European firm CleverTouch has released a first-of-its-kind report concerning the state of the marketing automation industry. Featuring insights from 200 Head Marketers and CMOs from across the US, UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the report documents adoption rates and in-house training for the automation software, as well as various difficulties those users are having in their marketing efforts. The survey reveals a gap in the perceived benefits of automation and the realities of adoption across the world.
The three most widely utilized features of automation, according to the survey, are lead generation, lead nurturing campaigns, and account-based marketing. Though usually perceived as more important than automation, only 31 percent of respondents said that CRM is more central to their operations than marketing automation. In fact, 51 percent of marketers stated that both are equally important to their organizations.
The report shows that automation has a steady home in modern marketing, with a staggering 80 percent of all respondents currently utilizing computer software. Despite this, 48 percent of the survey participants noted that their organizations had to recruit specialized external talent to learn the most they can about the software. In contrast, another 49 percent of participants noted that their organization relies on vendors to develop their automation knowledge.
There were some interesting revelations about marketing automation skills as well. 33 percent of those polled contract outside talent and consulting agencies to use their solutions, compared to the relatively small 13 percent of those who train in-house personnel to manage them. This may be indicative of the fact that automation is often initially perceived to be a trivially easy endeavor. This is backed up by the fact that 70 percent of all those who had not already implemented automation stated that they plan to train and up-skill existing staff to use it in the future.
The full State of Marketing Automation Adoption and Usage Report is available online here.