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SoftwareAdvice-Most-Requested-Marketing-Automation-Software-Features-Feb2014B2B marketers using fully integrated marketing automation are more likely than their peers to report being highly efficient and effective at marketing, per a recent report. The outlook for the marketing automation industry certainly looks bright; according to a recent forecast from Raab Associates, the market could grow by 60% this year to reach $1.2 billion. Now, newly-released survey results from Software Advice provide insights into why buyers are evaluating marketing automation software and what features they’re most interested in.

Based on almost 900 interactions with marketing automation software buyers that took place last year, Software Advice determined that buyers are most commonly evaluating marketing automation software to improve lead management, with 40% indicating this to be their primary motivation. Not far behind, 30% are basing their evaluation on a need to automate processes.

The most-requested features are a logical follow-on from those responses. The most requested feature is lead nurturing, cited by 80.7% of buyers, followed by reporting/analytics (69.8%), lead scoring (64.3%), email marketing (47%) and drip marketing (43.4%). Fewer are interested in social media marketing (5.8%) and segmentation (2.9%) features.

The focus on reporting and analytics owes to a desire for better revenue attribution, according to Software Advice and Raab Associates’ David Raab. Of note, though, the survey finds few to be looking for ROI tracking features, despite the added pressure marketers are feeling today to prove their effectiveness.

In other survey results, high tech companies were the most-highly represented among buyers (23% share), followed by consulting (11%) and manufacturing (8%) companies. Some 8 in 10 buyers were already using some form of software to manage marketing operations, most commonly CRM software (48%). Software Advice research on the most-requested CRM software features can be found here.

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