Marketing Automation Software Overview

What is Marketing Automation Software?

Marketing Automation software helps to automate and scale repetitive marketing tasks and the subsequent analysis of those efforts. Leads in the marketing database can be nurtured through the buying process by providing them with relevant, personalized content until they are ready to purchase. Digital campaigns can be designed, triggered and executed automatically; once a campaign has run its course, a range of analytic tools can measure its performance to understand what worked well and what did not. 

Marketing Automation Features & Capabilities

Historically marketing automation software focused mainly on email, but today websites, mobile and social media are all integral to successful marketing efforts. Most Marketing Automation software products revolve around a core set of marketing tasks:
  • Email Marketing & Email Management
  • Landing Page Creation & Customization
  • Lead Management & Lead Scoring
  • Reporting & Analytics
Beyond these core marketing automation functions, software vendors tend to differentiate themselves on breadth or depth of offering, especially as you move from small business solutions to enterprise-level marketing automation platforms. For example, some higher-end marketing automation platforms may also include: 
  • CRM Integration
  • Social Media Marketing & Management
  • Web Conferencing
  • Dynamic Website / Progressive Profiling
  • Marketing Resource Management (MRM)

Features & Functions of Marketing Automation Software

The feature sets included in today's marketing automation software can vary from one vendor to the next, but there are some basic features that are common to most of them. More powerful and advanced features are usually found in Enterprise-level marketing automation platforms and are broadly covered here, as well.
Marketing automation features and capabilities can be generally grouped as follows:

  • Email & Online Marketing
  • Lead Management
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Social Marketing

Email & Online Marketing Features

Email Management
Automation makes things faster and easier, which saves you both time and money. Most vendors offer email automation for opt-in, unsubscribe and bounce processing, but it varies across platforms. Premium offerings usually include a dedicated IP address and link validation.

Landing Pages
Directing a click to a unique, relevant page is a key component to any online marketing campaign. A variety of tools exist across platforms to customize pages for a better end-user experience, which is well-known to increase conversion rates. 

Triggered Email
Send real-time, personalized emails based on customer actions. You can automatically send the appropriate email when, for example, a prospect clicks a designated link or a sales rep makes a call. 

Forms
Common among marketing automation platforms, a registration form is usually used to capture the prospective customer’s data and add it to the database. The flexibility of allowing a visitor to use one of their social media accounts to sign in has become very common. Higher-end platforms take it a step further with “smart forms,” which can recognize a known visitor and ask more specific questions, expanding the depth of a prospect’s profile over time.

Dynamic Content
Larger enterprise buyers are more inclined to look for the ability to further customize emails and landing pages based on industry, location or even job title. The ability to compartmentalize expansive prospect lists and create unique online experiences is a powerful and necessary feature for many larger companies.

Mobile
We all spend more time on our smart phones and tablets than we like to think about – and so do your prospects. Emails and landing pages that are optimized for mobile devices are fast becoming a true need for many businesses. Mobile-optimized features are fairly common in most marketing automation platforms today, but the extent of functionality will vary from vendor to vendor.

Lead Management Features

Lead Database
This vast repositories of your leads and prospects are the brains of the operation. Much more robust than a CRM system, the marketing automation database archives actions between your company and individual prospects. These can include email clicks, website visits, scoring changes (see below for more information) and updates to profile or history.

Behavior Tracking
You can tailor your sales pitch by knowing and understanding your prospect – the websites they visit, social networks they participate in, keywords they search with, emails they open - all of these can help you greatly in determining your prospect's interests and place in the buying process. 

Lead Nurturing
Based on a prospect's behavior, lead nurturing allows relevant emails to be triggered based on a predetermined campaign, and in a sequence that aligns with the customer's journey. Most leads aren't sales-ready right from the start; lead nurturing promises a more successful sale by giving a potential customer more information as you go along. This feature may be especially helpful for B2B and Enterprise buyers who normally work with a much longer sales cycle.

Automated Sales Tasks
You'll be able to move a prospect through the sales cycle more efficiently by automatically adding names to an email list based on specific behavior, or sending a follow-up message - all while alerting sales staff of new action.

Advanced Lead Management Features

Enterprise buyers may need more robust lead management features to manage their huge databases of information, such as the following:

Segmentation
These are tools that allow for defining and selecting very specific data, such as visitors to your website that have not clicked in the last seven days, or a list of past buyers from your top two product lines. Filters can be set up for demographics (title, company size, etc.) as well as behavior-based segmentation (people who registered for an upcoming e-learning presentation from the technology industry). For enterprise buyers who boast huge numbers of customers and prospects, this type of functionality is essential.

Workflow Automation
You will need tight integration with your CRM and a complex series of rules, but you can essentially automate everything that supports the efficiency of your internal marketing process. Examples include budgeting, planning, calendar and digital asset creation, as well as extending collaboration between marketing and sales departments with triggered task assignments.

Scheduling Flexibility
Schedule your entire campaign in advance based on your organization's capabilities and your customer's availability. For example, you may want to spread out an email delivery if the call-to-action is an inbound phone call and you don't want your phone lines or call handlers swamped all at once, or if data delivery to a large database has the potential to create a high volume of traffic to your web servers. You can also control the time of delivery based on each customer's geographic location (if you have that information, of course). More sophisticated marketing automation software can also make it easier to "gate" and prioritize messages so recipients aren't overwhelmed with a high volume of automated messages.

Lead Scoring
This feature enables you to identify the best lead for a campaign or tactic. It sounds easy, but in reality, it's a complex task that includes "weighting" behaviors both important and undesirable; this assists you in identifying which prospects are most suitable for upcoming campaigns. More sophisticated platforms support a variety of scoring models that separate scores for different product lines and divisions, or even demographics.

Data Quality
The effectiveness of your marketing campaign is directly affected by the quality of your data. This feature is especially important for enterprise buyers who may have millions of records in their database. Marketing automation software can help you clean "dirty" data by merging duplicate leads and contacts, identifying missing or incomplete information like phone numbers or industries, and standardizing data like titles or company names.

Common Reporting and Analytics Features

More and more modern marketers rely on traceable metrics to impact performance and improve marketing strategies. Every marketing automation software package comes with some measurement tools. Some vendors partner with analytics vendors for advanced functionality, or sell advanced analytics packages for an additional price. Common characteristics shared across platforms include: 

Basic Reporting
A summary of how well emails and landing pages performed or an individual campaign’s success rate by month is generated with built-in dashboards and other reporting tools. If your business requires more complicated measurements, custom queries or metrics, you will need to research carefully, as depth of functionality varies by vendor.

Program ROI Analytics
These tools give you visibility into how well your marketing efforts performed. Reports are created comparing revenue performance against individual campaigns or channels, giving greater exposure to what worked and what didn’t. The detail and flexibility of ROI analytics will very between marketing automation platforms.

Advanced Reporting and Analytic Features

More advanced analytic capabilities vary by vendor and may include:

SEO & Keyword Tracking
The ability to track the strength of your website’s keywords on major search engines, and to compare its performance with competitors. 

Multi-touch Revenue Attribution
This is a detailed accounting of campaign success by allotting credit to each program’s activity along the sales funnel. Typically, many touches - emails, phone calls, trade shows, webinars, etc. - take place before a purchase is made. Multi-touch solutions credit every campaign touch point before the sale, giving greater visibility to each campaign tactic and performance.

Testing
Some marketing automation platforms allow for A/B testing or even multivariate testing; these capabilities may be native to the platform or supported by robust integration with 3rd party testing tools. The most advanced systems allow not only testing of email subject line and message content, but also of targeted and personalized web content and landing pages.

Web Analytics
The answers to which pages of your website are most popular with your prospects, the most common paths taken through the site and how often visitors return are all found within web analytic tools. You can learn a lot about the effectiveness of your website as a marketing tool, along with a prospective lead’s level of qualification, by digging in to this data.

Social Marketing Features

Marketing automation vendors have increasingly been adding social features to their platforms, sometimes through new development but, more often, by either acquisitions or partnerships. Among the primary social features are:

Social Campaigns
You can cross-sell your content and track your success with tools that send automated posts across channels. You can then quantify their success with comments, replies and tweets.

Social Listening
Monitor what is being said about your company and products across the social sphere to understand sentiment and use insights gathered to segment prospects and sharpen campaign messaging.

Social Sharing
Incorporating smart share buttons into your campaign messages not only helps spread the message but also provides data about who shares which content and what drives social conversations.br

Social Engagement
You can increase audience engagement with the inclusion of polls or referral programs. Look for tools that easily allow you to incorporate apps into your Facebook page, email or website.

Social Analytics
Improving your social conversion rates can increase your revenue. By adding tracking to the applications and sharing tools utilized in social media campaigns, you achieve better visibility into the effectiveness of your content and campaigns.

Before looking in detail at specific marketing automation software solutions, it's important to do a needs assessment to better understand the type of tool you might need based on your specific use case and the marketing challenges you are trying to solve.

You can also download a free copy of our Buyer's Guide to Marketing Automation Software. The guide will help you identify the best marketing automation software as rated by users within each market segment - small businesses, mid-size companies and large enterprises.

Assessing Your Marketing Automation Needs

Before looking in detail at specific marketing automation software solutions, it's important to do a needs assessment to better understand the type of tool you might need based on your specific use case and the marketing challenges you are trying to solve.

B2B vs. B2C Marketing

Selling to other businesses rather than consumers generally means that purchases are very considered with typically higher price points and a longer sales cycle. Marketing automation used to be primarily concerned with B2B selling cycles, but there are a few vendors focused on B2C prospects, and some of the B2B-oriented vendors are adding more B2C features.

So what are the differences? B2B marketing automation is all about building a relationship with the buyer through education and what are called "nurture" programs. The goal is to build interest in the product being sold by helping prospects understand the value through a multi-touch process and over a period of time. The important things here are having relevant content to share, and building drip email and other campaigns to incrementally build interest until the prospect is qualified and ready to buy.

Selling directly to consumers generally means a much larger prospect pool, and a much shorter sales cycle. Here, brand and product are much more important than relationship. B2C marketing automation products are less concerned with nurture and engagement, and more concerned with e-commerce factors like shopping cart abandonment rate, bulk email campaign deliverability and open rate, segmentation, and targeted offers. For some B2C-oriented vendors the combination of a powerful email system with a CRM and e-commerce platform may make marketing automation unnecessary.

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

The distinction between inbound and outbound marketing is related to the traditional marketing funnel:

Inbound marketing is all about getting new leads into the funnel. The typical tactics employed include publishing educational content to draw people in (through blog posts, for example), optimizing web pages for search and using social media to build awareness.

Outbound marketing is concerned with nurturing and closing the leads that you already have in the funnel. Tactics include more product-specific content, webinars, calls to action, sending leads to personalized landing pages, etc. The goal is to deepen the relationship to the point where leads are qualified enough to hand over to sales.

Marketing automation products tend to have an emphasis on either one or the other. Some products designed for SMBs try to cover both inbound and outbound and are sometimes called "All-in-One" tools.

The relevant question to ask yourself should be, "Is my marketing challenge acquiring new leads, or is it closing the leads I already have?"

Marketing Automation Integration

CRM Integration
Most marketing automation buyers already have a CRM system, and integration between the two systems is a primary consideration. Bi-directional functionality is essential for making the most of your CRM software and your automated marketing platform.  For example, if your website's registration form is integrated with your marketing automation software, the information submitted by the new registrant is duplicated in your CRM system. Or maybe an individual's job title changes - when the sales rep updates the information in the CRM it should be synchronized with your marketing automation platform so that individual is addressed appropriately in upcoming marketing collateral. Data consistency is crucial when performing lead nurturing, lead scoring and other database segmentation tasks.
There are varying degrees of integration with CRM platforms:
  • The fields may be mapped automatically or require manual mapping
  • Some marketing automation platforms sync in real-time and others less frequently
  • Which fields you're given access to varies by provider (lead and contact information is common)
Some systems have integration strengths with specific CRMs, and the CRM system you are running can be a crucial decision factor in selecting the right marketing automation system.

Webinar platform integration
For many outbound-focused users, webinars are a key tactic for qualifying leads. Tight integration between the marketing and webinar platforms means that data moves automatically from one system to the other. Since webinar data flows automatically into the marketing automation system, it's much easier to perform fast and targeted follow-up to attendees based, for example, on how long they attended.

SMB vs. Mid-Market vs. Enterprise Marketing Automation Software

For marketing automation to be successful, the selected software needs to fit the corporate environment. The range of products available is quite broad - from a few hundred dollars a months to more sophisticated marketing automation platforms costing several thousand dollars a month.

SMB and Mid-Market Marketing Automation
Products targeted at SMB and mid-sized customers often have a range of capabilities beyond pure-play outbound marketing. For smaller organizations the appeal of a set of simple but fully integrated marketing tools is attractive. These marketing tools are typically easy to learn and do not require specialized skills.

Enterprise Marketing Automation
The same dynamic of offering a range of capabilities beyond traditional marketing automation is also apparent at the enterprise level. The large enterprise software companies like IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe have all made acquisitions of Marketing Automation as part of a larger vision to create enterprise marketing cloud offerings, including marketing tools such as web analytics, A/B testing, social listening, publishing & analytics and ad management.

Excerpts from TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Marketing Automation

The State of Marketing Automation

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation software helps to automate and scale repetitive marketing tasks and the subsequent analysis of those efforts. Originally focused on email-based campaign management, Marketing Automation now refers to a broad range of automation and analytic tools for marketing.

While increasingly multi-channel, Marketing Automation products are largely centered on digital campaign execution, automation and measurement. The core concept is that leads in the marketing database can be nurtured through the buying process by providing them with relevant, personalized content until they are ready to purchase. Historically the primary channel was email, but today websites, mobile interfaces and social media are all integral to successful marketing efforts. Campaign workflow can be designed within the tool and then executed automatically; once a campaign has run its course, a range of analytic tools can measure its performance to understand what worked well and what did not.

Most Marketing Automation software products contain an email engine and abilities to create customized landing pages, score leads and analyze results, which provide a holistic view of the entire marketing funnel from visitor to customer. Beyond these core functions vendors tend to differentiate themselves on breadth or depth of offering, largely based upon current or historical market segment focus.

For example, at the high very end of the market some enterprise tools like Teradata's Integrated Marketing Management (formerly Aprimo Marketing Studio) and IBM Unica provide comprehensive Marketing Resource Management (MRM) functionality. This functionality focuses on internal marketing processes like budget and forecasting, project workflow management, asset management, brand management and spend management. Such capabilities have historically not been a focus for small business and mid-market enterprises, though some believe that MRM capabilities will become important for mid-market companies. Marketo recently added budget management and will be releasing a calendar feature.

Photo of Craig Rosenberg - Co-founder, TOPO“For marketing automation to move beyond demand generation to become the platform for marketing, MRM [Marketing Resource Management] is an area that they will have to include as part of their suites moving forward.”

At the small business end of the market, the emphasis is on providing a complete toolset of marketing capabilities, of which campaign management is just one element. These products are commonly referred to as “All-in-One Marketing Platforms,” and typically include basic email, social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and blogging tools. Some products also include eCommerce and basic CRM capabilities.

Inbound versus Outbound Marketing

An inbound marketing orientation focuses on the “top of the funnel,” i.e., generating new leads. Per the illustration below, primary inbound marketing tactics include publishing educational content (blogs, white papers, videos or any other content that draws people in), search engine optimization and social media.

Outbound (or mid-funnel) marketing focuses on nurturing and engaging existing leads with relevant content via email and social media, building calls to action (e.g., attending a webinar) and sending leads to personalized landing pages. As these leads become increasingly engaged, they become Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and ultimately Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) that are ripe for closing. Some marketing automation tools aim to cover the full funnel, while other tools emphasize individual stages.

At the small business end of the market, the emphasis is on providing a complete toolset of marketing capabilities, of which campaign management is just one element. These products are commonly referred to as “All-in-One Marketing Platforms,” and typically include basic email, social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and blogging tools. Some products also include eCommerce and basic CRM capabilities.

Steven Shattuck - Content Funnel Diagram
Source: Steven Shattuck, The Top 1 Ways to Fail at Content Marketing March, 2013

Pages 3-19 are available in the complete TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Marketing Automation and cover

  • Achieving Success with Marketing Automation
  • The Best Marketing Automation Products by Market Segment
  • The Best Marketing Automation Products for Small Businesses
  • The Best Marketing Automation Products for Mid-Size Companies
  • The Best Marketing Automation Products for Enterprises
  • Act-On Ratings & User Feedback
  • Adobe Neolane Ratings & User Feedback
  • CallidusCloud Marketing Automation (formerly LeadFormix) Ratings & User Feedback
  • eTrigue DemandCenter Ratings & User Feedback
  • HubSpot Ratings & User Feedback
  • IBM Unica Ratings & User Feedback
  • Infusionsoft Ratings & User Feedback
  • Marketo Ratings & User Feedback
  • Oracle Eloqua Ratings & User Feedback
  • Pardot Ratings & User Feedback
  • Silverpop Engage Ratings & User Feedback
  • Teradata Marketing Studio Ratings & User Feedback

Trends in Marketing Automation

Most people buying Marketing Automation software consider it a multi-year investment and strategy to fully realize success. There are a number of macro trends to consider which could influence your investment decision:

  • Market consolidation
  • Increasing product breadth through development, acquisition and integration
  • Emergence of enterprise marketing offerings
  • Creation of a Marketing Database of Record and CRM integration

Market Consolidation

The last few years have seen very high levels of acquisition activity in the Marketing Automation space. Most of the acquisitions have been large enterprise software companies acquiring pure-play Marketing Automation providers. However, some Marketing Automation providers like Marketo have also been acquisitive. The following is a list of acquisitions that have occurred in the last few years:

  • 2010: IBM acquired Unica for $480 million
  • 2011: Teradata acquired Aprimo for $525 million
  • 2011: Act-On acquired the assets of Marketbright
  • 2011: HubSpot acquired Performable
  • 2012: Marketo acquired CrowdFactory, a social campaign platform.
  • 2012: Microsoft acquired MarketingPilot
  • 2012: Oracle acquired Eloqua for $810 million
  • 2013: ExactTarget acquired Pardot for $95 million
  • 2013: Salesforce acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion
  • 2013: Adobe acquired Neolane for $600 million
  • 2013: Marketo acquired Insightera for $20 million
  • 2013: Oracle acquired Responsys for $1.5 billion
  • 2013: Infusionsoft acquired GroSocial
  • 2014: Callidus Cloud acquired LeadRocket (formerly Genius)
  • 2014: IBM acquired Silverpop for an estimated $270 million

There have also been a number of new entrants in the last few years, though none have yet risen to become substantial companies. Among the many new entrants are Bislr (2011), inBoundio (2013), INBOX25 (2009) for Sugar CRM, WhatsNexx (2008), Leadsberry (2010), Leadsius (2009), Target360 (for Microsoft Dynamics 2012), ClickDimensions (for Microsoft Dynamics 2010) or Prospecteer which blends content marketing with Marketing Automation capabilities.

Increasing Product Breadth

Photo of Howard J. Sewell — President, Spear Marketing Group“I don't think any solution, certainly not today, does it all. We have many clients who use Marketo and HubSpot side-by-side, for example. Or take a newer solution like Captora, who very specifically position themselves as feeding the top of the lead funnel at the same time that they trumpet their integration with more traditional marketing automation systems. I'd be very skeptical of any solution that claims to be an 'all-in-one' marketing system. And with today's cloud-based software and open architectures, there's little reason not to pursue a best-of-breed strategy.”

As previously mentioned, small business-oriented Marketing Automation tools typically include inbound capabilities for blogging, SEO and social media publishing. Marketing Automation tools designed for larger organizations are also expanding their range of capabilities through product development, integration or acquisition. Here are some examples:

  • Web Conferencing: The ability to manage leads coming in from webinars makes these integrations essential. Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, HubSpot and others achieve these integrations by partnering with 3rd-party vendors like ReadyTalk to build connectors that allow for invitations, registration tracking, reminders, etc. Act-On has built its own connectors to both WebEx and GoToWebinar.
  • Dynamic Website/ Progressive Profiling: Understanding who is visiting the website without requiring the visitor to fill out a form is critically important to improve conversion rates. Once something is known about a visitor, the web browsing experience can be tailored with that information to provide a more customized experience. Silverpop, as a vendor with a large proportion of B2C customers, has recently developed “Visitor Insight” which does exactly that; Neolane and HubSpot both offer something similar, as well. Eloqua partners with Demandbase and Get Smart Content to offer this capability. Marketo acquired Insightera in December 2013 to add this increasingly important capability to its arsenal of tools.
  • Marketing Resource Management: These capabilities that have always been associated with high-end tools like Unica and Teradata (formerly Aprimo), are now starting to get some attention from other vendors, too. Marketo, for example, recently introduced Financial Management, which is designed for managing marketing budgets across marketing teams.
  • Social Media Management: Marketing Automation products have traditionally been focused on email, but the ability to include social capabilities within the workflow has become almost a given. Almost all vendors have made some progress in integrating social capabilities into their platforms. Silverpop does particularly well here with “Publish-to-Social”, which allows marketers to send email and social updates at the same time. HubSpot also has strong capabilities in the social arena, offering both listening and publishing tools. Marketo acquired social marketing company Crowd Factory in 2012 to add social campaign capabilities to the platform.

Some vendors have decided to solve the problem of escalating breadth requirements by building partner ecosystems inspired by the Salesforce AppExchange. Best-of-breed point tools sometimes provide much better functionality than what can be built in-house. Marketo started LaunchPoint in 2012 and it currently has 200 participating partner companies. Similarly, Eloqua has the App Cloud and Act-On has the Partner Exchange (APEX).

Photo of Jon Miller — Co-founder and VP Marketing, Marketo“The more open you can be to have other companies plugged in, the better you'll serve the needs of your customers.”

Emergence of Enterprise Marketing Offerings

The large enterprise software companies like IBM, Oracle, Salesforce and Adobe have all made acquisitions of Marketing Automation platforms (Unica and Silverpop, Eloqua and Responsys, ExactTarget and Neolane respectively) as part of a larger vision to create enterprise marketing cloud offerings. These vendors are focused on building enterprise marketing cloud suites where Marketing Automation is just one component of a full suite of modern digital marketing tools. For example, Adobe's marketing cloud also includes web analytics, A/B testing, social listening, publishing & analytics and ad management.

Oracle's Kevin Akeroyd, GM of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, segments buyers into two tiers: 1) those looking solely for marketing automation solutions, and 2) those seeking a broader enterprise marketing offering. He states, “today tier one is 75% of the market, but the 25% of the market represented by marketing cloud solutions is growing much faster.”

It is important to note that Salesforce is integrating Pardot (formerly ExactTarget) into the Marketing Cloud. Pardot has classically served B2C customers and has been more of a high-volume, advanced email marketing platform vs. a Marketing Automation tool oriented for B2B-style campaign management. Pardot is becoming part of the SalesCloud.

Marketing Database of Record & CRM Integration

Historically, many enterprises have considered their CRM the database of record. Increasingly, marketing functions consider their Marketing Automation system their database of record - it contains all the data relating to lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns, customer communications and data across channels like social.

Moreover, many contacts (leads) in the marketing database have typically not yet reached the threshold where they become SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) and are ready for a salesperson to follow up — the logical point to pass them to the CRM system. This typically occurs via a data sync between the two systems. The difficulty is that data syncs are inherently complex and are frequently a cause of customer dissatisfaction, as is attested to by the attention given to this topic in reviews of these products. More and more, customers want the integration between these systems to be real-time — sales wants the leads immediately with no waiting. In addition to sending leads to the CRM when they hit a pre-determined score, other data sync requirements are also becoming more common, making the process more complex. For example, the Marketing Automation application is required to send alerts to salespeople when a prospect performs an action such as visiting a web page, or leads must be automatically assigned to the right sales rep through territory mapping rules.

Some vendors like Marketo and HubSpot have addressed this problem by building applications that are native to platforms like Salesforce.com. Salesforce itself plans to solve this problem by porting Pardot to the same underlying CRM database so that, effectively, Marketing Automation becomes an extension of Salesforce automation and the whole notion of a data sync is eliminated.

Page 21 is available in the complete TrustRadius Buyer's Guide to Marketing Automation and covers

  • Further Resources for Your Evaluation

Marketing Automation Products

Products (1-25 of 80)

HubSpot

HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing engine that includes tools for email marketing, landing page creation, social media marketing, content management, reporting & analytics, search engine optimization (SEO) and more.

Marketo

Marketo is a marketing automation platform with a range of capabilities spanning SMB to enterprise. Basic features include email marketing, drip nurturing, landing pages, and lead scoring, but other editions offer additional advanced features. Typical customers are B2B firms with complex sales...

Act-On

Act-On is a Marketing Automation application. Its technology includes an email engine with integration to leading web conferencing and CRM solutions; website visitor tracking, lead scoring, lead nurturing and social media prospecting; design tools for web forms, landing pages and emails; inbound...

Pardot

Pardot is a marketing automation platform. Its key features include lead management, lead generation, social selling and email marketing.

Oracle Marketing Cloud - Oracle Cross Channel Marketing to Businesses (Eloqua)

Oracle Cross-Channel Marketing to Businesses (part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, and formerly known as Eloqua) is a B2B Cross-Channel Marketing solution that enables marketers to plan and execute automated marketing campaigns while delivering a personalized customer experience for their...

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a small business-focused, comprehensive sales and marketing platform, which includes basic contact management, CRM, marketing automation and e-commerce capabilities into a single, subscription-based SaaS product. Functionality included in Infusionsoft's software includes:...

Silverpop Engage

SIlverpop is best known as an email marketing vendor but has offered marketing automation functionality such as campaign building, lead segmentation and scoring, since it's acquisition of Vtrenz in 2007. Silverpop also has some social publishing capabilities built into the platform.

eTrigue DemandCenter

DemandCenter is a real-time sales acceleration SaaS solution designed for sales and marketing teams. The product allows organizations to define their audiences, build marketing campaigns, manage execution and analyze their performance.

Hatchbuck

Hatchbuck is an all-in-one sales and marketing platform designed for small business.

Net-Results

Net-Results is a marketing automation platform that provides organizations the ability to understand where their prospects are in the sales funnel in real time.

7Sheep

7Sheep is a marketing automation platform that is designed for marketing teams of 1 - 10 people. The solution focuses on the following key areas:  Quick and Easy Databases Web Form Builders Automation and Nurturing Triggers E-mail and Text Message Campaigns Prospect Interaction...

SharpSpring

SharpSpring is an all-in-one marketing automation platform that provides automation, behavioral-based email, built-in CRM or 3rd-party integration, agency-focused features, Gmail and IMAP integration, and call tracking. The vendor says it strives to be one of the most...

GreenRope

GreenRope is an all-in-one CRM and marketing automation platform. The platform includes all the of the tools a business owner, marketer or sales manager needs to generate leads, track opportunities, nurture leads through the funnel, and provide the best customer experience. This solution can...

LeadSquared

LeadSquared is a marketing automation and CRM platform. It includes landing pages, email marketing, lead management, analytics, connectors, and WordPress Plugins.

IBM Unica

Unica is a broad-based enterprise marketing operations platform that includes marketing automation capabilities along with marketing operations capabilities (budget and forecasting, project workflow management, asset management, brand management and spend management). The product is geared...

CallidusCloud Marketing Automation

CallidusCloud Marketing Automation provides users with the ability to consolidate online and offline leads in one single platform. Leads can be scored and prioritized based on a prospect's identity, web activity, and buying intent. Users can also plan, automate and monitor complex, multi-step,...

ONTRAPORT

ONTRAPORT offers customer relations management services that help with content management, such as creating and hosting webpages; lead tracking, which includes collecting customer data and behavior; traditional marketing approaches, such as e-mail, SMS, social media, and direct mail; managing...

Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud

Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud (formerly Marketing Studio) includes marketing automation, marketing resource management, and marketing analytics capabilities. In addition to standard marketing automation functionality like lead management and email marketing, Teradata integrates with...

Spokal

Spokal is an all-in-one inbound marketing platform designed specifically for small businesses and freelancers who don’t have a full-time marketing department. It works with existing WordPress websites. Spokal offers a drag & drop content editor and social media sharing calendar, as well as...

Adobe Campaign

Adobe acquired Neolane in July 2013 and later re-named the product Adobe Campaign. Adobe Campaign provides both marketing automation and marketing resource management functionality like spend/financial management, workflow and asset management. It also has strong analytics capabilities. It also...

Makesbridge

Makesbridge is a marketing automation product designed for SMBs.

Launchpad Marketing Cloud

The Launchpad Marketing Cloud is comprised of a collection of online and offline marketing solutions that is designed to manage existing customer relationships and identify new prospective customers by granting users access to The V12 Group Data Cloud. The Launchpad Marketing Cloud contains a suite...

Salesfusion

Salesfusion is a marketing automation platform that helps small and mid-sized businesses attract new opportunities, convert them into customers and nurture them into lifetime relationships. The vendor says that its solution is unique because it provides a CRM-style relational database and native...

Experiture Marketing Platform

The Experiture Marketing Platform is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows users to create, deploy, automate and optimize highly personalized marketing programs at scale across email, web, mobile, social and more.

Oracle Marketing Cloud - Oracle Cross Channel Marketing to Consumers (Responsys)

Oracle Cross-Channel Marketing to Consumers (part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, and formerly known as Responsys) is a B2C Cross Channel Marketing solution that is designed to help marketers deliver more relevant, real-time interactions for consumers across email, mobile, display,...

Marketing Automation Articles

  • Quickly find the right product based on 400+ in-depth reviews and user ratings
  • Compare the pros & cons of the top rated vendors in this free 46-page guide from TrustRadius
  • Explore the key trends and 5 success factors for marketing automation success
 
More »

TrustRadius sat down with Atri Chatterjee, CMO at Act-On to discuss customer focus, product development strategy, and the future of marketing automation. 

 
More »
Jon Miller, Co-Founder of Marketo talks about his new start-up, Engagio - a company focused on Account Based Marketing. Jon shares his vision for the company and his initial product's direction.  
More »
TrustRadius checked in with CMO Mike Volpe for an update on developments at HubSpot, and to get his take on the Marketing Automation landscape.   
More »
We caught up with Adam Blitzer, CEO of Pardot to hear what's changed 20 months into their acquisition by Salesforce. We discuss their new sales force marketing automation tool, and how they're tackling CRM integration, and the future of...  
More »
According to recent research by Spear Marketing Group, a leading full-service B2B demand generation agency, the majority of companies using marketing automation are not fully utilizing their chosen software.  The issues?  Specialized skills, database ...
 
More »
TrustRadius CEO interviews Marketo's VP of Product and Corporate Marketing about recent product developments, their integration with SAP's Hybris E-Commerce Platform and Facebook, and their outlook for 2015.   
More »

In Q4 2014, Hubspot retained its position as the most evaluated marketing automation product on TrustRadius by some margin. Marketo remained in the number two slot. Act-On climbed from number three overtaking Pardot and Infusionsoft climbed to number five, overtaking Eloqua and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email (formerly known as ExactTarget). Focusing in on the enterprise segment (companies with >500 employees), the ranking for evaluation frequency changes considerably. Marketo takes the top slot, followed by Eloqua, IBM Unica, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email and IBM Silverpop.

 
More »
It's been a great year at TrustRadius! Our members have contributed 10,000+ in-depth user reviews and ratings. And 125,000+ software buyers now rely on these insights every month. Together we're changing how business software is bought and sold. Thank you! To wrap up 2014, we're highlighting the 14 most-read articles on TrustRadius this year. Enjoy and stay tuned for more real-world user insights in 2015!  
More »
Marketing automation is a hot category. Google searches for "Marketing Automation" have increased about 50% in the last year. But just how much are companies spending on marketing automation software? Find out in this TrustRadius poll result summary.  
More »
On April 16th, 2014 we announced the availability of the Marketing Automation TrustMap™, a visual depiction of the best Marketing Automation software products as rated by users within each market segment - small businesses, mid-size companies and enterprises.  
More »
In Q3 2014, the most evaluated marketing automation products - based unique page views for marketing automation products, a measure for how many people are running product evaluations on TrustRadius - were Hubspot and Marketo, followed by Pardot (from Salesforce), Act-On, Eloqua (from Oracle) and ExactTarget (from Salesforce)  
More »
Just over a month ago, HubSpot, widely known for its comprehensive online marketing suite and as the torch bearer for inbound marketing, took many including myself, by surprise in announcing their own CRM solution at their user conference. Learn why they introduced a CRM, their market focus and plans for its evolution.  
More »
Bjorn Billhardt is the founder and CEO of Enspire. Bjorn heard about TrustRadius through a friend. After looking at TrustRadius, Bjorn decided Enspire should do an internal analysis of the marketing automation platform they were using. Upon closely reading what others were saying on TrustRadius, he realized Enspire wasn't really using it in a way that justified its expense. Last spring, Bjorn discontinued his marketing automation software license for an annual saving of $30,000. "I don't think we would've had the confidence to pull the plug if we hadn't read the reviews," he said.  
More »