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Topline

*What is Topline?* Topline OS is an all-in-one growth operating system that brings together all the tools you need to run and grow your business in an easy to use, modern platform. It's packed with features like a complete CRM to ...Read more about Topline

5.0 (11 reviews)

32 recommendations

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Audience Studio is a data management platform (DMP) designed to help businesses deliver personalized marketing experiences by capturing and storing data signals from multiple sources. Advertisers can utilize machine learning techn...Read more about Salesforce Marketing Cloud

4.2 (491 reviews)

11 recommendations

HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot is a leading growth platform. Over 52,000 total customers in more than 100 countries use HubSpot’s award-winning software, services, and support to transform the way they attract, engage, and delight customers. Marketing H...Read more about HubSpot Marketing Hub

4.5 (5936 reviews)

8 recommendations

Notifii Connect

Notifii Connect is a cloud-based text and email communications tool designed to keep residents, employees, and community members informed. It can be used to send unlimited text and email notifications to specific audience segments...Read more about Notifii Connect

4.9 (54 reviews)

8 recommendations

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SendX

We’re not here to police what you send to your list. We're here for the good guys building legitimate subscriber bases — regardless of which industry you're in, including ones who get unfairly banned like cryptocurrency & blockch...Read more about SendX

4.6 (32 reviews)

6 recommendations

Textedly

Textedly is a cloud-based SMS marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. The system offers mass group texting, text scheduling and customizable auto replies. Users can send texts over 300 characters long. The system also off...Read more about Textedly

4.5 (349 reviews)

5 recommendations

Pinpointe

PinPointe is a cloud-based email marketing tool that helps small, midsize and large enterprises across various industry verticals to create, distribute, analyze and manage their email marketing campaigns. PinPointe allows us...Read more about Pinpointe

4.7 (55 reviews)

4 recommendations

Robly

Robly is a cloud-based email management solution designed for businesses of all sizes. Key features include retargeting campaigns, testing, pop-ups and reporting. If emails aren’t opened by customers, Robly can re-send emails...Read more about Robly

4.6 (423 reviews)

3 recommendations

RocketReach

The Rocketreach platform is constantly improving on the frontend and on the backend. RocketReach's team iterates at lightspeed, so anything missing - features or data will be filled fast. No installation for the platform, and a si...Read more about RocketReach

4.2 (129 reviews)

3 recommendations

Net-Results

Net-Results is a cloud-based marketing automation solution for small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include lead management, lead scoring, marketing list management, email builder, social media management, insight...Read more about Net-Results

4.6 (33 reviews)

2 recommendations

Creatio CRM

Creatio is a global vendor of a no-code platform to automate workflows and CRM with a maximum degree of freedom. Creatio offering includes a no-code platform (Studio Creatio), CRM applications (Marketing, Sales and Service), indus...Read more about Creatio CRM

4.7 (121 reviews)

1 recommendations

Shared Contacts for Gmail

Shared Contacts for Gmail is a cloud-based contact management software for Gmail and Google Workspace (previously known as G Suite) that allows sales, marketing and operations teams to create, manage and share Google Contacts. ...Read more about Shared Contacts for Gmail

4.5 (97 reviews)

1 recommendations

emfluence Marketing Platform

emfluence Marketing Platform is a cloud-based marketing solution that offers tools to create, track and run online marketing campaigns. Key features include email marketing, form and landing page builders, calendars, social media ...Read more about emfluence Marketing Platform

4.7 (51 reviews)

1 recommendations

CASTANET

CASTANET is the industry leader in LinkedIn campaign management with over 2,750,000 new B2B connections generated! Leverage all available LinkedIn tools to identify highly targeted lists of new leads. -LinkedIn search results -...Read more about CASTANET

5.0 (4 reviews)

1 recommendations

WP Business Growth Platform

The WP Small Business Growth Accelerator is a cloud-based customer acquisition, lead generation, and CRM software that includes a variety of functions such as marketing automation, deal pipeline management, sales team management, ...Read more about WP Business Growth Platform

5.0 (1 reviews)

1 recommendations

Trello

Trello is a visual collaboration tool for planning tasks and projects. While commonly used by agile software development teams, the solution is also used in other departments such as marketing, sales, support and HR. The web-based...Read more about Trello

Salesforce Sales Cloud

Grow your revenue and profits with intelligent sales automation with Sales Cloud. Help every rep be more efficient. Close more deals. Collect cash faster. Boost growth and profit with intelligent automation and integrated tools fr...Read more about Salesforce Sales Cloud

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a web-based marketing automation service with millions of users worldwide. The application allows users to share newsletters on various social networks and track customer engagements. The application provides tools to...Read more about Mailchimp

Zoom Workplace

Zoom Workplace brings communication, employee engagement, spaces, and productivity solutions together on a single platform with Zoom AI Companion capabilities woven throughout. Streamline communications with AI-powered tools that ...Read more about Zoom Workplace

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365, formerly Office 365, is a suite of office collaboration and productivity applications. The software encompasses modules that enables the use of Microsoft Office suite and cloud-based solutions such as Skype, Exchang...Read more about Microsoft 365

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

The marketing technology landscape is growing and diversifying. As more consumers go online to look for information and research products, more marketers are focusing on digital strategies. Over the years, new categories of marketing software have emerged to support this shift.

Today, there are a plethora of software options to help marketers manage and optimize digital campaigns. In fact, some experts estimate the greater marketing technology landscape now has close to 2,000 vendors across nearly 50 categories. If you’re new to marketing software, this breadth of options can feel daunting.

This guide will help you understand your many options and make an informed purchase decision. Here’s what we’ll cover:

(#what is)

A Comparison of Top Marketing Solutions

Common Features of Marketing Software?

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Key Considerations

What Is Marketing Software?

In general, marketing software helps organizations perform the following functions:

  • Attract new customers and visitors 

  • Turn customers into leads that can be nurtured through the sales funnel

  • Deliver marketing and promotional materials (e.g., via email marketing, social media, etc.)

  • Surface insights about customers to improve marketing efforts

  • Automate time-consuming, repetitive manual tasks

Reporting-dashboard-screenshot-in-Pardot

Reporting dashboard screenshot in Pardot

While some products are sold as “best-of-breed” systems (i.e., they offer a single marketing application), others are sold as “marketing clouds” or “integrated suites” (they house multiple marketing applications all in one place).

Whether a business should choose a suite or a best-of-breed solution depends on the range of functionality needed. Marketing suites are generally more expensive, but allow users to do more without having to integrate products from multiple vendors.

Best-of-breed solutions tend to be more affordable, and are best for companies that want to focus more heavily on specific applications—or that want to build their own suite of marketing tools.

A Comparison of Top Marketing Solutions

There are many popular marketing solutions on the market, and it can be hard to know what distinguishes one product from another and which is right for you. To help you better understand how the top marketing systems stack up against one another, we created a series of side-by-side product comparison pages that break down the details of what each solution offers in terms of pricing, applications, ease of use, support and more:

Top Act-On Comparisons

Top AWeber Comparisons

Top Constant Contact Comparisons

Act-On vs. HubSpot Act-On vs. Marketo Act-On vs. Pardot

AWeber vs. Constant Contact AWeber vs. MailChimp

AWeber vs. Constant Contact

Top Oracle CX Marketing Comparisons

Top HubSpot Comparisons

Top MailChimp Comparisons

Oracle CX Marketing vs Pardot

Act-On vs. Hubspot

AWeber vs. MailChimp

Top Marketo Comparisons

Top Pardot Comparisons

 

Act-On vs. Marketo

Act-On vs. Pardot Oracle CX Marketing vs Pardot

Common Features of Marketing Software

Below is a list of common types of marketing applications that may be available either on their own, or bundled as part of a marketing suite:

Marketing automation

Used for developing, executing and tracking marketing campaigns. Automates workflows, tracks prospect behavior and qualifies leads.

Lead generation

Automates the capture, segmentation and assignment of leads to improve targeted marketing communications and shorten sales cycles.

Lead management

Automates the movement and tracking of leads through the life cycle from acquisition to conversion.

Email marketing

Used to create, send and track email campaigns and autoresponders.

Social media management

Provides the means for users to create, launch and administer social campaigns and promotions. Manages creative assets on social media platforms.

Social media monitoring

Identifies words used in association with brands, and locates where on social media platforms these conversations are occurring.

Social media analytics

Measures campaign performance and impact, and tracks a brand’s share of voice across social channels to determine how effective social media efforts are.

Mobile marketing

Handles the routing, management and delivery of SMS messages.

Marketing resource management

Manages marketing projects, digital assets, workflows, budgets and approval processes across teams, departments or agencies.

Marketing analytics

Measures marketing activities across multiple online and offline channels to get a view of those channels’ return on investment (ROI).

Content marketing

Helps manage the distribution of content across the Web. Creates, deploys, manages and stores content on Web pages.

Search marketing

Helps businesses generate traffic by providing information or advice to improve marketing content so it’s optimized for search engines.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before making a purchase, companies should evaluate their marketing strategies to determine how to choose software that supports overall business objectives.

Outbound marketing.

Outbound marketing is when a marketer contacts prospects, hoping for engagement. Tactics can include advertising on search engines, paying website publishers to post your ads or sending emails to lists of leads. Businesses that primarily want to reach out to customers in these ways should look for applications that offer email and/or mobile marketing functionality. Most marketing automation platforms include outbound email marketing capabilities. You could also consider lead generation and lead management solutions.

Inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing gets buyers to find you. This is done by providing interesting, helpful content on websites, blogs or social media that engages buyers. Businesses using inbound marketing tactics should look for software that helps optimize marketing content for Web search (so that buyers can easily find it) and provides lead nurturing functionality—for example, inbound marketing automation, content marketing or search marketing applications.

Social media marketing.

If you use (or plan to use) social media channels to connect with customers, consider applications that monitor social media conversations, track the results of social media marketing activities and allow you to measure the results of these campaigns. While social media marketing functionality is sometimes included in marketing automation platforms, many vendors also offer this as a best-of-breed solution.

Planning and measurement focus.

Marketers that want to measure the ROI of marketing projects should look for software that provides detailed analytics. While this functionality is often included in other types of marketing software, you may want to consider the in-depth reporting tools offered by best-of-breed marketing analytics and social media analytics software. Additionally, businesses that need help planning and executing marketing campaigns can consider marketing resource management software.

It's important to note that marketing functionality can also be incorporated into suites outside of the typical marketing software industry. For example, leading event management software often includes some element of marketing, such as tools for creating customizable websites, email marketing and push messaging campaigns. These are described in more detail here.

Key Considerations

To further narrow things down, here are two key factors to keep in mind as you evaluate marketing products:

Prioritize the applications you use most often

Avoid purchasing systems with bells and whistles that don’t support your business processes. However, do consider any applications, features and functionality that you will need in the future, even if you’re not quite ready to use them today.

Make sure your new system supports necessary integrations.

When comparing options, you’ll want to know whether—and how well—a given marketing system will synchronize with your existing data and tools. For example, you may want to consider marketing software that offers native CRM integration. If you plan to access the system while on the go (via mobile phones or tablets), consider a system with a native mobile app. If you’re building your own marketing technology stack, be sure to check that the systems you combine will work together seamlessly. You may also want to look for vendors that offer integration support and services.