Reasons why Marketing Automation Adoption is Still Low

published on 09 September 2021

Marketing automation adoption rates are going up, albeit slowly. There are not too many small companies around who can boast of using marketing automation. However, the number of marketers who have started adopting marketing technology, in general, is rising fast. According to a study, 48% of the marketers surveyed consider their organization to be an early adopter of marketing technology. According to Gartner, CMOs are spending more money on technology than their CIO counterparts.

Astonishing, isn’t it? The amount of progress that we can see in marketing technology is simply breathtaking. Take marketing automation, for example. It is an extremely compact tool that harnesses the power of marketing technology and compiles it in one single place. Obviously, it sounds awesome for marketers. And, trust me, it really is. But, it is hard to see the same enthusiasm amongst marketers when it comes to marketing automation adoption rates in small and mid-sized companies.

What I’m trying to say is that marketing automation is part of the marketing technology that is available. People are adopting marketing technology, and spending a hefty amount of their marketing budget while doing so. But, people are still wary about marketing automation as a viable solution.

In fact, according to the latest report published by Ascend2, you can see that 65% of CMOs are saying that they have all the marketing technology tools they need. But only 31% of those marketers can fully utilize what they have. Even out of the 35% that do not have the necessary tools, only half of them fully utilize what they have.

So, most marketers are investing in marketing technology but not utilizing it to its fullest. And, if you are not using your MarTech stack to its fullest, you will not achieve the results you desire. This leads to dissatisfaction, and ultimately a general distrust in technology in general. So, it is no surprise that marketing automation adoption rates are not high.

To get a fair idea of what affects marketing automation adoption rates, I decided to dig deeper. Here's what I found.

Fear of Technology

Technology is a gift. If you can embrace it, you can learn to harness it. But, as humans, we are wary of it. We fear that it might take over our lives. We are afraid that it might leave us redundant. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why marketing automation adoption is still low.

Moreover, the fact the marketers are investing so much in marketing technology, but utilizing so little, resulting in poor results adds fuel to the fire. It creates a situation where instead of analyzing what went wrong, marketers become cagey around technology. My advice: Don’t panic. It’s okay to be afraid, but you will never learn if you don’t make mistakes. Use the lessons that you learnt to your advantage.

Success with marketing technology and fear of it is correlated. If you don’t succeed, your failure feeds your fear. Don’t fear marketing automation. Your routine marketing tasks become a lot simpler and your chances of success with marketing automation are probably a lot higher than you think.


Wrong Notion about Prices

Just like any other tool, when marketing automation first came out, it was expensive. Since then, prices have gone south as the number of adopters has gone up. Not only that, there are a lot more marketing automation vendors out there than there were 5 years back. Marketing automation is sold as a SaaS product. You pay monthly fees to use it, so it should not burn a hole in your pocket.

Choose a marketing automation vendor which doesn't lock you in multi-year or annual contracts.

In fact, with CMOs allocating more budget for technology, and automation price rates going down, you can take up this opportunity to finally invest in the marketing automation software of your dreams. Don’t go by the big names in the market because it might or might not be a good fit for your company. Seek a tool that fits your needs. You will probably get good service at a much lower cost.


Lack of In-house Resources

Very few traditional marketers have in-depth knowledge about marketing automation. It’s quite understandable. Hence, many marketers refrain from adopting such a piece of marketing technology fearing that they will not be able to use it.

However, this is a very silly reason. Simply because you have free access to thousands of marketing automation resources on the internet. You can read up, educate yourself as well as train your team before implementing marketing automation. You can set aside some time every day and devote it to learning about automation. It really is easy. There are vendor-neutral marketing automation blogs like Esanosys that you can subscribe to for marketing automation literature.

However, if you have the budget for it, you can also hire marketing automation experts who will help you operate your marketing automation system better.


Presence of Many Disparate Tools

According to a study by Walker Sands, only 21% of marketers use a single-vendor suite. The rest have a marketing stack made of disparate tools. In the long run, if you are using such a stack, it will do you more harm. You might think that you are benefiting from such an arrangement. But the truth is far from it.

Did you know that 56% of companies can’t keep up with the pace that technology is evolving? This is another reason why marketers are panicking and resorting to disparate marketing technology investments in the first place. But, when it comes to marketing automation, it offers you a single platform for everything. So, you get all the features of the disparate tools in one place. Marketing automation adoption might seem like a risk, but it is a risk that will ultimately pay off.


Non-Digital Marketing Processes

Many marketers still believe that non-digital marketing processes will continue to bring them business-like yesteryears. But, the reality is, traditional methods of marketing do not work anymore. You don’t know how many people will see your ad in the newspaper. You don’t know how many who actually see it will walk into your store and buy from you.

You are basically clueless about the true reach and conversions when it comes to non-digital marketing. Moreover, this is the digital age, where millennials are becoming the most important customers. Millennials are not only well-informed but extremely tech-savvy. They like businesses that are equally tech-savvy.

Then why use it? Digital marketing processes allow you to target your audience on social media and other marketing channels. It allows you to keep track of people who click and respond. You can actually measure your engagement and understand what people like. Your audience will more likely check their Facebook newsfeed rather than the newspaper. So, you have a better chance of reaching out to your audience on a digital platform rather than a non-digital one.


You Can Do it Too!

Once you overcome the feeling of uncertainty in the initial stages, you can be much more confident about your efforts. Read up before investing in marketing automation. Try to understand how it works, and that will reap benefits in the long run. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Marketing automation adoption might be low now, but not for very long. Once people get to know the magic that resides within it, everyone will want a piece of it!

This article originally appeared on the SALESmanago blog.

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