25 Marketing Automation Statistics You Need to Be Aware Of

It wasn’t pleasant joining the ranks of marketing automation statistics in 2005. Just ask Sean Lane. His purchase of a surprise Christmas present – a diamond ring – was promoted without his consent or knowledge to all his Facebook friends. That included his wife, who promptly called to not-so-gently inquire for whom he was buying expensive jewelry.

Facebook paid $9.5 million to settle a class action suit with Lane and others whose buying activity was publicized, and it eventually shut down the purchase-notification program entirely.

Key Marketing Automation Stats for 2020

  • 55% of companies worldwide use marketing automation software.
  • Global spending on marketing automation will reach $25.1 billion by 2023.
  • 60% of marketers believe that improving the user experience is the biggest advantage of automated marketing.
  • Marketing automation technology is expected to grow 14% per year between 2018 and 2023.
  • According to marketers, social media post scheduling (83%) and email marketing (75%) are the most suitable digital marketing elements for using marketing automation.

Marketers have gotten a lot smarter since then, and their methods much smoother. Today, your car is likely to notify you that it’s low on fuel – and by the way, here’s a discount code for a gas station that’s just up the road! You’ll probably receive a similar personal discount code when you walk past a department store in a mall. The code will be based on your preferences and purchase history, details compiled for years in readily available marketing databases.

Welcome to the brave new world of marketing automation, where marketers say they’re doing you a service by delivering only those ads and promotions that are most likely to be of interest to you. They think they know who you are. They’re usually right.

General marketing automation statistics

1. 55% of companies worldwide use marketing automation software.

(Act-On)

According to Act-On’s statistics about marketing automation the majority of companies surveyed use either marketing automation software or an email service provider as part of their marketing efforts. In total, 21% said that they use the software by itself, while 34% use it alongside an email service provider for automated email marketing. A further 31% said that they use email service providers only, while only 14% of those surveyed use neither system for marketing purposes.


2. Global spending on marketing automation will reach $25.1 billion by 2023.

(Forrester)

According to Forrester’s predictions, the marketing automation market will continue to grow consistently. Its $11.4 billion value in 2017 is set to more than double by 2023 as more and more companies start seeing the benefits of marketing automation and investing more funds into the industry. The largest expenditures are expected in buying new software and integrating automation into the existing marketing processes of the companies.


3. Marketing automation technology is expected to grow 14% per year between 2018 and 2023.

(Forrester)

Automated marketing solutions are slowly taking over many aspects of marketing, especially in the outreach and email marketing sector. According to predictions by Forrester, marketing automation growth is predicted to follow a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% over the period of five years from 2018 to 2023. “Through-channel marketing automation” and “lead-to-revenue automation” platforms will see the highest growth rates: 25% and 19.4% respectively.


4. Artificial intelligence (40%) and marketing automation (33%) will be the most discussed marketing technology topics in 2019.

(Walker Sands)

According to the marketing automation statistics and predictions gathered by Walker Sands, artificial intelligence is still the buzzword of choice when it comes to marketing technology (martech) in 2019. Marketing automation and content management are seen as extensions to this popular field, and are mentioned by over a third of the marketing experts interviewed by Walker Sands.


5. According to marketers, social media post scheduling (83%) and email marketing (75%) are the most suitable digital marketing elements for using marketing automation.

(Social Media Today)

Wondering how best to use marketing automation tools in your digital marketing campaign? According to respondent to this Social Media Today survey, scheduling automatic social media posts and automated marketing through email are the most useful ways to enhance your marketing with automation systems. Other popular uses for  these tools are advertising on social media (58%), messaging chatbots (53%), and sales prospecting alerts (39%). The current marketing automation trend is that the various aspects of social network and email marketing are the best fields for using automation in marketing.


6. Only 14% of marketers have an advanced knowledge of B2B marketing automation.

(Smart Insights)

According to data gathered by Smart Insights, 40% of the respondents claimed to be familiar with the basic concepts and said that they have managed simple campaign, while 46% rated their knowledge as intermediate (having some experience in lead scoring and web personalization). Only 14% claimed to be familiar and comfortable with the more advanced marketing automation features.


7. 60% of marketers believe that improving the user experience is the biggest advantage of automated marketing.

(Smart Insights)

When asked why they use marketing automation and what are the biggest benefits of its implementation, two-thirds of respondents said it helps improve the user experience and relevance of communication with their clients. Identifying better-quality leads and generating more leads were mentioned almost as often (59%  and 57%), while better conversion rates came up 52% of the time. According to the marketing automation trends from this survey, reduced marketing costs were seen as one of the main benefits of automation in marketing by only 35% of respondents. Finally, shorter sales cycles and improving alignment between departments were mentioned 22% and 21% of the time.


8. A lack of a personal connection is the most common concern marketing professionals have with marketing automation (61%).

(Social Media Today)

Social Media Today gathered a lot of interesting marketing automation statistics for 2019 in the State of Marketing Automation Survey Report. One of the questions researchers asked respondents was what reservations they held about the usage of marketing automation tools. Just over two-thirds of people said relying on automated systems for communicating with clients could be seen as impersonal. This could harm the public’s perception of the brand (a concern raised by 44% of the respondents) or cause the brand to miss opportunities (38%). Of those in the survey, 39% said marketing automation platforms don’t provide them with the level of control over the marketing process that they’re used to.


9. 56% of marketers identify integrating data from different sources as the biggest challenge in implementing marketing automation systems.

(Smart Insights)

There are plenty of challenges to overcome before the wider implementation of automated processes in marketing becomes a reality. According to the marketing and sales automation statistics gathered by Smart Insights, nearly two-thirds of marketers have trouble with data integration. This problem is closely related to the second-most commonly mentioned issue: a lack of resources for managing the implementation of automation features (54%). Limited staff knowledge and skills, as well as problems with defining an effective strategy, were also mentioned often (49% and 37%, respectively).

Marketing automation adoption statistics

10. 72% of marketers believe some level of automation will be necessary for their business in the future.

(Social Media Today)

One of the most eye-opening stats about marketing automation is how many marketing professionals expect it to become necessary within their industry in the future, regardless of their own desire to use it. Only 24% aren’t convinced that it will be unavoidable in the future, while 4% believe it’s too early to tell at this point. Marketing automation technology is definitely the future of marketing. As more and more companies start investing in it and training their staff in its implementation, we can expect the market to grow exponentially.


11. 64% of marketers believe their marketing technology budget will increase in 2019.

(Walker Sands)

Marketing statistics in 2019 definitely show a trend of increased awareness and implementation when it comes to marketing automation and other marketing technology (martech) products. However, it’s not a simple or cheap process to implement certain aspects of martech within a workflow, at least for companies just starting out. Therefore, 46% of those interviewed by Walker Sands said they expect a slight increase in their martech budgets, while 18% said that they predict major increases, 34% said they expect the budget to be the same, and only 2% expect it to decrease. Online marketing automation and other automation and marketing technology tools are still not widely used by companies, but a lot of them have plans in place to implement the technology. These predictions reflect the anticipated costs of doing so.


12. 28% of companies are planning to invest in new marketing automation software within the next 12 months.

(Act-On)

Speaking of martech investments, nearly a third of the companies whose staff was interviewed by Act-On are planning to implement new marketing automation solutions at some point during 2020. Financial services are at the forefront with 48%, while in the manufacturing sector, only 19% of companies are planning to adopt automated marketing tech. It’s interesting to note that about 29% of technological companies will invest in new marketing automation software. Although this number is higher than the average, it pales in comparison to financial sector companies. This can probably be explained by the fact that tech companies are already inherently more familiar with martech products. However, Act-On didn’t provide current implementation statistics from respondents, so we can only speculate.


13. 57% of marketers believe that improving campaign effectiveness is one of the primary objectives of integrating marketing automation into their marketing strategy.

(Ascend2)

Nearly one-third of respondents in this Ascend2 survey said one of the main objectives of adopting automation systems in marketing should be to make their marketing campaigns more effective. This lines up with the claims of various marketing automation companies, which are often focused around improving campaign effectiveness and speeding things up. Over half of respondents (53%) also claimed that automation in marketing should bridge the gap between the marketing and sales teams, while improved lead generation was mentioned 49% of the time. The best marketing automation tools should be able to help improve both marketing metrics (34%) and data system centralization (30%). To sum up this survey, the main point of automated marketing solutions should be improving campaign effectiveness and generating more leads, as well as facilitating communication between the marketing and sales teams (which, again, leads to more effective marketing campaigns).


14. According to 53% of marketers, the price of a marketing automation system is one of the most important factors when choosing which solution to implement.

(Ascend2)

Ease of use is a key factor in the speed and effectiveness of implementing automated marketing systems. However, it was mentioned as one of the key factors in choosing which solution to implement only 47% of the time. Of those interviewed by Ascend2, 40% look at the potential of marketing automation for analytics and reporting, while 39% want an integrated, all-in-one solution. This lines up with the expectations that companies have when it comes to automation – the integration process should be as quick and painless as possible. Lead management was mentioned 30% of the time, while automated email marketing and campaign management were mentioned 27% of the time.


15. 54% of marketers believe it takes six to 12 months to see the benefits of adopting an automated marketing system.

(Ascend2)

When it comes to marketing automation statistics, one of the key factors to consider is how quickly the company can see the results of the new system it has in place. Most respondents in this Ascend2 survey anticipate that it will take anywhere between six months and a year for results to be seen. On the other hand, 36% expect to see some sort of improvement within six months, while only 10% believe that they need to wait over a year for tangible benefits. But just how do they measure whether the solution used was successful? Let’s find out below.


16. Revenue generation (60%) and customer acquisition (52%) are the most important metrics for measuring the benefits of integrating marketing automation solutions.

(Ascend2)

When it comes to measuring the success of automated marketing solutions, revenue generation is the top metric. In addition to acquiring customers, respondents in this survey also mentioned conversion rates (44% of the marketers interviewed mentioned it), number of leads accepted by the sales team (29%), marketing qualified leads (28%), and the total cost per lead generated (14%). Open-and-click rates are nearly ignored, according to the survey; they were mentioned as one of the most important factors in marketing automation analytics by only 6% of the marketing experts interviewed by Ascend2.


17. 63% of marketers find that a combination of in-house and outsourced resources is best option when integrating a marketing automation system.

(Ascend2)

When it comes to actually adopting an automated marketing system, nearly two-thirds of those in Ascend2’s survey agreed that it’s best to combine in-house resources with those of external specialists. About 24% said that the whole process can be done in-house only, while just 13% believe the integration/adoption process is best left to external experts who specialize in automated marketing systems.

Marketing automation usage statistics

18. The marketing department is responsible for the management of marketing automation in 70% of companies.

(Smart Insights)

These marketing automation statistics from Smart Insights show an affirmation of a trend that has been noticeable since 2015. If we look at the history of marketing automation, various customer relationship management (CRM) systems were primarily the domain of the IT department. In the early days of adopting the automated systems, marketing and sales departments didn’t take enough interest and weren’t held responsible for their success. Things have changed in the past five or so years, and these days the marketing team is almost solely responsible for the management and results of various marketing automation systems.

It’s a shared responsibility in 19% of cases, and sales teams have no involvement whatsoever only 5% of the time. Interestingly, it seems IT staff are no longer really expected to be the key party involved in the process. Only 1% of respondents said their IT team was accountable for the management and results of marketing automation processes.


19. 88% of marketers believe they could be using marketing automation more effectively.

(Smart Insights)

When talking about marketing, automation statistics gathered by Smart Insights show some interesting trends. If we discount the 12% of respondents who claim to use no marketing automation at all, the marketing automation industry is looking alive and well in 2019.  However, only 2% of marketers are fully satisfied with how they’re using marketing automation and see no real room for improvement.

Most use it at either the basic (28%) or intermediate level (25%), while 19% of marketers say they use the core features and 14% use the majority of marketing automation features available to them.


20. 64% of companies in the US have CRM systems in place to pass leads from marketing to sales teams.

(Act-On)

Customer relationship management systems have been gaining popularity in marketing and sales over the past decade. According to a survey by Act-On, nearly two-thirds of companies in the US (64%) and around half of the companies in the UK (48%) use them to create a sales funnel, directly passing potential leads from the marketing to the sales teams for processing. Email marketing automation statistics still reign supreme when it comes to automated systems, with 90% of US and 81% of UK marketers relying on automatically generated emails as automated marketing tactic.

Segmentation (customer profiling in order to find out about their shopping preferences and create more personalized automated messages) and dynamic landing pages (pages  that show different content to different target groups of customers) are also popular automated marketing tools. Customer segmentation is an automated marketing tool relied on by 60% of the US companies and 49% of those in the UK. Dynamic pages were mentioned by 48% of respondents from the US and 40% from the UK. Complex lead nurturing is also more popular in the US, with over one-third (34%) of marketers using it, compared to only 18% in the UK.


21. Only 8% of marketers use AI and machine learning adoption in marketing automation.

(Smart Insights)

Although artificial intelligence and machine learning have been the most popular buzzwords in martech for a while now, only 8% of those interviewed said they’ve already implemented it as part of their marketing automation strategy. Of those 8%, only 3% had been using it for more than two years at the time of the interview (2019). What is encouraging, though, is that 33% of respondents said their companies are planning to exploit the benefits of AI technology within the next year. Still, most respondents (59%) have not implemented any such technologies yet, nor do they plan to do so in the foreseeable future.


22. 62% of marketers use post-registration welcome emails, making it the most common form of automated email marketing.

(Smart Insights)

According to email marketing automation statistics gathered by Smart Insights, more than three-fifths of marketers use automated systems to send welcome emails to potential customers. Nurturing emails based on the content potential prospects browse or download follows with 45%.

However, more advanced techniques – such as progressive profiling to better understand customer intent and nurturing emails based on changes in lead scores – are only used by 18% of marketers. This aligns with a trend we’ve already noticed – customer relationship management software is still a relatively new tool for a lot of marketers, so the majority of them still use the most basic features, which are the easiest to set up and manage.

Marketing automation optimization statistics

23. 61% of B2B marketers believe creating a successful strategy is one of the top priorities when it comes to optimizing market automation.

(Ascend2)

According to Ascend2’s marketing automation statistics from 2018, most industry professionals believe that coming up with an optimal implementation strategy is the most important element to focus on when optimizing marketing automation. In another study, Smart Insights found that improving the customer experience was the main goal of automation in marketing. However, when it comes to optimizing the automation process itself, the focus on improving the customer experience was only mentioned as a key priority by 45% of those interviewed by Ascend2. The same number (45%) also mentioned streamlining marketing processes, while 39% identified delivering personalized content (through market segmentation, for example). Finally, integrating all marketing systems effectively is a top strategic priority for optimizing automated marketing according to 34% of respondents in the survey.


24. 51% of marketers believe using personalized and dynamic content is the most effective tactic for making the most of marketing automation.

(Ascend2)

We discovered in our previous statistic that most marketers believe in creating a sound strategy as a keystone for optimizing the performance of their marketing automation systems. But what are the main optimization tactics that actually make up this strategy? Around half of respondents mentioned content that’s personalized for each user and changes over time. Customer experience mapping was mentioned 45% of the time, while landing pages and Call to Action (CTA) forms were considered an important tactic for 43% of marketers in Ascend2’s survey. Other useful tactics according to the survey were prospect and customer re-engagement (38%), split & multivariate testing (34%), AI and predictive modelling (29%), and auto-responder/drip marketing (25%).


25. Nearly all B2B marketers (99%) believe content personalization driven by marketing automation is improving constantly.

(Ascend2)

Automation and personalization are not two terms you would normally associate with each other. If anything, many people, including marketers, fear that marketing automation can lead to losing that personal touch that was so important for marketing in the past. Nevertheless, CRM systems have steadily been improving over the years, and these days offer incredible personalized marketing options for marketers. According to Ascend2’s survey, 54% of marketing professionals believe content personalization is improving significantly through marketing automation tools, while 45% believe that improvement is marginal, but still visible. Only 1% mentioned a marginal decrease in the quality of personalization and no one said personalization quality is getting significantly worse.

FAQ

  • What is marketing automation software?

Marketing automation software refers to various tools designed to help marketers do their jobs more effectively across multiple channels. It usually includes tools that automate repetitive tasks like sending welcome and promotional emails, but there are also those that can track potential prospects and learn the shopping patterns of existing or future customers.

  • What are the benefits of market automation?

The main advantages of marketing automation are saving time, improving user experience, generating more and better leads, and improving conversion rates. While the main benefit of early automation systems was saving time, the systems have since evolved to take on many other duties.

  • How much does marketing automation cost?

The costs can vary a great deal depending on a variety of factors. However, you should expect that at least 5% of your marketing budget will be spent on marketing automation. Some of the questions you should consider when choosing a marketing automation solution are:

  1. How many contacts do I want to market to?
  2. Does my company already have a CRM system in place?
  3. How many features do we need (email management or more complex tools)?
  4. How many licenced users do we need accessing the automation software?

Prices generally depend on all of these factors, and the larger your company and client base, the more you can expect to pay. Prices start at a few thousand dollars per year for simple email management, but can rise to several thousand per month or more if you’re dealing with 50k+ clients and need to make use of more sophisticated tools.

  • How do you set up automation in marketing?

The process involves several steps, starting with finding the right automation software. You then need to integrate it with your customer relationship management solution (if you have one) and make sure your marketing team (and ideally sales, too) gets good onboarding and training. You then import contacts and set up email templates, run your first campaign, and measure the results. Remember that you probably won’t get visible results within a month or two. Most marketing experts agree that six months to a year is a reasonable timeframe in which to expect meaningful marketing automation statistics for your business.

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