What is the state of marketing automation?
We’ve updated our roundup of marketing automation statistics with data pulled from studies between 2020 and 2022.
So unlike most other blog posts out there, you’ll only find the freshest, most up-to-date marketing automation facts and stats here.
We’ll be looking at how companies and marketing professionals are using marketing automation this year, exploring the size and growth of the marketing automation industry, revealing useful marketing automation benchmarks, and answering questions like:
- What does marketing automation do?
- Is marketing automation important?
- What is the future of marketing automation?
- What’s the average marketing automation ROI?
- Plus a whole lot more!
Ready? Let’s jump into it!
Marketing automation statistics – Editor’s picks
- 86.1% of marketing professionals are familiar with the concept of marketing automation. (LianaTech)
- 84% of surveyed marketers have successfully used marketing automation to achieve their top priorities. (Ascend2)
- Almost four-fifths (72%) of the most successful companies utilize marketing automation (HubSpot)
- Marketing automation is the number one most effective digital marketing technique after content marketing according to global marketing professionals. (Statista1)
- The average marketing automation ROI is $5.44 per dollar spent (Nucleus Research)
- Email is the most frequently automated marketing channel. 65% of marketers leverage email automation. (Ascend2)
- The biggest benefits of marketing automation are saving time on repetitive tasks and facilitating personalized customer communications, according to 49% of companies. (Pendalix)
- HubSpot is the most popular marketing automation software provider, with over 29% market share. (Statista4)
Marketing automation usage statistics
First, let’s look at some stats that highlight how many companies and marketers are using marketing automation:
- 34% of surveyed companies are using marketing automation to a limited degree.
- 25% of surveyed companies are using marketing automation extensively.
- 28% of surveyed companies don’t use it yet but plan to in the next two years.
- 13% are not using marketing automation at all.
HubSpot also looked at the usage of marketing automation in their latest State of Marketing report and found that:
- Marketing is the largest business sector using automation.
- 79% of companies use automation for marketing, compared to 45% for sales, and 33% for finance.
- 26% of those who don’t use automation yet plan on adopting marketing automation soon.
Who uses marketing automation?
What kind of companies and marketers are using marketing automation? Here’s what the data tells us about marketing automation users:
- 72% of successful companies are using marketing automation.
- Only 18% of unsuccessful companies are using marketing automation.
As these marketing automation statistics show, successful companies use marketing automation to help with their lead generation and customer retention efforts around four times as much as unsuccessful companies.
This suggests that marketing automation users are rewarded with digital marketing success.
The use of marketing automation also seems to correlate with budget size:
- 81% of companies with large marketing budgets (500k+) are using marketing automation technology.
- Only 44% of companies with small budgets (under 100k) are using marketing automation technology.
This suggests SMEs may think marketing automation software is more expensive than it really is. In reality, it doesn’t have to cost much to implement marketing automation. You can start with a very small marketing automation budget and build from there.
Why use marketing automation?
Here’s why most marketers and companies use marketing automation, according to a 2021 study:
- 35% of marketers report that the top reason to implement marketing automation is to streamline marketing and sales efforts.
- 34% think the top reason is to improve customer engagement and experiences.
- 30% say the best reason to use marketing automation is to minimize manual tasks.
- 28% think the top reason is to increase leads captured (28%).
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
Pedalix conducted a study in 2020 which looked at what Swiss companies think about marketing automation. When asked about the biggest marketing automation benefits:
- 49% of companies said the main advantage of marketing automation is that it saves time on repetitive tasks and enables personalized marketing communications.
- A further 45% of respondents said the biggest advantage was improved efficiency and ROI.
- 39% said it was its ability to generate higher-quality leads.
Other highlighted advantages in the survey included more leads and conversions, improved customer loyalty, faster response times, more website traffic, and easier collaboration between marketing and sales departments.
The Pendalix survey exclusively focused on Swiss companies but worldwide, the statistics paint a similar picture:
- 43% of marketers say the biggest benefit of marketing automation is improving the customer experience.
- 38% think the biggest benefit is enabling staff to use their time more effectively.
- 35% say it’s improved data and decision-making.
Marketing automation challenges
Despite the advantages of marketing automation, many companies are still struggling to implement it effectively:
- 54% of marketing professionals don’t think they’re making the most of their marketing automation tools.
- Only 20% said they’re utilizing them to their full potential.
When asked why they think they’re not utilizing their tools properly, marketers identified the following barriers:
- 39% said they lacked the training to fully utilize their marketing automation tools.
- 32% said they didn’t have the resources needed to manage them.
- 31% said they didn’t have the budget to maintain their tools.
- 25% said the problem was a complicated setup process.
A different study also looked at the challenges companies faced when implementing marketing automation, with surveyed respondents identifying similar problems:
- 33% of surveyed companies identified a lack of expertise as the biggest obstacle preventing them from implementing marketing automation (this was the number one barrier to adoption in the survey).
- 24% said the biggest challenge was insufficient data quality.
- 24% said the problem was that it was a low company priority.
- 23% said they had no money for a marketing automation budget.
- 21% said the problem was a lack of a clearly-defined marketing automation strategy.
- 20% said their systems were too complex to implement marketing automation.
How is marketing automation used?
Here are some marketing automation stats that show the top marketing automation use cases, according to surveyed marketers.
- 65% of marketers automate their email marketing efforts, making email the most frequently automated marketing channel. (Also read: Email marketing statistics).
- 47% of marketers use marketing automation in social media management.
- 30% of marketing professionals use marketing automation in their landing pages.
- 28% of marketers use marketing automation in paid ads.
- 25% of marketers use marketing automation for campaign tracking.
- 23% of marketers use marketing automation for content management.
- 21% of marketers use marketing automation for live chat (chatbots).
- 58% of marketers use automation for task management.
- 42% of marketers use automation for content.
- 31% of marketers use automation for chatbots.
What are the most effective marketing automation strategies?
According to the statistics, most marketers seem to be satisfied with their existing marketing automation strategies:
- 65% of marketers rate their marketing automation strategy as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.
- Less than 1% rate their marketing automation strategy as “not effective at all”.
So how are these marketers achieving such success? Let’s find out.
Here are some of the strategies marketers use to amplify the effectiveness of their marketing automation efforts, according to the data:
- 52% of marketers say quality data had the biggest impact on the success of their marketing automation tools.
- 46% of marketers say ensuring automation was executed strategically amplified their success.
- 45% say that aligning their sales and marketing goals correctly had the biggest impact on marketing automation success.
- Other important strategies for successful use highlighted in the survey include customer journey mapping (26%), lead scoring (18%), and defining personas (13%).
Marketing automation software market size
As more and more businesses recognize the benefits of marketing automation, the demand for marketing automation technology has exploded. Here’s what the latest marketing automation stats tell us about the size of the market:
- The marketing automation software industry was worth 3.6 billion USD in 2020.
- The global marketing automation software market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of around 8.15% with $1.43 billion USD between 2022 and 2027.
- The estimated year-over-year (YOY) growth rate for 2022 is 7.33%.
Which marketing automation software is best?
Wondering which marketing automation platforms and tools are the most popular? Let’s find out.
- HubSpot dominates the marketing automation software market. It has a 29.51% market share, making it the leading marketing automation solution provider.
- Adobe Experience Cloud comes second with 12.11% of the market share.
- Oracle Marketing Cloud (8.63%), Active Campaign (8.01%), and Salesforce Pardot (4.89%) are other market leaders.
But remember: just because a marketing automation platform is popular, it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your business.
There are plenty of MA software solutions out there so make sure you weigh up your options before you rush into a decision. You can start by checking out our in-depth roundup of the best marketing automation software to find the right tool for your business!
What features are most important in marketing automation software?
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of marketing automation platforms out there to choose from—so what should you look for when you’re comparing your options? Here’s what most marketers think:
- According to survey respondents, 55% of marketers think easy integration with their existing tool stack (CRM, etc.) is the most important feature in a marketing automation platform.
- 45% think lead scoring and lead qualification are the most important features.
- 35% think content creation and email outreach are the most important features.
- 24% think social media content distribution is the most important feature.
Marketing automation platform integration
As we mentioned above, easy integration is the most important feature to look for in a marketing automation platform—but just how hard is it to integrate automation solutions into your existing toolset? Let’s find out.
- 39% of marketers say their marketing automation solution is somewhat integrated with their technology stack.
- 29% say it’s mostly integrated.
- 25% say it’s not at all integrated.
- Only 7% say it’s entirely integrated.
What are the most important marketing automation KPIs?
How do you measure the success of your marketing automation efforts? By looking at your key performance indicators, of course! Here are the most important KPIs for marketing automation, according to the stats:
- 48% of surveyed marketing professionals think that conversion rate is the most important KPI to measure the effectiveness of marketing automation.
- Sales-qualified leads (SQL) was the second most popular KPI, with 43% of marketers saying it was the most useful metric.
- Other popular KPIs for measuring the success of marketing automation include the total number of leads generated (43%), open/click rates (31%), revenue (29%), and customer satisfaction (27%).
ROI of marketing automation statistics
Before you invest in marketing automation, you probably want to find out what kind of returns you can expect to see, and when.
So, what is the ROI of marketing automation? Let’s take a look at some stats:
- Marketing automation provides an ROI of $5.44 per dollar spent over the first three years.
- Businesses recover the cost of their initial investment in marketing automation in under six months, on average.
- Marketing automation ROIs are driven by increased sales productivity, increased campaign efficiency, better prospect engagement, and cost savings.
Source: Nucleus Research
- Marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5% and reduces overhead by 12.2%
Source: Blogging Wizard
B2B marketing automation statistics
How do B2B companies differ from B2C companies when it comes to marketing automation? Let’s find out.
- 59% of B2B marketing professionals in the US think actionable analytics and reporting is the most important feature when choosing marketing automation software.
- 71% of B2B marketers say they utilize automation in their email marketing efforts. This is six percentage points higher than amongst general marketing professionals (B2B & B2C).
- 39% of B2B companies plan on implementing marketing automation to aid with their social media management efforts in the year ahead.
Note: If you’d like to learn more about the B2B side of things, check out our post on B2B marketing statistics.
Marketing automation trends
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the latest marketing automation trends:
- Search interest in “marketing automation” has grown at least five-fold since 2004, and peaked in Feb 2022.
Source: Google Trends1
- South East Asia is the region that’s the most interested in ‘Marketing Automation’, according to Google Trends data from the last five years. Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia are all listed in the top 5 countries by search interest.
Source: Google Trends2
- Chatbots continue to be a key marketing automation trend. 70% of customer interactions will soon involve chatbots or similar technology, according to predictions by Gartner.
Marketing automation statistics sources
Marketing automation statistics: Final thoughts
That concludes our roundup of the latest marketing automation statistics, facts, and trends for 2022.
We hope you learned something new and gathered useful insights to inform your strategy for the year ahead.