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Marketing Automation: A Look Back at 2018 and a Look Ahead to 2019

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As we move into 2019, we’d like to recap the current state of marketing automation and technology with a series of statistics pulled from research firms dedicated to gathering industry reports. If you’re just getting started, the term "marketing automation" refers to technology and strategy used to automate communication with leads and contacts.

In today’s demand for a personalized customer experience and increased demand for content, marketing technology is becoming a staple and foundation for developing and executing well-crafted marketing strategies for companies of all shapes and sizes.

Marketing automation has helped businesses save time, become more efficient, and create seamless and personalized customer experiences. Today’s technology is providing automated workflows, responders to leads, drip campaigns for nurturing leads down your sales funnel, and personalized customer journeys to deliver content specially tailored to segmented leads. It’s allowing companies to bridge the gap between sales and marketing, and becoming a major initiative for 2019.

So let’s get started with a few statistics describing the benefits of adopting a marketing automation!

According to the 2018 Demand Gen Report:

  • Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead

  • 4 in 5 users increased their leads by using marketing automation software and almost as many (77%) saw an increase in conversions

  • 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in the number of leads, and 77% had an increase in conversions

  • 91% of marketing automation users agree it is “very important” to the overall success of their online marketing activities

  • 63% of marketers plan to increase their marketing automation budget this year

  • 74% of respondents said the technology’s ability to save them time was its largest benefit

  • 92% of users said their man goal was to improve their qualified lead pipeline, closely followed by customer retention (81%) and the lead nurturing process (66%)

  • Most important goals for marketing automation strategy:

    • 61% - Increase lead generation

    • 57% - lead nurturing

    • 47% - sales revenue

    • 36% - improving customer engagement

    • 29% - marketing productivity

    • 28% - improving campaign measurability

    • 22% - improving campaign targeting

Research pulled from the recent report on the Email Monday Blog:

  • Spending for Marketing Automation tools will grow vigorously over the next few years, reaching $25.1 billion annually by 2023 from $11.4 billion in 2017. – Forrester “Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017 to 2023 (Global)” (2018)

  • 55% of marketing decision-makers plan to increase their spending on Marketing Technology, with one-fifth of the respondents expecting to increase by 10 percent or more. 38% will spend the same, while only 8% decreases their spend – Forrester “Data Global Business Technographics Marketing Survey” (2018)

  • Mapping the customer experience (53%) and use of personalized/dynamic content (51%) are deemed the most effective tactics for optimizing marketing automation. – Ascend2 “Optimizing Marketing Automation survey” (June 2018)

  • Marketing automation is used by 42% of companies, CRM / sales automation systems by 54%, while Email marketing technology has the highest adoption. It is used by 82% of companies. – Ascend2 “Marketing Technology Strategy” (August 2015)

  • Business Owners, Executives and Marketers asked to identify the biggest benefit of Marketing Automation for them, say it is Saving time (30%) following with Lead Generation (22%) Increase in Revenue (17%) Customer Retention (11%), Tracking and Monitoring of marketing campaigns (8%) and a shortened sales cycle (2%) –SmartInsights and Getresponse “Email Marketing and Marketing automation Excellence 2018” (2018).

  • Only 8% of companies see increased revenues within 6 months of adopting marketing automation. After one year of MA use 32% claim to see increased revenue. For those to have been using it for more than two years the figure is 40%. – and Circle Research “Benchmarking Report Marketing automation” (2015)

  • Delivering personalized content and integration of marketing systems are the most challenging barriers to marketing automation success. With 44% and 43% of marketing influencers saying so. – Ascend2 “Optimizing Marketing Automation survey” (June 2018)

  • Content personalization, artificial intelligence and predictive modeling, and customer experience mapping are the most difficult tactics for optimizing marketing automation. – Ascend2 “Optimizing Marketing Automation survey” (June 2018)


As you can see from the statistics above, marketing automation is a becoming a must for small to midsize businesses in today’s highly competitive and digital world. It is at the center of focus for companies looking to increase their online presence, create more personalized marketing campaigns to improve lead nurturing effectiveness, and drive more conversions in 2019.


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