In the 1990s only the largest organisation could afford a CRM solution because it cost a lot of money, time and people. Technology advances have democratised CRM systems and the same thing is happening in Marketing Automation (MA).

Act-On and Hubspot both provide proven MA solutions for less than £1,000 per month and this low cost access to technology is changing the way that marketing teams operate in B2B organisations and for good reason - it delivers a measurable return on investment.

Most mature B2B organisations have a CRM solution and I predict the same thing will happen for MA solutions within this decade because of one key reason:  Marketing automation is to the marketing department as CRM is to sales. The benefits of CRM are well understood and documented, back in 2002 Bain & Company research found that a 5% increase in customer retention boosts lifetime customer profits 50% on average and up to 90% in some industries. 

A well implemented marketing automation solution focuses marketing department on delivering what sales needs which is well qualified, warm leads. The operational effect of aligning the marketing and sales department goals via marketing automation inevitably leads to winning a higher percentage of pitches AND more profitable clients:

Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (DemandGen Report)

Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. (Nucleus Research)