How Big Is the B2B Marketing Automation Industry?


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Summary: Here are my estimates for the size of the B2B marketing automation industry, broken down by customer segments. Enjoy.

I’ve been working madly on my new report on B2B marketing automation vendors. One of the things this has forced me to do is come up with an estimate of industry size that I’m willing to defend in print. I based my figures on several approaches: revenues for the few vendors who release their figures; the number of vendor-reported clients multiplied by an estimated revenue per client; and the number of vendor-reported employees multiplied by industry-average revenue per employee.

These methods all yield similar figures — around a $200 million in revenue for 2010. Bear in mind that the industry nearly doubled last year, so the current run rate is much higher. Also remember that I’ve excluded:

– the big enterprise marketing automation vendors (Unica, SAS, Teradata), who sell primarily to B2C marketers;

– B2C portions of Aprimo and Neolane; and,

– vendors who work mostly through marketing service providers (Alterian and SmartFocus).

Including those vendors would at least double the total figure. Services are also excluded.

That said, here’s an excerpt from the report:

Revenues for B2B marketing automation systems (excluding related services) were $200 million in 2010, according to Raab Associates estimates. The industry can be divided into three segments serving different types of clients:

• Small business (under $20 million revenue). These are unsophisticated marketing departments whose primary interests are outbound email, landing pages, and simple lead nurturing through email autoresponders. Many are very small companies with just one or two marketing automation users. They often do not integrate with a separate sales automation system, either not using one at all or relying on a CRM option offered by the marketing automation vendor itself. The fastest growing industry segment, this group tripled to 12,000 clients and $60 million revenue in 2010. Many small business marketing departments use only email systems (which also provide landing pages and simple nurture campaigns) instead of marketing automation.

• Mid-size business ($20 million to $500 million revenue). This segment covers a broad range of marketing users with widely varied needs. Most require the full range of marketing automation functions, but apply them in relatively simple ways. They have three to fifteen marketing automation users. This segment is the heart of the marketing automation industry, supporting the largest number of competitors and accounting for approximately $100 million in 2010 revenue across 3,000 clients.

• Big business ($500 million revenue and higher). These are large marketing departments that may manage hundreds of campaigns for multiple products in different locations. They need special features for automated content selection, project management, complex lead scores, and tight limits on the rights granted to individual users. This group had about 500 clients generating $40 million revenue in 2010. Although it has been growing less quickly than other segments, adoption will accelerate as the value of B2B marketing automation is more widely recognized, existing B2B systems add more large-company features, and big software vendors enter the field.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. David,

    Thank you for these series of articles on B2B marketing automation vendors. This is a neglected but very intriguing, interesting, unique space with some special challenges. B2B marketers have to forge a much closer alliance with sales and often have to deal with long sales cycles, putting a premium on the nurturing of prospects and customers. The eco-systems can also be more complex with distributors and franchisees often playing a major role.

    Your analysis is very thorough. Really appreciate the transparency around your approach and methodology. This estimate of marketing sizing is also helpful. I am surprised by how small the numbers are, given the number of players and the type of clients they serve. It will be interesting to see the interplay of some of the larger B2C players bleeding into these fields with the more specialized vendors as we move forward.

    Looking forward to your final report.

    Naras V. Eechambadi, Ph.D.
    email: [email protected]

  2. Thanks for putting together information that documents how the Marketing Automation industry is growing.

    One area that might increase your numbers is the marketing automation that is provided by suppliers to their channel partners. I would estimate that these systems currently account for roughly $30M / yr., and are a segment that is rapidly growing.

    A widely shared number is that high tech. vendors allocate approximately $1B/yr. in co-op/MDF to support marketing efforts by their channel partners. With the effectiveness of Marketing Automation being proven, more of these MDF dollars are being allocated to incorporate Marketing Automation systems that are specially designed for partner communities.

    I’m looking forward to your final report.

    Ken Romley
    email: [email protected]


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