Having operated as a consultant in the B2B marketing automation space and having worked behind the scenes at a, I can perhaps shed some light on this topic.
One of the biggest problems I kept running into as a consultant was adoption. And that simply means that customers actually use the product on a daily basis, make use of its (wide array of) functionality and profit from said use.
You won’t believe the amounts of money I have seen go into implementing expensive marketing automation software tools, only to have the business “be glad that they’re blasting out emails” after a whole friggin’ year!
The reason that this is a problem for vendors is that, at some point, the customer will realize that they are paying a lot of money for a marketing automation platform that they’re not actually using. The result? Churn!
Making sure your customers are using your platform and are having success with it is a major factor for the continued existence of any SaaS business, much more so when it comes to relatively expensive software like marketing automation.
This is why I love thatto all customers (instead of trying to make more money off of “premium support” plans and whatnot). It ensures that the customers will actually use their software!
The other problem is platform experience and choosing which problems to fix, first. Some of these platforms have been around for a while. Meanwhile, technology advances rapidly and so do customer expectations. But you can’t have your devs work on everything at the same time. Therefore, choices need to be made.
To my disappointment, some vendors continue to prefer to push out large, flashy updates with new functionality, instead of trying to remedy the “death by a thousand cuts” – all those little annoyances you don’t even notice at first, but really get to you after 6 months of working with a platform.
Finalky, and there’s no way around it, the marketing automation space is popular and therefore crowded. There’s a couple of big whales in that market (Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot), which reel in a lot of customers through sheer brand name alone.
Fortunately for you, the customer, there’s also a number of very viable alternatives,, that attempt to bring a better experience to the customer than their larger competitors are currently trying to.