Marketing automation platforms have proven value. The number of systems available in the space has tripled each of the past two years, and in the high end of the B2B space penetration has jumped from about 5 percent last year to over 12 percent this year.

But getting anyone outside of the marketing department to use them is tough.

Act-On Anywhere

Above: Act-On Anywhere

Two challenges to adoption are the complexity of marketing automation software and a lack of skilled employees to manage marketing automation. Even inside the marketing department, only a small fraction of employees know how to reinvent themselves to fully use marketing tech.

So Act-On, a mid-market marketing automation solution, is releasing Act-On Anywhere: marketing automation in your browser.

Anywhere is an application that aims to make marketing automation features more accessible to all, using a simple Chrome browser plugin. Rather than force users to log into and learn how to use yet another tool, the plugin makes relevant marketing content, data, and tools available within the online technologies people already use, such as Wordpress, HootSuite, CRM, and LinkedIn.

Via the plugin, images, media, and landing forms — which are all stored and tracked in marketing automation — will now be available across channels. According to Act-On, all the data about prospects and data will be accessible in real time, when and where you need it, and other functionality such as notification tools for salespeople or SEO audit capabilities for landing page creation are available without logging into Act-On separately.

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“Marketing automation has always claimed to do everything, but the reality is that various teams already have their own environments,” says Gal Josefsberg, a vice president at Act-On. “Content teams use tools like WordPress, Drupal, and Hootsuite. Sales teams use CRM, email, and LinkedIn. They don’t want to use yet another tool.”

Act-On Anywhere WordPress

Above: Act-On Anywhere for WordPress

Image Credit: Act-On

So how will this actually work? Here’s what Act-On is promising:

  • Blogging:
    Embed existing Act-On assets like calls to action, content from the image library, or forms without leaving WordPress or Drupal.
  • Viewing CRM contacts:
    See detailed marketing interaction history within your online CRM solution, like Salesforce or SugarCRM.
  • New email in Gmail:
    Use pre-built email templates directly within Gmail and track email opens and click-throughs.
  • Building a new landing page:
    Use Act-On’s SEO audit function to get an SEO score and tips on how to improve it.
  • Tweeting:
    Insert links to the right landing pages, rather than just to the home page or whatever URL you remember at the moment.
  • Viewing prospects on LinkedIn:
    View prior interactions prospects and contacts have had with your business in marketing automation directly within LinkedIn.

Essentially, it’s a diffusion of tools out of the software and into the wider web that users are in every day.

“A lot of focus for marketing automation has been on lead generation and conversion, but it’s about orchestrating the whole customer journey between various groups and functions,” said Atri Chatterjee, CMO of Act-On.

What Act-On hopes is that this diffusion will result in increased internal user adoption rates within companies, as departments have a simplified means of accessing marketing automation features.

Perhaps this is something other marketing automation vendors — and the big marketing clouds — should consider adopting.