Friday, November 14, 2014

unCon 2014 Session: 85% of US Businesses Are Not Using Marketing Automation Technology

By Patrick Rafter, Valuecasters


If you’re in the tech biz, particularly if you’re a marketer – chances are you are using or considering marketing automation products.

From Massachusetts-companies like HubSpot and Constant Contact to California-born products like Marketo and Jive there’s a wide assortment of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products that help companies to better manage and track the results of digital marketing efforts.

Visit their websites and you’ll see evidence in abundance on how companies benefit from this technology. Given that, it was fascinating to join a session at the 2014 MassTLC unConference focused on marketing technology that revealed some surprising research results.

Led by a MassTLC regular, Louis Gudema (aka @louisgudema on Twitter), President of revenue + associates and a longtime Boston-based marketing consultant: this session attracted a collection of tech marketers as well as others from fields as diverse as biofuels and industrial lasers.

Louis started the session by asking a leading question:

How many B2B companies are actually using marketing technology?

While the general consensus in our group that most businesses are using “martech,” Louis surprised us by sharing some recent research he directed.

The research originated with a survey of adoption of marketing technology by 351 mid-market B2B companies across a wide range of industries. It specifically mentioned 9 major types of marketing tech software. 


As you’ll see in the chart below, a principal finding was that while software companies software companies of all types (security, hospitality, healthcare, retail, marketing, etc.), are aggressive adopters of martech – other industries (the lion’s share of U.S.) use very little marketing tech software to market their products, services and other offerings.

Copyright 2014 Louis Gudema, Included with permission of the creator.

Specifically, the 85 software companies Louis & Co. surveyed are using 6, 7, 8, even 9 of the nine marketing technologies; while 266 companies in other B2B industries (custom manufacturing, electronic components, medical devices, and professional services such as engineering, consulting and architecture) use only 1-2 of the nine applications.

Contemplating these findings, brought to mind the lessons of Geoffrey Moore’s classic “Crossing the Chasm” which delineated the difference between early adopters (who are tech savvy) and the psychographics of people in other industries, on the other side of the chasm, who are less comfortable with technology, move slowly and may prefer to be educated and “sold to” through non-digital marketing including print, niche industry publications and real-world (vs. virtual) conferences.

That epiphany reminded me that marketing to “mainstream markets” including manufacturing, life sciences and medical devices, and computer hardware still rely heavily on print – a fact that bodes well for one Massachusetts company, HubCast (not to be confused with “HubSpot”) whose global print supply chain platform helps enterprises manage the complexities and reduce the costs of print procurement.

Remembering the impact that “Chasm” had when it first came out in 1991, it’s fascinating to see its validity more than two decades later. The session has inspired me to visit Amazon to pick up copy of the 3rd edition, issued this year (2014).


Unfortunately, it was impossible to cover a lot of ground in the 60 minutes allotted to this session, but I’m sure that many of the attendees (and marketers within the MassTLC community) may be interested in buying Louis Gudema’s full report.

Titled “6 Strategies for Marketing Technology Vendors That Will Accelerate Growth”, it’s being distributed by VentureBeat and available for download for $199.

It should be interesting to see if Gudema’s observations resonate with martech vendors, and what they may do to adapt their own strategies to penetrate and grow in the massive mainstream. 

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