small-biz-townBack the old days (as in, several years ago) marketing automation was generally seen as a powerful technology that was available only for the really big companies with really big marketing budgets. And indeed, in the not-so-distant past, many solutions were expensive on-premise platforms that only the largest enterprises could really afford, much less justify using. That’s a situation that has been changing for a while now as newer, less expensive solutions have been hitting the market.

Because of course, smaller companies need technology that performs great, plugs in fast – and can be put to work right away. There’s not enough time (and clearly, never enough employees) to deal with a long, complicated implementation process. These businesses demand cloud-based, plug-and-play SaaS – the kind of flexible integrated solutions that show results in real time.

And so, as marketing automation solutions have begun fitting that description to a T, it’s no wonder smaller and mid-size companies are getting in on the action and adopting new marketing technology in ever-accelerating rates.

The Benefits of Technology

Many studies show that marketing automation technology can provide significant advantages for generating new leads, nurturing prospects, and closing deals. The Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups, in a study on lead generation effectiveness, found that:

  • 54% of companies with marketing automation capture intelligence for the sales team, compared to 25% without
  • 49% of companies with marketing automation customize content to the buyer journey stages, compared to 21% without
  • 59% of companies with marketing automation are able to use intelligent targeting to trigger content, compared to 17% without

Lead generation is obviously important, but is it the main driving force for adopting marketing technology? If not, than what exactly is causing small and medium-sized businesses to start using marketing automation solutions? It turns out that different industries have unique challenges that need to be addressed, and different benefits to be gained.

What Small Businesses Need

software-advice-wpA recent report from Software Advice uncovered the top reasons for adopting marketing automation among small-business purchasers (those with annual revenues of $50 million or less.) The report was gathered by studying the hundreds of small businesses that reach out to Software Advice looking for information that will help them find the right marketing automation software for the needs of their teams. These requests provide a great deal of insight into the preferences of software buyers and the factors that influence their buying decisions.

Take a look at this infographic to see our take on the results of their report, as well as an up-close look at the adoption rates in the real estate industry. Why real estate? According to the report, the highest percentage of marketing automation buyers (37%) work in real estate.

It’s not too surprising, especially when studies indicate that real estate is becoming more and more of a data-driven, web-based marketing environment. In fact, a report from commercial real estate service LoopNet, 78% of tenants and investors search for commercial real estate online . And according to the National Association of Realtors, the first step in the home buying process for 42%of buyers was looking online for properties. In fact, 92% of buyers use the Internet in some way in their home search process, and 50% of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search.

Marketing automation is a perfect fit for both commercial and residential real estate agencies when it comes to optimizing and personalizing the online experience for prospective buyers. Small teams and individual agents can save time by quickly identifying the best prospects based on their online activity. And of course, marketing automation also ideal for nurturing leads through a long and complex sales funnel – something that real estate agents know all about.

When Your Business is on the Line

Marketing automation isn’t just about online experiences. Real estate, like many industries, often relies on phone calls to acquire new customers, nurture relationships, and close the deal. According to MarketingProfs, inbound calls are incredibly valuable. In fact, on average, they convert to revenue 10-15X more than online leads. That’s one of the many reasons Act-On integrates with DialogTech, a leader in call analytics and automation.
Companies of all sizes and across all industries use DialogTech to track and manage calls, and with Act-On integration, they can also understand how calls impact the progress of a lead as well as the success of an overall campaign.

Want to know more about what’s making small and mid-size companies adopt marketing automation? Check out the infographic to get additional insights, including a look at which technologies are being replaced by marketing automation software in the organizations that adopt it. The results may surprise you!

Read more: