-up messages on key pages are by far the most popular techniques with 56% of businesses choosing to do so. 44% offer free content in exchange for contact details.

Asking for a sign-in via social media has been revealed as the lowest scorer. This can be down to social media platforms now having to encrypt data, most likely due to new GDPR laws. 


Overall, the lack of knowledge and resources are the biggest contributing factor to only 2% of B2B businesses using marketing automation to its full potential. Alongside this, outdated business systems that may not accommodate this modern technology has become a huge barrier.

Author Bio-

Simon Moss

Simon is a Chartered Marketer with over ten years’ marketing experience gained primarily in the B2B marketplace. He is currently the Marketing Director for CommuniGator – a leading marketing automation and lead generation software provider allowing you to manage every step of your digital journey.


Published by Johanne Cosihan

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