The most commonly cited reason for evaluating marketing automation software is to improve lead management, with 40% buyers citing it as their company's primary motivation, according to a recent report from Software Advice.

Buyers looking to improve lead management say they have two needs from the software: to nurture buyers until they're Sales-ready, and to score leads to better determine when a buyer is Sales-ready.

The second most common reason for considering marketing automation software is a desire to automate processes: 30% of buyers say they want to simplify tasks such as sending triggered email messages based on customer behavior on their websites.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from 896 interactions with marketing automation software buyers. The vast majority of buyers examined (91%) were evaluating marketing automation software for the first time.

Most-Desired Features

  • 81% of potential marketing automation software buyers want lead nurturing features and 64% want the ability to lead-score—not surprising, considering that better lead management is the primary motivator.
  • Reporting and analytics is also a major focus, with 70% of buyers requesting such features. Several buyers interviewed said they "have no way to measure the ROI of their marketing campaigns or identify metrics" and are looking for a better way to report on Marketing's effectiveness.
  • Email marketing is another highly desired feature, with 47% of buyers citing the need for it.
  • Only 6% say they want social media features.

Industry Trends

  • High-tech businesses seem most interested in marketing automation software. They make up 23% of the buyers examined.
  • Consulting and manufacturing are also among the top industries evaluating marketing automation, accounting for 11% and 8% of those evaluating software, respectively.

About the research: The report was based on data from 896 interactions with marketing automation software buyers; 50% of them have fewer than 50 employees, and 15% have 500 or more.

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What Marketers Look for in Automation Software

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a writer, editor, and a content strategist. He is a co-founder of ICW Media and a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji