Nearly half of global marketers (45%) say the lack of an effective strategy is hampering the success of their marketing automation efforts, according to a recent report from Ascend2.

Other factors seen as major hindrances to marketing automation success include budget limitations (44% of marketers cite as a challenging obstacle), lack of skilled staff (40%), insufficient data quality (34%), lack of management buy-in (23%), and the difficult-to-use interfaces of marketing automation software tools (22%).

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 291 global marketing, sales, and business professionals.

Satisfaction and Goals

  • 69% of respondents say their current marketing automation efforts are somewhat successful; 24% say they are very successful; and 7% say they are not successful.
  • 45% say improving productivity is one of their top goals for marketing automation; 44% say increasing sales revenue is a top goal.

Resources and Tools

  • 52% of respondents say their company handles all of its marketing automation efforts in-house; 41% use a combo of in-house and outsourced resources; 7% fully outsource.
  • 41% say the quality of analytics and reporting tools is a top factor in choosing a marketing automation system; 40% say ease of use as a top factor; 34% look for an all-in-one solution.


  • 57% of respondents say knowing the rate at which leads are converted is one of the most useful metrics to measure marketing automation performance
  • 42% say revenue generated is a key metric, and 40% cite lead generation ROI.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 291 global marketing, sales, and business professionals.

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2014 Marketing Automation Benchmarks and Trends

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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