According to Ascend2’s recently released “Marketing Automation Trends” survey for 2016, 76 percent of marketers rate marketing automation as “very important” to the overall performance of marketing, up 11 percentage points compared to survey results from a year ago.
The majority of marketers (61 percent) hope to increase lead generation with marketing automation strategies, while 57 percent want to improve lead nurturing, and 47 percent hope to increase sales revenue. Another 36 percent intend to improve customer engagement via marketing automation strategies.
Around one-third (32 percent) of companies surveyed rated their marketing automation strategies as “very successful” at achieving important goals like increasing lead generation. An additional 59 percent rated their marketing automation strategies as somewhat successful in achieving business goals.
When looking at the challenges marketers are facing, 52 percent of respondents believe the most significant barrier to marketing automation success is a lack of an effective strategy. Forty-two percent of respondents believe the complexity of the system is a challenge, and 38 percent cited inadequate contact data quality as a challenge.
Those that are utilizing marketing automation believe the analytics and reporting capabilities are the most useful features (51 percent), followed by campaign management and lead nurturing (46 percent each).
A Look Back at Marketing Automation in 2015
The 2015 “Marketing Automation Strategy” survey from Ascend2 showed that 65 percent of marketers believe marketing automation is very important to the overall success of their marketing campaigns.
A lack of in-house expertise was cited as the most challenging obstacle to overcome, and 67 percent respondents found using both outside and in-house resources was beneficial for creating successful marketing automation strategies.