Almost one fifth of companies adopting marketing automation boost revenue 75% or more

Image Credit: Ian Clleary

A full quarter of companies that adopt marketing automation boost revenue between 30 and 49 percent, according to a new study by RazorSocial’s Ian Cleary. Another 20 percent of companies see revenue jump between 15 and 29 percent.

But significant errors in system selection can lead to negative ROI — and dissatisfaction.

Respondents in the study

Above: Respondents in the study

Image Credit: Ian Cleary

“Picking the wrong tool, not assigning the right resources, and not managing the initial and ongoing implementation can lead to reduced or even non-existent ROI,” Cleary says. “Almost half of those who have implemented marketing automation are not sure, months or years later, whether the time, energy, and money to do marketing automation has been worth it.”

That’s a striking dichotomy: significant ROI on the one hand, and seemingly inexplicable unhappiness with results on the other hand. Other researchers have reported similar confusing results.

One cause is confounding variables, according to Cleary.

Cleary’s report is available on VB Intel:
How to dramatically increase revenue with marketing automation tools

The reason is that most companies implement a marketing automation system when they are either in a state of growth, expecting growth, or planning for growth. So your sales might be increasing anyway, making it harder to determine what actually caused the growth.

“Your automation tool may help you increase revenue more quickly, but all revenue increases may not be attributable to marketing automation exclusively,” Cleary says.

Correlation may not conclusively indicate causation, but the connection between marketing automation and growth is strong. The most common result, achieved by just over a third of firms, is that companies adopting marketing automation increased revenue modestly, between five to 10 percent. Over 10 percent saw a massive 50-74 percent increase, however, and almost 20 percent experienced greater than a 75 percent increase in revenue.

Almost 150 companies using marketing automation participated in the study.

As Cleary’s research shows, however, there’s a lot of room to grow. Companies that select the wrong system don’t see the results that they want, and about 60 percent of companies that adopt marketing automation are not sure if they’ve picked the right solution.

One key, Cleary says, is a step that many companies skimp on: investing in the implementation.

“Without a plan, with target dates to achieve each stage, the implementation will drag on, and this will cost you money,” he writes in the report.


More information:

With more than 100,000 customers, is the enterprise cloud computing company that is leading the shift to the social enterprise. Social enterprises leverage social, mobile and open cloud technologies to put customers at t... read more »

Eloqua, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle, is the leading provider of modern marketing automation and revenue performance management software that helps ensure every component of marketing works harder and more efficiently to drive r... read more »

Marketo (NASDAQ: MKTO) provides the leading marketing software for companies of all sizes to build and sustain engaging customer relationships. Spanning today’s digital, social, mobile and offline channels, Marketo’s® customer eng... read more »

Pardot is a B2B cloud marketing automation software provider that increases revenue and maximizes efficiency for companies with multi-touch sales cycles. Pardot's platform features CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead... read more »

Act-On was created to empower small and mid-sized businesses to effectively market online at a fraction of the effort and cost incurred by larger enterprises. Little beyond email marketing existed to serve small marketing teams until A... read more »

HubSpot is the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform. Since 2006, HubSpot has been on a mission to make the world more inbound. Today, over 10,000 customers in 65 countries use HubSpot’s software, services, and suppo... read more »

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endless clubbing
endless clubbing

 This bar chart is completely unreadable because of poor color choice and styling. The person who produced this report should evaluate how to make their hard work and research more accessible to readers. The amount of work he asks the reader to do to glean even the most basic numbers is really excessive. 

For example, data points could easily be added on each bar segment, or a table below showing the values, so you're not left guessing at what percentage each bar space represents. The reader is left guessing at the actual values of the chart. The y axis is also unlabeled, which is a totally unacceptable oversight for a $300 report. Does that y axis represent an absolute number of customers responding to the survey, or a percentage of respondents, or some other factor that I'm not thinking of? 


Excited to be apart of this and see such great results! Thanks VentureBeat

Rene de Vries
Rene de Vries

An additional graph which would show the revenue change per vendor would be interesting....

Boncratious Masi
Boncratious Masi

Sorry, but that top bar graph is almost completely incomprehensible.

John Koetsier
John Koetsier moderator VB Staff

@Boncratious Masi sorry!

If you can get past the almost, it shows percentages of MA users who have experiences a variety of ROI results (absolutely height of each column). Within that you've got specific MA vendors, so you can see that pretty much the most common increase in sales for Hubspot is between 15-30%, for instance.