Buyer's Guide to Marketing Automation Software

This guide will help you:

  • Learn the five key factors to ensure success with marketing automation software
  • Identify the best marketing automation software based upon your context (small business, mid-sized company or enterprise)
  • Understand the pros and cons of the top marketing automation software products as expressed by users
  • Be aware of key marketing automation software trends that impact users and buyers

Why Read This Guide — Vinay Bhagat, Founder & CEO, TrustRadius

Photo of Vinay Bhagat, Founder and CEO, TrustRadiusTrustRadius is excited to publish our first Buyer's Guide for the Marketing Automation software category. It follows our Buyer's Guide to Social Media Management Software published in October, 2013. This guide is based upon 400 in-depth reviews of Marketing Automation software by authenticated end-users, and over 10,000 comparisons performed by Marketing Automation software buyers on our site,, the leading community for professionals who use business software to exchange candid insights to help each other make smarter product selection, implementation and usage decisions. Our mission is to help software buyers cut through the noise, identify the best products for their use case and maximize their return on investment. I founded TrustRadius after witnessing first-hand the challenges in making sound business software purchasing and implementation decisions at my last company.

Marketing Automation is an exciting, fast-growing category; Google searches for “Marketing Automation” have increased about 50% over the last year. Most vendors are growing at a rapid pace, and the market has also seen several high-profile acquisitions. While there have been a number of published Marketing Automation whitepapers, we felt there was an opportunity to take create a more useful Buyer's Guide based upon the following principles:

Small businesses and billion dollar enterprises have completely different marketing automation needs.

Technology analysts focus primarily on the needs of large enterprises, and their coverage aligns to products which serve those companies. However, Marketing Automation is beneficial for a diverse range of companies. In this guide we include a wide array of products ranging from those oriented towards SMBs and mid-market companies to those specifically designed for large enterprises. Unlike other software review sites, we do not try and compare products designed for different segments in a single grid. Instead we present these products by their focus on each market segment - small businesses, mid-size companies and enterprises — and how those customers rate them.

First-hand insights from users/buyers are incredibly valuable.

Many research reports are written by people who are not first hand-users of those products, but have gathered information from public sources, talking to vendors and perhaps surveying a few clients. We believe that the most practical insights come directly from users. This guide is based upon almost 400 in-depth reviews of Marketing Automation software products on TrustRadius, while also leveraging comparison & evaluation data from more than 10,000 software buyers on our site during Q1 2014.

Ratings are a guide for sentiment but should not drive your decision.

Marketing Automation software is a considered purchase, and it is critical to understand which product(s) are the best fit for your needs. User ratings indicate sentiment, but should not be the sole determinant for product selection. In addition to analyzing Marketing Automation software by market segment, we provide a distillation of the pros and cons of each product as cited in reviews on TrustRadius. This provides a launch pad for you to do more in-depth research by reading full reviews, running comparisons, connecting with other users and engaging with key vendors.

Technology success encompasses much more than just technology selection.

Selecting the right software is important but does not guarantee your success. In fact, there are many examples of companies who make sound product selection decisions but fail to realize results because of poor planning or execution. In this guide we include key recommendations to maximize your chances of success based upon interviews with leading marketing consultants.

Markets and vendors are dynamic - understand the trends and strategies in context.

The Marketing Automation software segment has seen a lot of change in the last 5-10 years. Products have rapidly matured and expanded in capability. There have been multiple acquisitions. Partner ecosystems have also emerged. We believe that it is important for buyers of marketing automation software to understand this context when making a decision, and we include a section on key market trends, as well as interviews with key management of covered products.

Last, but by no means least, I would like to thank our Research Director, Alan Cooke, for methodically reviewing every review and compiling the data that went into this report.

I would love to hear your feedback on this guide. Did you find it helpful? How can we improve it? Please email me at or find me on Twitter @vinaybhagat.

About this Guide — Alan Cooke, Research Director, TrustRadius

Photo of Alan Cooke, Research Director, TrustRadiusThis guide is based upon a distillation of 400 in-depth reviews of Marketing Automation software products contributed by end-users to TrustRadius. Those insights are augmented by interviews with highly regarded marketing consultants and senior executives from several major vendors.

All TrustRadius reviewers are authenticated via their LinkedIn profile. We check every review to make sure the submission is genuine and meets our stringent criteria for publication: the reviewer must have actually used the product (not just seen a demo); the reviewer does not, and has not, ever worked for the vendor or its competitors; the product has been used in the last 6 months; the review is substantive and not simply an advertorial or an unhelpful, personal venting or vendetta.

This guide is divided into five major sections:

  1. The State of Marketing Automation
  2. Achieving Success with Marketing Automation
  3. The Best Marketing Automation Products by Market Segment
  4. Product Ratings & User Feedback
  5. Trends in Marketing Automation