12 May The Marketing Automation industry is building hurdles to screen out customers – SMB Marketers are the losers!
The leading providers protects their business models by building hurdles, SMB/SME companies interest in Marketing Automation increases for every day, traditional IT-companies acquires MAS companies, there is a rapid growth in the industry and a lot of new vendors are out there. Where does it takes us? Here´s my reflections and predictions.
Mr. David Raab wrote these words in an analysis lately about new competitors coming up in the Marketing Automation landscape. “— In fact, the trend in the marketing automation industry has generally been to increase rather than remove barriers to getting started —” Read the full post here.
Later in the same post he points out that vendors like Hubspot and Infusionsoft even screen out companies who haven´t got the money or the time to take on the hard work of getting started with Marketing Automation. This means they are actively disqualifying a huge part of all SMB Marketers the chance to take advantage of of new smart marketing technology. The business model of “screening” works as long as the market keeps on growing and it will keep on doing so until 2020.
SMB/SME Marketers always finds faster and smarter solutions!
For me it seems fundamentally wrong to protect a business model where building hurdles for Marketers is a strategy, but if you have complicated and complex products, it might be the only thing to do? One thing is obvious, these systems is not as simple and available as they should be. The losers are SMB Marketers who cannot support this model. It is a shame, cause the interest from SMB companies are growing for every single day and they do deserve having a fair chance taking advantage of this technology. In a recent Software Advice, a marketing automation reviewer, we can read that SMB/SME companies are looking into Marketing Automation for several reasons;
- They need to be more efficient. The knowledge about the benefits of MAS (Marketing Automation Solutions) has been a lot about automation so far. Saving time and money, but there is more to it now…
- In the report from Software Advice it very interesting and pleasing to see that Lead Management is the top reason for investing in a Marketing Automation platform.
SMB companies have always needed to outsmart their bigger competitors. Smart usage of Marketing Automation will be one of the tools to use to make it happen. Another research firm, Frost & Sullivan wrote about how Marketing Automation will be a must have tool for drive revenue and increase efficiency and I totally agree.
Building trampolines instead of hurdles!
What does all of this mean? Building hurdles instead of trampolines for its customers seems so wrong, deeply wrong. I have spent years meeting SMB Marketers and they certainly deserve to take advantage of this technology, but they need to do it smarter, quicker and more agile than any of the established vendors offer today.
Technology is closing the gap – smarter solutions and smarter working Marketers tear down the barriers
In early stages of every big upcoming technology invention it has been just like this. When CRM made its invasion it started out with large scaled solutions and implementations, for large companies with a lot of money and resources. It was a lot of IT and “change management” involved. We all know how that market looks like today. There is a lot of vendors out there offering great tools to ease and bring processes into how we sale. These new tools are easy-to-use and very much affordable solutions in a great variety of the needs from customers.
The thing is, that nowadays with the “cloud”, apps, open API:s the “time-frame” where the big vendors lock out customers and competitors are not that long anymore. Technology has done its job even here and the good thing that comes with that is – building hurdles to protect a business model is just….outdated.
SMB Marketers needs immediate payback!
Building solutions that are adjustable and easy to onboard is a must and the payback must be almost instant, that´s what the future of this business looks like. We are standing at a point now for the MA-industry, where the market is dividing into one part offering IT-solutions, big systems needs big cash and time and the ones in search for the perfect balance between power, ease and a reasonable price tag. We at Leadsius are building our tool to help SMB companies accomplish great results with a powerful and easy to use platform. Offering maybe 80% of the features that the big vendors provide, might cover 99% of the needs for a SMB Marketer. Doing that to half or less of the prize, you have a chance of succeeding – we are determined to give it our best shot.
The shift is about to take place right now and I am sure of one thing – the ones who will win will be the companies that truly focus on the needs of its customers. Making them love your product because of the results coming out of the joy and easiness of using it. As long as technology thrives to be more human and intelligent, I think we will end up with tools learning us being better Marketers instead of us learning the systems.