Are you using marketing automation in your business?

If not – there’s no better time than now.

Thanks to advanced marketing automation software, you can now offload some of your most time-consuming tasks giving you extra time to focus on other important tasks.

This means increased sales productivity, reduced overheads, and the ability to scale your business with fewer resources.

But don’t just take our word for it – the data speaks for itself.

To help you to understand the state of marketing automation, we’ve compiled some of the most important marketing automation statistics that you should know about.

Let’s dive right in:

Marketing automation adoption statistics

Here are a handful of statistics that illustrate just how many marketers and businesses are already using marketing automation software.

1. Three-quarters of all companies use marketing automation

According to Social Media’s Today 2019 State of Marketing Automation Survey report, 75% of all companies already use at least one kind of marketing automation tool. It’s clear from statistics like these that automation tools are already widely accepted by the vast majority of brands and marketers.

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2. 63% of marketers will be increasing their marketing automation budgets soon

Not only are the vast majority of marketers using automation, but most of them also plan to spend more of their marketing budgets on it this year, according to statistics published by Invespcro.

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3. 40% of those not using marketing automation plan to adopt it soon

The data also suggests that those who haven’t yet got on board with marketing automation will soon. A survey from 2017 (Liana Technologies: The Benefits and Challenges of Marketing Automation) found that 40% of companies that hadn’t already adopted marketing automation planned to do so in the next year. Around 50% of companies in the same survey were still unsure, and only one-tenth didn’t have any plans to invest in it soon.

4. The marketing automation software industry was worth $6.1 billion USD last year

Software companies are cashing in on the trend towards marketing automation. Marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing software industries; it’s currently worth $6.1 billion dollars and predicted to double in size by 2023, according to SharpSpring’s “Investor Presentation Jan 2019” (2019).

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5. 56% of marketers think their companies can’t keep up with marketing technology evolution

According to the 2017 State of Marketing Technology report from Walker Sands, more than half of all marketers think that their companies’ use of marketing technology can’t keep pace with the evolution of the MarTech industry.

In order to not get left behind in the dust, companies need to do more to keep pace with this changing technological landscape – because you can bet your competitors will be,

6. 480,000 websites currently use marketing automation technology

Bold Digital found that more than 480,000 websites were already using marketing automation technology in 2016, and that figure has almost certainly increased since. Interestingly, over 275,000 of those websites were using one automation tech from one of just 6 providers (see picture below) who command over half of the market share.

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Benefits & goals of marketing automation (key statistics)

It’s clear that marketing automation software is widely used, but what exactly is it used for? Let’s find out by looking at some statistics that tell us how marketers are integrating automation in their campaigns, and why.

7. Lead generation is considered the top goal of marketing automation

SocialMediaToday asked marketers what their most important strategic goal of marketing automation was, to which 61% responded ‘lead generation’.

Lead generation refers to the process of identifying new potential customers and getting them into your sales funnel. If this is one of your key marketing goals for 2020, make sure you’re considering how marketing automation software could help.

Other important strategic goals for marketing automation included lead nurturing (57%), sales revenue (47%), improving customer engagement (36%), marketing productivity (29%) and improving campaign measurability (28%).

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8. 58% of marketers use automation software to upsell products

According to an article published on Moosend, 58% of marketers consider upselling to be one of the most important uses of marketing automation. Upselling involves getting your customers to make additional purchases or spend more money through strategic marketing communications.

One example of how automation software can help with this is through personalized, automated post-purchase email campaigns.

You can use automation software to set up and send automated post-purchase emails to your customers that recommend additional products based on things like their personal purchase history, interests, or how they’ve interacted with your website.

9. Social media post scheduling is considered to be the most suitable process for automation

The State of Marketing Automation 2019 report by SocialMediaToday found that 83% of marketers considered social media post scheduling to be suitable for automation, making social media the most popular use case.

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Email marketing came in at a close second, with 75% of marketers considering it to be suitable for automation.

While the vast majority of marketers are comfortable with these use cases for automation, marketers are less enthusiastic about using automation software for outreach purposes. Less than a quarter (23%) of marketers consider automation software to be suitable for PR outreach or brand promotion.

This makes a lot of sense, as outreach communications and brand promotions need to be carefully tailored to individual recipients.

10. Email automation is the most popular type of marketing automation

While social media marketing might be considered most suitable for automation, email automation is actually more popular, according to a 2018 report from Getresponse.

The Email Marketing and Marketing Automation Excellence report from 2018 suggests that the top three most used marketing automation techniques are email automation (64%), profiling and targeting (26%), and personalization through dynamic content (23%).

11. Data-driven marketing automation is on the rise

Another way in which marketing automation is being used effectively is through data-driven content marketing. Automation software can calculate and predict the best time to post and promote content in order to reach the most users and generate the most engagement.

Marketing automation ROI & results statistics

To help you to figure out whether marketing automation is worth investing in, here are key statistics that show the kind of ROIs and results you can expect to see.

12. 76% of marketers see a positive ROI within a year

According to figures from Marketo, 76% of companies that implement marketing automation generate a return on their investment within the first year. Not only that, but 44% of them see a return within just six months.

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You’re probably wondering how they measure returns, right? Well, that brings us nicely onto the next statistic.

13. Marketers use CTR, open rates, and unsubscribe rates to measure ROI

Measuring ROI on automation is not always straightforward. According to research from 2014 from Pepper, the most widely-used metrics to measure returns from marketing automation were response metrics like CTRs, open rates, and unsubscribe rates.

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As you no doubt know, these metrics are typically used in email marketing to measure the success of email marketing campaigns. As one of the biggest uses of automation is in email marketing campaigns, it stands to reason that these would be the most widely-used metrics.

14. 80% of marketers report an increase in leads due to automation

Remember how we said that lead generation was considered the most important strategic goal of marketing automation by most marketers? Well, in the vast majority of cases, that goal is achieved.

According to Invespcro, 80% of companies saw an increase in leads thanks to marketing automation. Business2Community puts the average increase in qualified leads due to marketing automation at 451%

15. 77% of marketers report an increase in conversions due to automation

And it’s not just lead generation that automation helps with. Invespcro also found that 77% of companies saw an increase in conversions thanks to lead nurturing through marketing automation. Not bad, right?

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16. Automated lead nurturing converts 15-20% of customers to sales

So we know that 77% of companies see increased conversions thanks to automation, but just how big of an increase are we talking about?

Well, statistics from Protocol80 suggest that an average of 15-20% of potential buyers that weren’t ready to purchase were converted to sales through automated lead nurturing. That’s potentially 15-20% of buyers that you’re missing out on if you’re not using marketing automation software!

17. Marketing automation improves productivity by 20%

The statistics also show that marketing automation brings other benefits for businesses, aside from just more leads and conversions. For example, Nucleus found that marketing automation boosts productivity by around 20% on average.

18. 80% of marketers credit their success to marketing automation

According to a report from the Lenskold Group, 80% of marketers credit automation as one of the biggest contributors to their success. That figure really speaks for itself. If you want your marketing efforts to succeed, marketing automation is a must.

Marketing automation limitations/challenges statistics

If marketing automation is so great, why are some companies still not using it? Well, the truth is, while marketing automation is great, it’s not without its challenges. Here are some statistics that show the biggest barriers and limitations to marketing automation.

19. 44% of marketers consider delivering personalized content to be the biggest barrier to success

One of the biggest challenges companies face when it comes to using marketing automation is delivering personalized content. 44% of marketing influencers in Ascend2’s 2018 Optimizing Marketing Automation survey rank this the biggest challenge of marketing automation.

Actually integrating automated marketing systems came in a close second, with 43% of marketing influencers calling it their biggest barrier to marketing automation success.

20. 16% of marketers think creating quality automations is their number 1 challenge

In a 2019 report from Automizy, participants were asked: “What is your number 1 challenge when you use marketing automation?”. The most common response was creating quality automations (16%). Other top challenges included integrations (14%) and content creation (10%).

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21. 20% of agencies struggle to find the right marketing automation tool

Another practical issue companies face when it comes to adopting marketing automation is finding the right tools for the job. According to the same report from Automizy, 20% of agencies consider this to be the number 1 marketing automation challenge.

This is somewhat surprising considering the huge number of marketing automation tools on the market. It may be that companies are spoilt for choice and struggle to decide which tool represents the best value for money.

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22. 6% of marketers struggle with data management, optimization, and segmentation

Lower down the list of challenges reported in the Automizy report were segmentation, data management, and optimization. 6% of survey participants ranked these as their main marketing automation challenge.

23. 55.6% of companies that don’t use automation cite a lack of expertise as the reason

Many companies still don’t use marketing automation, but for the majority of them, this is simply due to a lack of expertise. 55.6% of companies not using marketing automation don’t have the know-how to do so, according to a report from Liana Technologies.

48.1% of companies in the same survey cited a lack of human resources as the reason they hadn’t yet adopted marketing automation, and around 32% cited a lack of financial resources.

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24. The cost of software is one of the biggest objections to marketing automation

Speaking of a lack of financial resources, the cost of marketing software is another major barrier to marketing automation for many companies. Kinetic Digital Marketing reported that, in 2018, one of the biggest objections to using marketing automation was the availability of cheaper alternatives.

Interestingly, the same report found that a quarter of survey respondents didn’t even know what marketing automation is. This shows that, while marketing automation is certainly growing in popularity, it still has a  long way to go.

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25. Customer Experience Mapping is the Most Difficult Automation Tactic

Statistics show that 55% of marketers consider customer experience mapping to be the most difficult tactic used to optimize marketing automation. Other difficult tactics identified included AI and predictive modeling (48%) and personalized/dynamic content (44%).

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Summary

As these statistics show, automation is a critical part of modern marketing, particularly when it comes to lead generation and nurturing. However, right now, incorporating advanced automation tactics like dynamic content is still difficult.

As technology and available marketing automation tools continue to move forward, automation will become easier to implement, and even more widespread.

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Matt Moran
Matt Moran

Matt is a professional writer specializing in the digital marketing, tech, and finance space. When he's not busy writing, he's usually traveling around the world or spending too much money on coffee.