35 Marketing Automation Stats to Make You Look Smart

What do marketers love even more than new tools? Even more than reports, or new technology? And … maybe even more than results?


Statistics are the first thing we mention in our presentations and our articles. They’re what we cite to justify our budgets. You have only to look at most marketers’ social media feeds to see it. We marketers just love our statistics. Especially, it seems, our marketing automation statistics.

So have at it. Indulge your addiction. Here are 35 marketing automation stats to know and love and share and cite. They’re all fresh stats, too – none are more than a couple years old. So get your Hermione on (as in Miss Granger, if you please). We’ve got some data to crunch.

Is marketing automation just a flash-in-the-pan kind of trend?

1. Nope. It is hot, and continues to get hotter. Searches for the term have increased more than three-fold over the last five years.

This is a Google Trends screenshot showing how searches for marketing automation continue to increase. Read the post for more marketing automation stats.

Who’s most interested in it?

2. People from the United States, India, and Australia are doing the most searches for the term “marketing automation.” Canadians follow fairly close behind, with UK searchers a bit behind them.

Who uses marketing automation?

Depends on whom you ask. Here are a couple different takes on that question:

3. According to Ascend2’s 2016 Marketing Automation Trends survey, 71% of companies use marketing automation. Most of the companies that aren’t using it plan to do so in the near future.

Ascend2's 2016 Marketing Automation trends survey revealed that 71%25 of companies use marketing automation.

4. Real estate companies are showing enthusiasm for marketing automation. In the 2015 Thought Leader Survey by Imprev, roughly one-third of real estate firms said they were using marketing automation. And 56% said they planned to invest more in it in 2016.

5. That one-third measurement is consistent with results from TFM&A’s The 2015 Marketing Technology Report. In their survey, 61% of respondents weren’t using marketing automation at all.

6. Some reports challenge that one-third estimate. Apteco’s 2016 study found that “eight out of ten marketers use marketing automation, or aspire to do so.”

7. Want an exact count of how many businesses use marketing automation? Marketing Automation Insider’s infographic has it. They estimate more than 142,000 businesses were using marketing automation in 2015 (and to good effect):

Marketing Automation Insider estimates more than 142,000 businesses used marketing automation in 2015.

Can marketing automation help us get ahead?

It appears so. Two different studies show that top-performing companies tend to use marketing automation.

8. According to the Act-On/Gleanster report, Rethinking the Role of Marketing In B2B Customer Engagement, “Top Performers were 20% more likely than the average organization to currently use marketing automation technology.”

9. That’s consistent with this stat from Aberdeen Research: “58% of Best-in-Class marketing organizations use a marketing automation platform.”

What is marketing automation used for?

10. This is one of the best-kept secrets of marketing automation – it works for both customer acquisition and for retention. In our “Rethinking the Role of Marketing In B2B Customer Engagement” report, we found that half of top-performing B2B companies use marketing automation for customer retention.


11. But that doesn’t mean marketing automation isn’t awesome for customer acquisition. In Aberdeen Research’s report Managing Marketing Automation Expectations: How To Win With The Right Approach they found “MAP (marketing automation) users decrease customer acquisition costs year-over-year at over twice the rate of non-users.”


12. For recruitment (surprise!). Interestingly enough, in Imprev’s survey, real estate firms are also keen to use automation to find hires, too. They reported 74% of executives surveyed said marketing automation was “valuable” or “extremely valuable” for recruiting.

13. Marketing automation can be done through any marketing channel, but email is definitely the channel most often used for it. This graph from Adestra and eConsultancy’s 2016 Email Marketing Industry Census shows that having marketing automation capabilities is one of the most important attributes companies want from their email service providers.


14. That’s interesting, because if you look at it from the other side – what features marketers want in a marketing automation system – email comes in fourth place.

In Ascend2's Marketing Automation Trends Survey they ranked which marketing automation features are most useful

This supports what many marketing automation experts have been saying for a while – that there’s way more to marketing automation than just email.

How do companies specifically use email marketing for marketing automation?

15. Like this:


How important is marketing automation to most companies?

16. Very. In Ascend2’s 2016 Marketing Automation Trends survey, 76% of the marketers surveyed said marketing automation is “very important” to the overall performance of their marketing. Another 23% said it is “somewhat important.”

What are the most common goals for a marketing automation program?

17. Lead generation and lead nurturing. Marketing automation is especially good at these things, but many marketers use it for other stuff, too.


Which metrics do marketers use to measure those goals?

18. Conversion rate and revenue generated top the list. Of those marketers surveyed, 62% said conversion rate was the most useful metric for measuring their marketing automation performance, and 48% said revenue generated was also important to them.


How much does marketing automation help with lead generation?

19. A lot. Here’s proof: “Businesses that have automated significant portions of their marketing processes generate 34% more of their revenue from marketing-generated leads than average,and 153% more than those not intending to automate.” That’s from Ascend2’s 2015 Data Driven Marketing B2B Marketing Automation Benchmarks. This stat is also listed in Act-On’s Fast Facts 2016

How effective is marketing automation?

Oh, so much data here. Plenty of studies to cite:

20. In Ascend2’s 2016 Marketing Automation Trends survey:

  • 32% of marketers said marketing automation has been “very successful” for achieving their marketing goals
  • 59% said it was somewhat successful
  • Only 9% said it has been unsuccessful

21. According to a 2015 Venture Beat report, “80% of MAP (marketing automation) users see their leads increase, and 77% see conversions increase.”

22. In B2Bmarketing.net and Circle Research’s Benchmarking Report Marketing automation, “17% say marketing Automation has been very beneficial for their company, 57% quite beneficial, 26% see limited to no benefit.”


23. Aberdeen also found that marketing automation users tend to see improved effectiveness for all their different marketing objectives.


24. Not every study paints such a rosy picture, though. Here’s how marketers responded to this question for the Adestra/eConsultancy survey:


What are the biggest benefits of marketing automation?

25. Efficiency. From Statista: “73 percent of surveyed marketers believed that one of the main advantages of using marketing automation was an increase in efficiency.”

26. Saving time (which is another way to say efficiency). According to Adestra’s Marketer vs Machine report, “Marketers say that the biggest benefits of automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%), and increased opportunities, including up-selling (58%).”

Is marketing automation worth the price?

27. Most marketers say yes. According to Jordie van Rijn, summarizing Venture Beat Insights research, “The majority of users think marketing automation is worth the price. 10% find it inexpensive, 47% fairly priced, 22% pricey but worth it and 11% too expensive. 10% was not sure.”


How easy is it to use marketing automation?

28. Not so much. According to that Venture Beat research, “Only 29% [of their survey respondents] said they had no issues or delays in getting results.”

29. That’s almost exactly what net and Circle Research saw: “61% agree that the implementation process of Marketing Automation was difficult.”


How long does it take to see results?

30. Six months or less, roughly. In Ascend2’s survey, 63% respondents said they began realizing benefits from marketing automation within six months.


What resources are used for marketing automation? In-house, outsourced or a combination?

31. According to our oft-referenced Ascend2 study:

  • 51% of marketers say they use a combination of outsourced and in-house resources
  • 37% use in-house resources only
  • 12% of marketers outsource their marketing automation to a specialist

What are the challenges to using marketing automation?

32. Three answers for you on this one. The first is from the Adestra/Econsultancy study. [Note that Adestra’s study skews a bit toward Europe, and the Ascend2 survey skews a bit toward the US market.]


33. The second is from the Ascend2 study. They report that strategy is the biggest obstacle.


34. The third is from the Aberdeen report. They say, “The top pain for 37% of marketing automation platform (MAP) users is maintaining the right personnel to execute effectively.”


How hard is it to keep up with marketing automation best practices?

35. Not so bad, actually. Only “22% of marketers report that they aren’t confident they can stay up to date with marketing automation best practices, 79% were confident they could,” according to B2Bmarketing.net and Circle Research.



I hope all the stats didn’t make you dizzy. But all those numbers should help us get a better handle on what’s really happening with marketing automation. There’s solid information from these studies that proves:

  • We’re still early in our adoption of marketing automation
  • Marketing automation can be used for way more than just customer acquisition
  • Email isn’t the only channel for marketing automation, though it’s clearly the biggest one (for now)
  • Marketing automation is effective. Not every marketer says so, but enough of us say so to prove it’s worth the effort

What do you think?

Surely, I’ve missed at least a few valuable statistics about marketing automation. Do you know of any others that aren’t mentioned here? We’d appreciate your help. Leave a comment and tell us what they are.