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Software Advice Reveals Top Marketing Automation Buyer Trends in BuyerView Report

Marketing automation is quickly becoming the most needed software for marketers. There are far too many digital marketing channels to keep up with them all, which is why automation is key for efficient and effective work. We have small and medium sized businesses come to us every day looking for marketing automation and we have what they need. Our friends at Software Advice put together a report revealing top marketing automation buyer trends. Does GreenRope have what you need? Check out the full report or read the summary below by Luke Wallace.

Software Advice recently analyzed nearly 365 interactions with marketing automation software buyers to discover the top reasons for evaluating, the most requested features and most active buyer sizes and segments. Key findings are summarized below.

Most Buyers Are Evaluating Marketing Automation for the First Time

Only 2 percent of buyers we spoke with already had a marketing automation system in place. However, 61 percent of buyers used some type of software to manage marketing operations.

Manual Methods
Buyer's Current Methods of Managing Marketing Activities 

Traditional Marketing Trumps Social Media Marketing Functionality

The top requested features among buyers were contact management (74 percent) and email marketing (55 percent). Only 4 percent of buyers requested social media marketing functionality.

marketing automation features - buyers guide
Most Requested Marketing Automation Features

Implications for Marketing Automation Software Buyers 

With 98 percent of buyers looking to buy marketing automation software for the first time, it’s clear that interest in marketing automation software is growing. The marketing automation software space has historically seen slow adoption but may now be picking up steam. Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of inbound marketing agency PR 20/20 says that “There’s so much more movement in the marketing technology space, as a whole, and so many more marketers are starting to pay attention and are understanding that there are lots more [software] choices [than in the past].” 

Researcher Commentary from Luke Wallace

Our data shows that almost all companies are evaluating marketing automation software for the first time. Many also still rely on manual marketing methods, such as pen and paper, spreadsheets and one-off emails to manage their marketing activities. As such, many are overwhelmed by managing contacts and leads and seek out marketing automation software to ease the burden. Given this, vendors would be wise to continue expanding contact and lead management capabilities and also offer solutions that better meet the needs of specific industries.

Even industries slower to adopt marketing automation are beginning to take notice. Thirty-seven percent of buyers in our sample work in real estate, an industry experts describe as notoriously slow to adopt. This makes sense. Real estate is a people-oriented industry and many agents may be hesitant to replace that human element they deeply value. Also, real estate transactions involve many different people and lots of paperwork—digitizing and automating all of this isn’t simple. That said, many real estate buyers we spoke with are looking to move away from industry-specific software that isn’t fully meeting their needs. As marketing automation software evolves, many see opportunity to improve upon their current methods. 


Our advisors regularly speak with buyers who contact Software Advice seeking new marketing automation software. To create this report, we randomly selected 365 of our advisors’ phone interactions with U.S. small-business buyers (from companies with annual revenues of $50 million or less) during 2014 to analyze. The data presented was collected from those interactions for business purposes rather than for market research.  

These findings exclusively represent those buyers who contacted Software Advice for guidance on software selection, and may not be indicative of the market as a whole. Expert commentary solely represents the views of the individual. Chart values are rounded to the nearest whole number.


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