The State of Marketing Automation 2017



The aim of the following research is to get a clear grasp of the trends that shaped the marketing automation landscape in 2016. The research was conducted using SimilarTech’s sales and business intelligence tool. Every web technology leaves a footprint on a website. It could be in the HTML, web requests or even DNS records. SimilarTech is a big data company that has massively scaled crawlers that extract this data and is able to scan 100 millions web and mobile web pages every day to find changes in web technology adoption across the internet.

We hope you will find the data in this research useful, if you do, please share with your colleagues.


Disclaimer 1: We’re a HubSpot Gold Partner agency but we’re also (sort of) mature adults and as such you can rest assure we’ve kept it neutral.

Disclaimer 2: Note that all website data in this report includes subdomains (we didn’t extract unique domain data).

The report

  • First things first, what is marketing automation?
  • Overview of the marketing automation landscape in 2016
    • How many solutions are there?
    • The 6 dominant technologies
    • Market distribution
    • What industries use marketing automation?
    • Adoption per industry
    • Adoption per revenue tier
    • Distribution per traffic volumes
    • Distribution per geolocation
    • Further breakdown of each technology per leading geolocations
  • Market Growth in 2016
    • Growth in 2016 per technology
  • “Companies who use this also use”
  • Summing things up

First things first, what is marketing automation?

In a nutshell: marketing automation refers to softwares and technologies that enable marketers to collect data and automate marketing activities (such as sending emails, classifying leads, scheduling social media messages, and more) in order to:
1. help leads find their own path to a purchase
2. nurture leads
3. retain customers and reduce churn

Overview of the marketing automation landscape How many technology options are there?

There are 34 different technologies under the marketing automation umbrella. Some are laser focused on specific features (for example LiveRamp – a tool specializing in automating data onboarding or OwnerIQ – a second party data and decisioning solutions tool), whilst others provide a wide range of features covering various stages of the sales-marketing funnel.

This research will focus on the 6 most dominant technologies (those with at least 10K websites using their technology and provide solutions that go beyond advertising).

The 6 dominant technologies in 2016 (arranged alphabetically)

Act On
1 Act-On
2 Eloqua
3 HubSpot
Infusion Soft
4 Infusionsoft
5 Marketo
Salesforce Pardot
6 Pardot

Market distribution in 2016

The total number of websites using marketing automation technologies in 2016 was 482,765
The 6 dominant technologies are installed on 276,437 websites


Out of the 6 dominant technologies, HubSpot had the largest market share in 2016. However, it’s important to understand that each solution offers different pricing and features and is suited to different types of companies. For example, Marketo is typically a better fit for enterprises while HubSpot is typically a better fit for medium sized companies. This could explain the reason HubSpot has a larger market share than Marketo.

The 6 biggest technologies currently hold over 57% of the market share

What industries use marketing automation

Industry Percentage of Market
Business & Industry 40.69
Internet & Telecom 8.97
Computer & Electronics 7.32
Health 6.73
Arts & Entertainment 5.63
Career & Education 4.93
Shopping 4.84
Pets & Animals 4.78
Finance 3.79
Sports 2.29
Travel 1.86
People & Society 1.66
Law & Government 1.24
Industry Percentage of Market
Autos & Vehicles 1.03
Food & Drink 0.92
Beauty & Fitness 0.72
Science 0.70
Adult 0.44
Recreation & Hobbies 0.37
Games 0.31
News & Media 0.28
Home & Garden 0.17
Books & Literature 0.16
Reference 0.09
Gambling 0.05

Marketing automation is most popular among B2B companies. This comes as no surprise as marketing automation is very useful in cases of complex sales cycles and long decision making processes (properties that are very characteristic to B2B companies).

Adoption per revenue tier


The following break down displays the distribution of technologies by company revenue tier. Surprisingly, there isn’t a clear distribution between SMBs, mid-markets and enterprises.

Yearly revenue/ websites installing technology Act-On Eloqua HubSpot Infusionsoft Marketo Pardot
0-1M 3764 2879 34181 28150 12935 9276
1M-10M 686 107 9384 4929 2195 1070
10M-50M 1683 388 7626 614 10063 3854
50M-100M 462 169 1563 114 5947 1062
100M-200M 244 160 848 54 1098 570
200M-1B 210 337 1661 66 1499 644
1B+ 145 352 538 79 1458 514

Act-On and Pardot have a rather constant market share across all tiers.

Eloqua becomes more dominant among companies with larger revenue.

HubSpot is very dominant among SMBs. However, as the revenue tier raises, HubSpot's domination decreases. There’s an anomaly in companies with yearly revenues between 200M-1B. In such companies, HubSpot it the dominant tool. A possible explanation could be an effort that HubSpot is making to bring such companies on board.

Marketo is scarce among SMBs, but becomes a dominant technology in larger companies. Aside from the anomaly in 200M-1B, Marketo is hands down most dominant in companies with a revenue of 1B and above.



Among companies who generate between 1M-10M USD in yearly revenue, despite being a rather small player, Infusionsoft surpassed Marketo in this market share. This might be the target market for Infusionsoft since we hardly see any usage among bigger companies.





The HubSpot anomaly discussed above is reflected in this chart where more companies with a yearly revenue tier of 200M-1B, choose HubSpot over Marketo.


For companies who generate a yearly revenue of 1B and up, Marketo is way ahead of other technologies. Marketo has a reputation for being the popular solution among enterprises – the data backs this reputation.
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Distribution per traffic volumes*

Monthly visits/ websites installing technology Act-On Eloqua HubSpot Infusionsoft Marketo Pardot
0-10,000 9376 3580 75856 39586 3769 28749
10,000-100,000 936 837 5687 2531 3272 1830
100,000-500,000 206 319 1201 463 1291 484
500,000+ 58 212 333 96 738 177
*Traffic data extracted from SimilarWeb





Distribution per geolocation

Country/ websites
installing technology
Act-On Eloqua HubSpot Infusionsoft Marketo Pardot
5327 1556 35376 9546 27107 14783
475 160 2562 1170 761 742
257 77 2231 637 701 655
93 115 898 779 1082 259

There are dramatic changes between the different players when it comes to geographic distribution.









Further breakdown of each technology per leading geolocations

Country/ websites
installing technology
United States 5327
United Kingdom 475
Canada 257
Netherlands 141
Australia 93
Germany 63
India 63
Country/ websites
installing technology
United States 9546
United Kingdom 1170
Australia 779
Canada 637
New Zealand 93
Mexico 48
Brazil 47
Country/ websites
installing technology
United States 14783
Poland 2910
United Kingdom 742
Canada 655
Norway 397
Australia 259
Japan 167
Country/ websites
installing technology
United States 27107
Australia 1082
United Kingdom 761
Canada 701
Sweden 532
France 307
Japan 237
Country/ websites
installing technology
United States 1556
United Kingdom 160
Australia 115
Canada 77
France 62
Germany 52
Netherlands 41
Country/ websites
installing technology
United States 35376
United Kingdom 2562
Canada 2231
Australia 898
Germany 789
Netherlands 434
Spain 417

All technologies seem to be directing most of their market penetration efforts in the English speaking markets. Pardot has identified an opportunity in the Polish market. Marketo have planted seeds in the Japanese market while Infusionsoft is penetrating South American countries. Across the EU we didn’t identify one dominant technology. It will be interesting to see if that changes in 2017.

Market Growth in 2016

Growth in 2016 per technology

Marketing Automation technology Percentage of growth in 2016
Pardot 108.9%
HubSpot 50.9%
Marketo 48%
Act-On 45.5%
Eloqua 44%
Infusion-Soft 44.3%

The general growing interest in marketing automation reflected on Google Trends is proving to reap fruit among the technologies. Pardot has seen the largest growth in 2016 with an amazing increase of 108.9%. The rest of the players grew between them by an average of 48%.

“Companies who use this also use”

There is a trend among different tools that are used alongside different technologies. Here’s a breakdown:


Companies who have Act-On installed typically have another technologyinstalled alongside (e.g. Pardot/ HubSpot).

Most companies who have adopted marketing automation technologies are also using media buying tools. The connection between use of automation and media buying tools is simple: these sites are more mature when it comes to digital, using multiple technologies and tools within their marketing arsenal to optimize visits, retention, engagement and conversion.

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