B2B Marketing Automation Industry Size and Segments


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As I mentioned yesterday, our new B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool (VEST) asks vendors to estimate the number of clients in each of four size categories.

This provides an interesting overview of the industry. The segments are defined based on revenue. Installation counts are:

Looking at the raw percentages doesn’t make much sense since businesses in each group are quite different. There’s a strong case to be made that micro-businesses in particular have such different needs that their vendors are not really part of the same industry as the rest of B2B marketing automation. I’ve described those differences in this post and go into them in our Vendor Selection Workbook (different from the VEST, and free on the Raab Guide site.)

But if you do want to consider all these vendors as one industry, the minimum adjustment to make is to account for differences in price. The table below calculates revenues using reasonable assumptions about revenue per client in each segment:

Combined with the previous chart, this shows the micro-business segment represents 61% of clients but just 17% of industry revenues. At the other extreme, large business represents just 6% of clients but 28% of revenue. The small- and mid-size companies are the heart of the industry , with 55% of the revenue from 33% of the clients.

The $257.5 million revenue estimate is reasonable but it excludes revenues from B2B marketing automation vendors not in the VEST report and the B2B revenues of B2C marketing automation firms. So I’d estimate total industry revenue at $300 million for 2011. This represents a 50% growth over my estimate for 2010. That is consistent with the growth rate I reported yesterday.

The figures also shed light on the ever-popular question of penetration rates. The table below shows company counts by revenue range from business list compiler Manta. But not all of these are B2B marketers. Looking at the industry categories, I’d put the estimated market at half the total.

The 26.7% figure for the large company category is clearly too high, but that’s easy to explain: big companies have lots of divisions, so many vendors have sold to a little piece of those firms. There’s certainly still plenty of opportunity left. It’s possible the 3% figure for mid-size firms reflects some of this effect as well.

Figures for the first three categories are more intriguing because they’re much lower than the usual estimates that 5% to 10% of companies have marketing automation. Either the surveys behind those estimates are incorrect or my market definition is too broad.

It’s probably a bit of each: surveys tend to reach people who have above-average interest in the topic, and my 50% figure is based on selecting categories that could potentially use marketing automation, not the categories that have deployed it so far. A count of those companies, limited largely to tech and manufacturing industries, would reduce the estimated market to anything from one quarter to one tenth the numbers shown. This would translate to penetration rates of 10% to 30%, which is more in line with current estimates.

But I’d argue that the market is already growing beyond this core group, so the long-term potential is considerably larger. That’s great news – so long as vendors don’t get stuck in the current niche and so long as competitors from the CRM, email, Web software, Web advertising or other industries don’t swoop in and snatch it all away.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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