Why Are 98% of Buyers Seeking Marketing Automation? Jessica Lunk Even though small businesses have less capital to invest in marketing technology, marketing automation is a resource that can move the needle in a big way. Why small business can’t ignore marketing automation any longer… According to a recent Software Advice survey of small business owners looking for marketing technology products, 98% of buyers are looking for dedicated marketing automation software for the first time. Half of these buyers are still using manual methods to manage and email contacts. If you are still using these manual methods (pen and paper, spreadsheets, and one off emails), it’s time to learn how marketing technology can help you grow your business without growing your business footprint. Marketing Automation optimizes your sales and marketing process. Lead management is the number one reason small business owners are looking for marketing automation according to the Software Advice research. Marketing automation allows you to automatically and dynamically organize contacts and score sales leads. That’s a huge time saver for small businesses who have relied on manual methods to update their database in the past. Marketing automation places contacts in the right bucket automatically so that you can send more meaningful content to different segments of your audience. This tailored approach builds brand awareness and trust to move contacts down the sales funnel from prospect to customer. Core functionality is at the top of the marketing automation buyer’s list. 74% of buyers say that contact management is an important marketing automation feature. On the contrary, only 4% mentioned social media marketing features as important. When it comes to marketing automation, buyers are really looking for that core functionality that is central to their business. While social media marketing gets a lot of airtime, more traditional marketing methods like email marketing really drive results for small businesses. In fact, every $1 invested in email marketing yields a $44.25 return, according to Exact Target. Marketing automation makes running your business simpler and easier. Small businesses have shied away from marketing automation in the past – partly because the solutions were too robust, and partly because they were reluctant to automate and give up control of the very personal interactions they have with their audience. But as marketing automation adoption increases among small businesses, they’re realizing the benefit of maintaining their personal touch, while leveraging the ability to scale.