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Net-Results is digital marketing software built by and for data-driven marketers. The marketing automation system will work for companies of any size and offers multiple pricing scales. The system has native integrations with major... Read More
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Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting and... Read More
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Infusionsoft offers an online sales and marketing solution built exclusively for small businesses. It features lead generation tools and marketing automation, email and social media tools to engage and convert leads. Customer relationship... Read More
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Iterable is a growth marketing automation platform that provides multi-channel user engagement campaign management functionality based on dynamic workflows. With Iterable, users can create unlimited segments based on any criteria... Read More
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CallidusCloud Marketing Automation

CallidusCloud Marketing Automation is a cloud-based marketing automation platform built for both sales and marketing. The solution is designed to provide intelligence and insight into leads performance to sales teams while simultaneously... Read More
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ActiveDEMAND is a web-based marketing tool designed specifically for marketing agencies. Subscriptions are based on the number of contacts loaded into the application rather than the number users, so agencies are able to create sub-accounts... Read More
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WebEngage is a cloud-based marketing automation tool designed for B2C businesses. It helps businesses to manage cross-channel communication with their customers, allowing them to send messages via emails, text messages, push alerts,... Read More
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Hatchbuck is a sales and marketing solution designed for small to midsize businesses. The integrated solution offers combined sales automation, marketing automation and email marketing features. Hatchbuck is a good fit for a wide range... Read More
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Blitz is a customer relationship management solution for small to mid-sized businesses. Professionals in a variety of industries use Blitz, including real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and non-profits. In addition to its standalone... Read More
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SendinBlue is a cloud-based email marketing tool suited for organizations of all sizes. The solution comes with tools and templates for marketing automation, email campaigns, transactional emails and SMS messages. SendinBlue facilitates... Read More
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Dotmailer is a Web-based email marketing solution designed for medium and large enterprise customers that offers email design, scheduling and campaign analytics within a suite. This solution offers easy contact management functionality... Read More
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PlanPlus Online

PlanPlus Online uses the Franklin Covey business planning methodology to help organizations and professionals in real estate, insurance and finance sectors manage both time and customers. The system provides an all-in-one solution... Read More
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SharpSpring is a fully integrated cloud-based marketing tool that offers customer relationship management, marketing automation, mobile and social marketing, sales team automation, customer service and more, all within one solution. SharpSpring... Read More
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Experiture Marketing Platform

Experiture is an all-in-one marketing automation and customer engagement platform used by small to mid-sized businesses in many verticals. In addition to creating marketing programs across email, web, mobile and more, the system... Read More
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Marketo offers a web-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to form and preserve engaging customer relationships. The solution features integrated modules that deliver a range of capabilities including marketing... Read More
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eTrigue DemandCenter

eTrigue DemandCenter gives businesses of all sizes the ability to create and execute demand generation campaigns using their existing resources. It enables marketing automation through a variety of web-based tools. This solution is... Read More
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Pardot, a Salesforce company, is designed for organizations that primarily focus on business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing automation. This email marketing system offers automated support for the longer timespan and multi-step... Read More
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Designed in 2007 specifically for the B2B marketer, Salesfusion is a complete, web-based marketing system. Salesfusion’s interface was recently redesigned to increase efficiency and adapt to the workflow and needs of the individual... Read More
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Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing solution that can help businesses add new subscribers, send email newsletters and generate various reports. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes. The solution offers several features that... Read More
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bpm'online marketing

Bpm’online marketing is a marketing automation platform that provides users with tools to manage lead management starting at demand generation, through nurturing and the transition to sales.  The solution features tools to test,... Read More
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Delivra is a cloud-based marketing platform designed for companies looking to manage automated email marketing campaigns. It’s suited for small to midsize organizations in a variety of industries, such as education, healthcare, real... Read More
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Cosmos Integrated Marketing Portal

Integrated Marketing Portal (IMP) by Cosmos Communications is a marketing solution serving large companies in industries including accounting, agriculture, education, energy, insurance, manufacturing, non-profit, retail, telecommunications... Read More
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SAM is a web-based, fully integrated sales and marketing system. The main features of the system include email marketing, social marketing, content marketing, direct marketing, SEO, visibility, marketing intelligence, and marketing... Read More
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Growlabs is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system for small to midsize companies in the following industries: accounting, advertising, insurance, legal, media, nonprofit, real estate, and software/IT. The Growlabs... Read More
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Lead Guerrilla

Lead Guerrilla by 1CRM is a cloud-based all-in-one marketing platform for small to midsize businesses and marketing agencies. Key features of Lead Guerrilla are: lead activity tracking (website browsing history, form submissions, email... Read More
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Enabler is a cloud-based email marketing solution featuring lead management, lead generation, campaign management and marketing analytics. It is suitable for businesses across a variety of industries in the UK.  In Enabler, users... Read More
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Pivotal CRM

CDC Software’s Pivotal CRM is a flexible, customizable customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed to reduce the learning curve and increase the speed of user adoption. It includes marketing automation, lead management,... Read More
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With thousands of implementations across 26 industries ranging from Aerospace & Defense to Wholesale Distribution, SAP’s CRM solution is intuitive and robust enough to meet the needs of the mid-market business while sophisticated... Read More
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LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship management,... Read More
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Deskera CRM

Deskera CRM is a powerful, web-based Customer Relationship Management solution that helps companies of all sizes gain complete visibility into their customers, past, current, and future. With Deskera CRM, you have a configurable system... Read More
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GoldMine Premium Edition

Goldmine Premium CRM is a comprehensive customer relationship management software that is used by organizations of all sizes to manage the sales pipeline, marketing programs and deliver customer support. Goldmine Premium Edition has... Read More
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Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a part of family that offers robust social marketing solution to help businesses create and manage the social presence on a variety of social media sites. The solution offers multiple functionalities... Read More
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ONTRAPORT provides a customer relationship management (CRM) system for small and growing businesses looking to automate marketing and sales efforts. The solution includes tools for email marketing, lead scoring, lead nurturing, lead... Read More
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Contactability LeadManager

Contactability LeadManager is a powerful, cloud-based marketing platform that was created to help companies increase visibility, monitor leads moving through the pipeline, and track closed deals. This comprehensive solution relies... Read More
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SmartTouch Interactive

Smart Touch Interactive is a cloud-based customer relationship management platform designed specifically for homebuilders and real estate agents. It is a suite of applications that help businesses understand the buyer lifecycle and... Read More
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Pega CRM

Pega CRM is an enterprise-level customer relationship management (CRM) solution by Pegasystems, a leading provider of business process management (BPM) solutions. It includes sales, marketing and customer service applications, complete... Read More
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Oracle Responsys

Oracle has been a leader in the customer relationship management (CRM) space for more than a decade. The company provides various CRM solutions, including Responsys. Responsys is a marketing orchestration platform that combines audience... Read More
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PeopleSoft CRM

Acquired by Oracle Corp. in 1995, PeopleSoft CRM is an on-premise solution targeted at mid and enterprise-sized organizations. Marketed and sold across the globe for a wide range of industries, this solution can be customized according... Read More
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Sage CRM

Sage CRM offers users a collection of applications designed to give small and midsized businesses access to a customer relationship management platform that can be quickly deployed and simple to learn.  Sage CRM was developed to... Read More
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OptifiNow is a modular Sales Automation platform that streamlines the day to day activities of sales professionals. By offering the system on a modular basis, clients can adapt the solution to meet their specific needs. The system... Read More
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AppShore is a Web-based solution specially designed for small businesses. The platform is highly customizable and can be personalized based on location-based services, time zone, currency and language preferences. This product is... Read More
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Jumplead is a web-based marketing automation solution that assists marketers in email marketing, creating landing pages, contact management and lead management. This solution is suited for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Jumplead’s... Read More
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Automational is customer relationship management software that caters specifically to small businesses. The system offers marketing automation, email marketing, web visitor tracking, opportunity tracking and prospect scoring, and more. The... Read More
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CXM by Creedenz Solutions is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution for mid-market organizations. This comprehensive CRM solution suits companies in multiple industries, including technology, health care, manufacturing,... Read More
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SkyCRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) software solution available for cloud or on-premise deployment. Key features include marketing automation, sales automation, customer service and support and social CRM. It is suitable... Read More
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Workbooks is a web-based CRM designed for small and medium businesses. It is used in a variety of industries including finance, telecommunications, construction, logistics and manufacturing (among others). It was launched in 2007 by... Read More
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Spark by Marketo

Spark by Marketo is designed for small businesses that need to automate and track their marketing campaigns. With Spark, your company will generate better leads and reduce manual, administrative efforts, freeing up time for your marketers... Read More
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Oracle Marketing Cloud

Oracle Marketing Cloud is a software-as-a-service solution that meets the needs of both the B2B and B2C marketer. Oracle Marketing Cloud (previously Oracle, Responsys, BlueKai, Compendium, and DataLogix) is an email marketing automation... Read More
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Silverpop provides marketing automation and email marketing solutions to companies around the world. Silverpop's technology helps marketers develop and deliver relevant, targeted multi-channel campaigns. Silverpop's solutions are... Read More
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HubSpot Marketing

With its cloud-based, all-in-one marketing software platform, HubSpot helps companies of all sizes create a web presence, convert online traffic into leads that can be tracked and nurtured and analyze business metrics to ensure marketing... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

Marketing automation is a very active segment of the CRM software market. Not only are new vendors entering the market, but existing market leaders are constantly innovating and delivering new product updates. Today, the majority of solutions can be split into business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) solutions. The two groupings are very different and so are their functional needs.

Businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B) firms have longer sales cycles and engage in more relationship building activities. Businesses that sell to consumers (B2C) rely more on brand and high-volume direct outreach efforts. This overview aims to improve understanding of how marketing software applications work and provide an update on trends every buyer should know.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Marketing Automation Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Marketing Automation Software?

Henry Procter is credited with saying, “I know I waste half of my advertising dollars. I just wish that I knew which half.” This is precisely the question that this software answers. It assists firms in developing, executing and tracking campaigns. Media buying and planning applications help with planning advertising campaigns involving traditional and digital media. Managers use these systems to automate workflows, manage collateral, track prospect behavior and qualify leads before they are passed to sales.

B2B systems have sophisticated lead generation and lead management capabilities. For example, lead scoring functions score leads based on:

  • Demographics
    • Geography
    • Industry
    • Size
  • Behavior
    • Website activity
    • Responses to campaigns

The resulting scores ensure that the sales department only receives qualified leads that are close to making a purchase. For leads that are not ready to buy, marketing tracking software provides campaign management, which helps marketers to foster the relationship through techniques such as drip and “stay in touch” campaigns. 

B2C systems tend to manage vast databases of customer data—often millions of records. These systems have sophisticated tools for analyzing and segmenting customers into different categories of buyers. Markets can then execute specific campaigns, or “treatments” for each segment. Campaigns are typically designed to elicit a direct response, such as returning to a website to make a purchase. Alternatively, campaigns may feed a target prospect list into a call center systems for telesales outreach. 

MA software also provides companies with advanced reporting and analytics tools to measure the performance of initiatives. This allows managers to see which campaigns and channels are driving leads, along with the costs and revenue of those initiatives. In the end, this helps organizations decide how to better allocate resources.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

We believe that most buyers segment into the following four categories:

B2C enterprise buyer. These buyers work for firms that market to consumers. With millions of prospects and huge volumes of data, they need sophisticated analytics and segmentation tools to define, select and reach members of their target markets.

B2B enterprise buyer. These buyers work for firms that market to other businesses, and engage in longer sales cycles. They are primarily seeking capabilities that help them nurture relationships with prospects. Lead nurturing, lead scoring, sales force automation (SFA) and sales coordination and enablement tools are all critical for optimal performance.

CRM suite buyer. These buyers have less sophisticated requirements, but value integration with their other customer relationship management (CRM) programs. They are typically content to trade feature depth for native integration with CRM, SFA and other applications. 

Email emphasis buyer. These buyers work for small businesses that want to engage in more sophisticated email outreach, but are not ready to deploy enterprise-class MA. Marketing campaign management software buyers are primarily focused on managing a database of contacts and executing regular email campaigns.

For detailed analysis of the top buyers trends among marketing automation buyers, visit our Marketing Automation Software BuyerView | 2014 report here.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Buyers who successfully implement a MA system should expect to realize the following benefits:

Identify and qualify more leads. MA allows firms to better target potential customers, quickly qualify leads, and send them to the appropriate sales rep.

Improved sales coordination. MA helps firms better coordinate inter-team activity. For example, a firm can promote a single product and track the effectiveness by looking at the number of qualified leads generated and comparing that to the number of leads converted to sales.

More effective campaigns. MA lets firms measure their campaigns and adjust those campaigns based on what they learn. 

Decrease costs. The savings per dollar shows up in several ways. Two of the most important are number of the employees in the department and the dollars spent on outside support. 

Issues with MA software often results from unrealistic expectations and poor implementations. For example, this software cannot make a bad service or product into a good service or product. If the collateral is bad or misses the point, MA will simply deliver a bad message more efficiently. Finally, if the wrong target market is selected, effective delivery to that target market will not help the bottom line.

Market Trends to Understand

There are a number of market trends that buyers should understand, including:

Software as a Service (SaaS). In the MA market, SaaS is less of a trend than it is the dominant model for deploying software. Buyers will find that the majority of solutions—with the exception of some high-end B2C solutions—are delivered through the online marketing software model where the system is hosted by the software vendor and accessed over the Internet by user. A benefit of Web-based email marketing software is increased accessibility. They can be accessed on multiple devices and from any operating system, whether you're a Mac or PC. Interested in learning more about email marketing software? Check out our catalogue and buyers' guide specific to this category here.

Social media. Social networking gives managers a new channel. Firms tweet coupons to customers and post special offers to friends on Facebook. Advertising videos are successful if they go viral on YouTube. MA is embracing all of this. Social networking integration will drive the next generation of MA.

Use of two-dimensional barcodes. Two-dimensional (2D) bar codes are seen more and more often on print ads, bill boards, bus stop benches and even as tattoos. Customers can use smart phones as code readers to get information about a product or service immediately on their mobile browser. Current solutions can use 2D bar codes with third-party solutions, but new versions will have built in support.

MA vendor consolidation. Large ERP and CRM vendors will acquire some firms, while some niche providers will combine to remain competitive. IBM and Terradata both made significant acquisitions by picking up Unica and Aprimo, respectively. Oracle purchased the assets of Market2Lead. Buyers should expect to see more M&A activity going forward. 

The Vendor Landscape

This type of buyer... Should evaluate these systems
B2C enterprise buyer Aprimo (Terradata), Unica (IBM)
B2B enterprise buyer Eloqua, InfusionSoft, Marketo, Manticore, Pardot, Genoo
CRM suite buyer Oracle CRM, SAP,, Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Email emphasis buyer Alsamarketing, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, Vertical Response

To see additional reviews and comparisons, visit MA Software Guide.