Marketing Automation Report 2023: Analysis

Lena M.
6 min read
23.11.2023 11:57:00

To find out how companies are using marketing & sales automation, we worked with the ZHAW and an expert research team to produce the Marketing Automation Report 2023.

In this video, we share experiences from science and practice. The results of the study show that 75% of the companies surveyed consider marketing automation to be relevant. In addition, marketing automation has become the fourth most important marketing technology this year, just behind CRM, email marketing, and search engine marketing.

Companies benefit from marketing & sales automation by saving time on repetitive tasks, like lead generation, which ultimately leads to more conversions.

But despite these advances, there are still challenges, such as a lack of resources or undefined processes for systematically nurturing leads and customers. It is not easy to learn to run with it, but there is one main criterion for success: a well-thought-out plan.

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Due to the importance of having a plan, we have developed the Marketing Automation Maturity Index (MAMI) - a benchmark tool that helps companies analyze, create, and implement marketing & sales automation strategies.

You can get the Marketing Automation Report 2023 by registering for the On-demand webinar or via this landing page: the report as a PDF, handouts, and summaries, all compactly packaged on this page.

MAMI is the compass for the best path to automated marketing. With this maturity model, we want to show that it requires a lot of attention in specific areas and that planning is an elementary component that should not be forgotten. MAMI originated from a master's thesis at the ZHAW by Alina Garbin and is continuously being improved.

Our experts share their experiences and challenges from practice as well as the benefits and use cases that work reliably. They are also happy to answer your questions, so take the opportunity to learn from these professionals.

In this report, you will learn more about the challenges of using marketing automation and how the MAMI can help you to recognize your position compared to the benchmark in the B2B sector. Let's find out together how we can use marketing & sales automation effectively and take our companies to the next level. 

The Challenges

The biggest obstacles to the introduction of marketing automation in the company (n = 251)

Welches sind die grössten Hindernisse bei der Einführung von Marketing Automation im Unternehmen?

  1. Lack of resources for content marketing: 72% of companies see this as a medium to major challenge. Small companies in particular, which have difficulties creating good content and distributing it via various channels, are affected by this.

  2. Lack of information about contacts who are ready to buy: 64% of companies have problems finding out which leads are ready to buy. This makes it difficult to decide whether they are cold or hot leads.

  3. Lack of processes for systematic lead nurturing: For almost one in four companies, a lack of or suboptimal lead processing is one of the biggest challenges.

  4. Lack of resources for lead generation and processing: 72% of companies find it difficult to provide sufficient resources for customer acquisition.

  5. Lack of budget: For every second company, a lack of budget is a major or medium challenge. This mainly affects SMEs, which need both human and financial resources to drive marketing and sales automation.

Benefits and Technologies

In short, marketing automation and therefore also sales automation is super important and is becoming increasingly important in order to remain competitive and conduct effective marketing.

Basic technologies such as CRM systems, email marketing and search engine marketing should be used by every company.

However, marketing is becoming more and more technological and sophisticated. There are now more than 10,000 tools to choose from!

Our study shows that marketing automation is also becoming increasingly important: In just two years, the proportion of companies describing it as very relevant has risen from 18% to 42%.


  1. Companies can save time and increase efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and using personalized communication.
  2. Marketing automation helps to generate more leads (and higher quality leads), which is particularly relevant in B2B.
  3. Personalized communication improves the relevance of content for customers and promotes customer loyalty.
  4. Marketing automation can also reduce costs and make more effective use of the marketing budget.

The study shows that 75% of the companies surveyed consider marketing automation to be relevant, and it is now the fourth most important marketing technology after CRM, email marketing and search engine marketing as of this year:


How Relevant is Marketing Automation Compared to Other Marketing Technologies (n = 290)

Relevance has increased dramatically over the past three years.

Wie relevant sind folgende Marketing-Technologien für Unternehmen?

How relevant is Marketing automation for B2B-companies.

Marketing Automation Maturity Inde (MAMI)

The Benchmark for Marketing Automation

MAMI helps you to measure your level of maturity in Marketing & Sales Automation. There are six dimensions: Strategy, Content, Organization, Processes, Data and Use Cases:

  1. Strategy: Without a clear strategy and management support, it will be difficult to successfully implement marketing automation.
  2. Content marketing: you need to provide informative content and distribute it efficiently via various channels.
  3. Organization: Marketing and sales should work together, responsibilities must be clarified and interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial.
  4. Processes: Make sure you have your processes under control before you start with marketing automation.
  5. Data: Data must be available and you should be able to use it for detailed analysis.
  6. Use cases: There are many exciting possibilities here, e.g. social media content distribution, welcome email sequences, lead nurturing or trigger-based emails.

The Dimension of the Maturity Model

As part of this study, a maturity model for automation was developed, the Marketing Automation Maturity Index (MAMI). It consists of six dimensions: strategy, content, organization, processes, data and automation (use cases). For this purpose, 40 questions were asked about automation maturity.


In the strategy dimension, it became clear that two-thirds of the companies have a clear differentiation from the competition and a precisely defined target group.

For these companies, marketing automation plays an important role in the growth strategy, and the strategic goals are continuously monitored using key performance indicators (KPIs).

Strategische Ausrichtung und Planung des Unternehmens

Strategic orientation and planning of the company


In the content category, most companies have a variety of informative materials such as articles, images and product videos.

In two thirds of companies, content creation is centralized and is efficiently prepared for various channels, distributed and recycled in marketing.

Content-Marketing und Produktinformationen

Content marketing and product information


The organization dimension shows that the majority of the companies surveyed maintain a balanced cooperation between marketing and sales.

These departments work on an equal footing and pursue common goals, which enables them to align their strategies in an efficient and targeted manner.

Skalierbarkeit und Organisationsstruktur

Scalability and organizational structure


The processes dimension shows that three-quarters of the companies surveyed effectively exchange customer data across departmental boundaries.

 Customer data is exchanged across departments via a shared CRM system.

Nevertheless, half of the companies have not yet established standardized processes for lead generation and customer care, which makes digitalization, marketing, and sales automation more difficult. 


Prozesse der Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation processes


In the data dimension, it is clear that around a third of the companies surveyed consistently record the interactions between leads and customers. This systematic data collection enables companies to gain precise insights into customer behavior and needs and to optimize their strategies on this basis.

Despite these advanced approaches, the majority of respondents do not yet use comprehensive customer, sales, and behavioral data. This deficit in data usage can be a barrier to fully realizing the potential of data-driven marketing and sales strategies.

Datengetriebenes Marketing und Technologien

Data-driven marketing and technologies

Use Cases

The use cases dimension shows that the majority of the companies surveyed have already successfully implemented email campaigns with “non-sales content”.

In addition, around half of the companies carry out special communication and administration processes aimed at improving customer satisfaction. 


Häufige Use Cases für Marketing Automation

Common use cases for Marketing automation