Half of UK small to medium sized business believe they are being ‘priced out’ of marketing automation, but many are not aware of how the practice coould benefit them, according to a new report.
Conducted by Mailjet, the study has found 48% are not using any form of automation to help this, despite now having an average of 12,000 contacts in their systems.
The study fpund that SMBs across the UK are losing leads through a misconception that marketing automation is expensive and resource heavy.
According to the study, budget limitations sit at the heart of this issue. Nearly half (48%) of senior marketers in businesses of under 100 people aren’t currently using any email automation solution to support resource scarce teams, with almost 44% stating it’s simply because they don’t have enough money.
By contrast, 90% of senior marketers with an annual budget of up to £500,000 are using email automation solutions. These marketers are automating nearly half (44%) of their email communications, happily committing a proportionate 40% of their overall marketing budget on this technology. This paints a clear picture of the strategic role email automation plays in delivering more personalised consumer engagements.
Disparity among senior marketers may also be down to another, more human factor. Despite 40% placing emails as their most important customer engagement tool, three in five small businesses (57%) admit they haven’t properly looked into the benefits of automation. The result is particularly staggering given the average small business in the UK now has nearly 12,000 contacts across their CRM systems.
Josie Scotchmer, UK Marketing Manager at Mailjet comments: “It’s imperative that marketers who have not adopted automation understand the impact this is having on their relationships with their customers. We live in an age of constant connectivity and engagement where most of us expect brand experiences tailored to our interests and delivered in real-time.”
Josie adds: “There’s an enduring misconception that automation costs an arm and leg for small business marketers. The market for this technology is itself becoming more competitive and it’s increasingly possible to invest in automation at every level.”
An unexplored technology
More widely, UK marketers are using automation overwhelmingly for the ‘Welcome’ programme (86%) consisting of emails simply distributed to new subscribers. But only 42% are using the same technology to help re-engage inactive users, hinting at a wider issue whereby automation isn’t being utilised fully even at the highest levels. Along this vein, only 21% of small businesses can manage a simple automation campaign like wishing their customers a happy birthday.
Josie concludes: “We’ve reached a tipping point in the use of automation services. For the practiced, larger players, it’s time to move up a gear and see what is really possible with this technology. Before this happens though, it’s high time the benefits and accessibility of automation becomes common knowledge throughout the sector.”
The study was conducted among 201 senior UK marketers by Morar research