Why Are Only 2% of Marketers Using Marketing Automation to its Full Potential?

Why Are Only 2% of Marketers Using Marketing Automation to its Full Potential?

Anas Bouargane 03/03/2020 3
Marketing Automation

Communigator, providers of marketing automation software, have been investigating how marketers have been utilising marketing automation.

Marketing automation can create a world of difference for all forms of business. Small businesses can use this to remain relevant and competitive while larger businesses can take advantage of this technology to keep up with high demands and levels of clients.

The days of cold calling are dwindling and marketing automation eradicate wasted man-hours chasing cold leads.

That’s not to say that cold calling can ever be replaced and in this technology-led age, many customers see many businesses as cold and the personal, human touch is still wanted by some.

Unfortunately, cold calling can be seen as a nuisance by many, whereas the occasional unwanted email does not have the same negative impact. If you are still providing the more personal touch make sure you are proactive with staff training on cold calling to ensure you don’t disgruntle your prospective customers.

The survey was previously conducted in 2016 and again in late 2019 to generate a comparison of how users’ habits are evolving.

Respondents were asked the following seven questions:

How do you rate the overall effectiveness of Marketing Automation in your business?

Marketing Automation 1

Previously, 18% of marketers were not using marketing automation at all, in 2019 this figure changed to one in eight. However, both years showed 28% were not using as many features as in 2015.

Which of these automated email marketing techniques do you use?

Marketing Automation 2

In both 2016 and 2019, the most popular method of automated email marketing techniques was the sending on an initial welcome email. However, this figure dropped from 68% to 62% over the three years.

Nurturing emails sent based on a user’s content and browser history has remained the second favourite method and is the only technique that has seen an increase in the last three years.

Businesses are now focusing their attention on active customers who are showing an interest in their service or product rather than trying to entice inactive customers back to their business.

How Was the Level of the Type of Email Targeting Rated?

Marketing Automation 3

By utilising data from users’ activity, marketing automation can be an essential tool for targeted emails. Previously, 29% of marketers were not tailoring their emails to reflect this.

This means that all recipients receive the same email, despite possible large variations inactivity, in turn, this could lead to lost conversions.

This is most likely due to the lack of knowledge from businesses on how effective this really can be on generating revenue.

However, there has still been an increase from 2016 to 2019 from only 4% of businesses using tailored email to 18% doing so.

Which Types of Lead Scoring Techniques Did Businesses Use?

Marketing Automation 4

Giving a user a ‘score’ based on their on-site activity is known as lead scoring and this still remains the most favoured method.

If used to its full advantage, this is a tool that can be incredibly effective. Businesses are given the ability to filter through their online users and make a judgement regarding who is sincere in purchasing their product or service.

Tracking clicks within emails remains the most popular tool of lead scoring and these scores can be used to determine precise data about the user.

How Were Activities Rated in Relation to Their ROI for Businesses?

Marketing Automation 5

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was still very much in its infancy in 2016, therefore, data for how effective businesses conveyed AI on ROI was only collected in 2019. As this technology progresses, Communigator hopes to obtain more data in future studies.

In 2019, personalised landing pages, based on existing user data and utilising AI to generate actionable insights, was the most popular form of AI use.

This typically consists of manipulating a homepage to reflect previous site visits.

What are the Biggest Barriers to the Adoption of Marketing Automation Functionality?

Marketing Automation 6

So, why are businesses not using Marketing Automation to its full potential despite the potential it can provide for generating leads and business?

The hesitation of integrating this technology to outdated systems appears to be the biggest barrier. There is also a common theme of lack of staff knowledge, whether that be on how this technology works or how effective it can be.

We can see from this that the deciding factors for not adopting Marketing Automation are down to lack of knowledge and resources, including time and staff.

Which Persuasive Techniques were Used to Encourage Email Sign Up in 2019?

Marketing Automation 7

The previous techniques would swiftly become redundant if businesses are unable to obtain contact details from clients. So how are marketers persuading the public to provide these?

Key pages containing sign-up messages are the most popular method of doing so with 56% choosing this. Following this, 44% offer free content in exchange for providing an email address.

Signing in via social media has come out as one of the most popular methods and this has declined significantly over the years, most likely due to GDPR laws being introduced meaning these platforms must encrypt this data, rendering it useless to marketers.


Lack of knowledge seems to be the biggest reason as to why only 2% of B2B businesses are not using marketing automation to its full potential.

Outdated systems prove as the biggest barrier to companies not making the switch and could be a large contributing factor to leads being lost.

You can read the study in more depth here.

Author Bio

Simon Moss is a Chartered Marketer with over ten years’ marketing experience gained primarily in the B2B marketplace. He is currently the Marketing Director for CommuniGator – A leading marketing automation and lead generation software provider allowing you to manage every step of your digital journey.

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  • David Wilkinson

    Very helpful...

  • TJ Beasley

    Excellent article

  • Debbi

    Hi Simon Moss, Really great info...Thanks for sharing.

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Anas Bouargane

Business Expert

Anas is the founder of CEF Académie, a platform that provides guidance and support for those willing to study in France. He previously interned at Unissey. Anas holds a bachelor degree in economics, finance and management from the University of Toulon.

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