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Report: Why digital marketers are embracing automation


Almost every digital marketer that uses automation software benefits from it, but these tools are currently more popular in the U.S. than in the U.K.

That’s according to a transatlantic survey of digital marketers commissioned by Zapier. The responses also show that digital marketers use automation software (software designed to automatically complete tasks) most often for following up quickly with leads and communicating effectively with their team.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who use automation software are much more likely to say they’re working in the most efficient way possible.

84 percent who use automation say they are working in the most efficient way possible

Almost everyone who uses automation software says they benefit from it

97 percent of U.K. and 94 percent of U.S. digital marketers say they benefit from automation software. But what are the most common benefits?

  • Automation software saves me time—59 percent (U.S.), 55 percent (U.K.)
  • Automation software allows me more time to work on other things I value/enjoy more—54 percent (U.S.), 50 percent (U.K.)
  • Automation software enables me to complete my projects faster—46 percent (U.S.), 39 percent (U.K.)

Those that use automation in the U.S. are much more likely than those who don’t to say they’re working in the most efficient way possible (84% vs. 65%) and are fulfilled in their role (87% vs 80%).

In the U.K., those who use automation are more likely than those who don’t to say they’re working in the most efficient way possible (76% vs. 51%).

62 percent of US digital marketers use automation

U.S. marketers are more likely to automate

Digital marketers in the U.K. are less likely to use automation software than their American counterparts. More than 6 in 10 U.S. digital marketers, and nearly 4 in 10 of those in the U.K., say they use automation software at work.

  • U.K. marketers are mindful of this gap—47 percent of U.K. digital marketers say that while they don’t currently use automation software at work, they plan to in the next one to two years.
four common ways marketers use automation

Automation helps marketers follow up with leads, communicate with their team, and more

What are digital marketers using automation software for? The answer varies only slightly by country, but lead management is big in both the U.S. and the U.K.

U.S. digital marketers use automation to:

  • Quickly follow up with leads—37 percent
  • Communicate effectively with their team—29 percent
  • Post on social media—12 percent

U.K. digital marketers use automation similarly, saying they use automation to:

  • Quickly follow up with leads—34 percent
  • Communicate effectively with their team—24 percent
  • Track and send customer email campaigns—21 percent
42 percent of US digital marketers say they’ll use more than six new apps in 2021

Marketers use more software than ever

Marketers on both sides of the Atlantic told us they plan to use more software than ever next year—software they will need in order to work efficiently.

  • Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of U.K. digital marketers anticipate that they’ll use six or more new apps or software in 2021.
  • Nearly double that—42 percent— will use the same amount of new apps or software in the U.S. in 2021.
  • That’s in addition to all the software they currently use, such as email, ads and conversion software, social media accounts, and analytics tools.
  • Over a quarter (27 percent) of U.S. and U.K. digital marketers say their company spends at least $25,000 on marketing software annually.

The benefits of automation are clear to people who use it. A majority of users on both sides of the pond agree that automation is an essential skill (U.S. at 81 percent and U.K. at 69 percent). That’s just maths—regardless of how you spell color.



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