Marketing Automation Tool Comparison

December 05, 2013
marketing-automation-tool-comparison

Marketing automation has the power to revolutionize the way marketing and sales work. However, it’s not a closely watched segment by the wider marketing community. It’s not often that you see moves by IBM, Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce.com in a single business sector without generating an incredible amount of chatter.

As far as investments and acquisitions, marketing automation as a business sector is on fire. In 2013, the marketing automation sector had its first IPO — marketing automation leader, Marketo, raised $79 million in May and jumped over 50% on its first day of trading. Marketing is one of the final business functions in need of a technology makeover and we’re seeing a quantum leap forward to fill the vacuum.

CHOOSING A MARKETING AUTOMATION VENDOR 

If you’re one of these ahead-of-the-curve folks who thinks it’s time to revolutionize the way your marketing and sales departments work, you are probably in need of some help in choosing the right software. Here are a few thoughts to ponder as you make your decision:

1. Do Your Research: This is fairly obvious, but there are a number of tools out there, each with different features and interfaces. Figure out what they do so you know how to best apply their solutions to your company.

2. Know Your Needs: After you’ve done your homework and are able to answer the question,”what is marketing automation,” you should be able to understand what the needs are for your company. Do you need to tie social media efforts to the revenue they generate? Does your sales team need a better tie to your marketing efforts? These are good places to start.

3. Can You Use It? Marketing automation tools range from easy to complex. Pick a tool with a feature set that will be utilized at your company, and understand what will be required when it comes to implementing the tool, development and employee training.

5. What Do You Get? Some marketing automation vendors will implement the tool for you, but it will cost money. Ask questions about startup costs, monthly fees, and feature upgrades to be sure you know what you’re in for.

6. Look At Your Traffic: For many large businesses marketing automation becomes a revenue generator thanks to scale. Consider upfront investment vs. the potential leads traffic and revenue growth. Do the numbers make sense?

7. Ask Somebody: Marketing automation as an industry is growing each year, and that means support groups, meetups, and conferences are in full swing. Meet some people with the same interests and ask questions.

Tools

Below, you’ll find a rundown of pricing, features and background on each of the major players in the marketing automation software industry. Much of the information below is sampled from an amazing report from Dan Freeman, President of Marketing Growth Strategies. Go grab his report, “Marketing Automation: Industry Overview” for an even more in-depth look at the history of the industry and these companies.

Marketo

Marketo-Logo-Large

Marketo launched the first IPO in the marketing automation sector, raising close to $80 million with its debut in May 2013. Prior to the IPO, Marketo raised over $100 million in venture capital.

Marketo has a cloning feature that enables replication of campaign workflow in order to streamline production. Marketo integrates with Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SAP, and SugarCRM.

The product also integrates with event management solutions like Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToWebinar, On24, and ReadyTalk. Marketo’s Social Marketing includes share buttons, social form fill, publishing to Facebook, Video Share, and Social Polls.

Features: Email Marketing, Lead Capture, Lead Scoring, Lead Nurturing (Workflow Automation), Website Analytics and Visitor Tracking, Return on Marketing Analysis, CRM Integration, Web Event Integration, Social Marketing Integration

Pricing: Marketo’s starting monthly price points for three editions (for a database 10K records and under) are as follows — Spark: $1,195, Standard: $1,995, Select: $3,195

Act-on

Act-On logo

Act-On integrates with Salesforce CRM, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage CRM, SalesLogix, and SugarCRM. The platform also integrates with Data.com, Google Analytics, LinkedIn, Dun & Bradstreet, WebEx and GoToWebinar. Social Media posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be disseminated and tracked through the platform. Act-On Inbound is a new suite of features that helps marketers improve SEO and see the ROI of AdWords campaigns.

Each customer is given a designated customer success manager that is available to them during business hours 9-5, for the lifetime of their usage. In addition to telephone support, Act-On offers live training and recordings, self-paced training videos, webinars, and an extensive online knowledge base.

Features: Email Marketing, Lead Capture, Website Analytics and Visitor Tracking, Lead Scoring, Lead Nurturing (Workflow Automation), Reporting & Analytics, Web Event Integration, Social Marketing Integration, CRM Integration, Advanced Inbound/SEO

Pricing: Act-On marketing automation platform starts at $500 per month for 1,000 active contacts. Pricing for Act-On Inbound starts at $249 per month for 500 Keywords and 1,000 Pages.

Eloqua (Oracle)

eloqua_logo

Short but effective videos are available for each of its product features at Eloqua.com. In addition to Oracle CRM, Eloqua 10 integrates with Salesforce CRM, MS Dynamics CRM. Eloqua also offers integration with a variety of applications Citrix GoToWebinar, Data.com, D&B360, Cvent, and Twitter. The full set of applications can be found on the Eloqua website.

Support hours for the Basic package are 5 days per week, 12 hours per day. Support for Standard package includes extended support hours—5 days per week, 24 hours per day. Support for the Enterprise package also includes a dedicated support representative. Eloqua also has an active user support community, found at Topliners.com, and an extensive video library on YouTube and its web site.

Features: Targeting & Segmentation, Campaign Management, Sales Enablement, Lead Management, Marketing Measurement, Social Media Marketing, Customer Lifecycle Marketing, Eloqua AppCloud.

Pricing: Basic starts at $2,000 and includes 10 users. Standard is priced at $4,000 and includes 50 users. Enterprise plan, users should contact Eloqua for pricing.

eTrigue

eTrigue-Logo-Medium

A 27 minute product demo which provides the basics of eTrigue functionality is available on the eTrigue website and, of course, users can also get a custom live demo of the system. Each campaign begins with a drag-and-drop workflow, so even sending a single message requires users to visualize a workflow. This helps acclimate users to lead nurturing— a majority of eTrigue customers use campaigns of 5-steps or more.

eTrigue targets mid-sized firms (100-499 employees) which constitutes about two thirds of its customer base. Another 15 percent are large companies (500 or more employees), and the remainder are firms of less than 100. Notable customers include Skype, Cisco, and CompuCom. The vast majority of eTrigue’s customers are B2B.

eTrigue has developed a Quickstart package to help on-board new customs. Quickstart is included in pricing and includes live (over the web) plus self-directed training. Each customer is assigned a Customer Success Manager.

Features: Email Marketing, Lead Capture, Lead Scoring, Lead Nurturing (Workflow Automation), Website Analytics and Visitor Tracking, Return on Marketing Analysis, CRM Integration, Web Event Integration, Social Marketing Integration

Pricing: eTrigue offers monthly pricing plans ranging from $600 for up to 1,000 email records to $2,900 for up to 250,000 email records and beyond. There is no limit to the number of emails sent each month. Pricing is all inclusive, without extra for training, or users. The minimum contract period is one year.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft-logo-blog1

Like Salesforce.com, InfusionSoft is attempting to create a marketplace of applications that integrate with the core platform. Currently, these applications range from Outlook synching of contacts to event management. You can see a complete list of integrations at http://marketplace.infusionsoft.com.

Features: Attract customers via email, web and social media, automate marketing, track lead data, close sales, sell online  with an easy storefront designer.

Pricing: InfusionSoft offers four basic pricing plans ranging from $219 per month for the Essentials package (includes 2,500 contacts, 12,500 emails/mo. and 3 users) to $379 for the Complete package (includes 10,000 contacts, 50,000 emails/mo. and 5 users).

Ontraport

ONTRAPORT

Santa Barbara based Ontraport was started in 2006 by entrepreneur Landon Ray to help small businesses streamline sales and marketing processes. The fast growing Ontraport remains privately held. Ontraport does not integrate with other CRM packages but rather has its own CRM

In addition to sales and marketing, Ontraport’s integrates with a wide variety of applications including Authorize.net, Elavon, eway, NMI, PayPal, PayPalPRO, PayPal Payflow Pro, PayJunction, PayLeap, QuickBooks, USAepay, UltraCart, 1ShoppingCart, ClickBank, WordPress, Facebook, GoToWebinar, VoiceShot, and OptimizePress

Features: Email Marketing, Lead Capture, Lead Scoring, Lead Nurturing (Workflow Automation), Native CRM, Web Event Integration, Social Marketing Integration

Pricing: Ontraport’s Pro version costs $297 per month and includes 25,000 contacts, 100,000 emails per month and 2 users. The Team version costs $597 per month and includes 100,000 contacts, 100,000 emails per month and 10 users. There is no minimum contract period.

Pardot (Salesforce)

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Salesforce’s Pardot integrates with Salesforce CRM, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and SugarCRM. Pardot does not offer full CRM functionality but can act as a standalone lead management database. A CRM is not required to use Pardot. For more info, a short but very informative overview of the Pardot platform can be found here.

The Pardot App Center helps marketers share data across a wide variety of marketing platforms including Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, Data.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, WebEx, GoToWebinar, WordPress, Wistia, Eventbrite, and Twilio. Users can learn more at http://www.pardot.com/apps/

Pardot offers tiered support and implementation packages to fit clients’ onboarding needs. Custom solutions and a la carte project assistance is available via Pardot’s Professional Services team. Each client has access to unlimited email support and the option to include chat and phone support

Features: Email Marketing, Lead Capture, Lead Scoring, Lead Nurturing (Workflow Automation), Return on Marketing Analysis, Web Event Integration, Social Marketing Integration, CRM Integration

Pricing: Pardot offers three pricing plans. Professional starts at $1,000 per month with 30,000 contacts. Enterprise is priced at $2,000 per month. Ultimate runs $3,000 per month. Additional blocks of 30,000 contacts can be purchased for $300. The minimum contract period is 1 year.

Salesfusion

SalesFUSION-Logo

SalesFUSION integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, Sage CRM SalesLogix, NetSuite, and Microsoft Outlook. About 20% of the company’s customers use SalesFUSION’s native CRM database.

The product can also integrates contact data with Data.com, SEM with Google AdWords, and events with GotoWebinar and Webex. Social Media posts to Facebook and Twitter can be done within the platform.

95 percent of SalesFUSION’s customers opt for its Quickstart implementation program, which starts at $450. SalesFUSION also offers free live web-based classes daily, recorded training videos at SalesFUSION University, and Onsite training as well.

Features: Email Marketing, Lead Capture, Lead Scoring, Lead Nurturing (Workflow Automation), Website Analytics and Visitor Tracking, Return on Marketing Analysis, CRM Integration plus Native CRM, Web Event Integration, Social Marketing Integration

Pricing: SalesFUSION offers four pricing plans ranging from its SMB edition which starts at $750 per month, and includes 30,000 contacts, to its Enterprise edition which runs $3,000 per month with 30,000 contacts. All pricing is based a minimum term of 12-months.

Hubspot

HubSpotLogo_Dark_Web_Flat

Hubspot is an automation platform heavy on social and blog integration. From Hubspot you can post to your blog, release marketing emails, manage social media, and handle your website.

HubSpot all-in-one marketing software helps more than 10,000 companies in 56 countries attract leads and convert them into customers. A pioneer in inbound marketing, HubSpot aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love.

Hubspot does integrate with your Salesforce account, and it has a lead management system and analytics built in. But, the focus with the tool is more on great looking marketing.

Features: Blog post publisher, social media inbox, social publishing, website management, lead management, lead scoring, data and analytics, Salesforce integration.

Pricing: Basic level features are $200/month for up to 100 contacts. Pro level is $800/month for up to 1,000 contacts. Enterprise level is $2,400 for up to 10,000 contacts.

This post is part of a series of articles on Marketing Automation from Room 214. We are a certified Marketo Agency Partner who can help you with implementing your automation system, aligning your sales and marketing teams and creatingin content designed to drive leads, sales and visibility. To learn more visit our website Room214.com

About Brandon Whalen

Brandon is Head of Marketing at Room 214. As a social media strategist he has worked on the social media presence for multiple world-wide brands including Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain and Hello Kitty. Brandon's work has resulted in growth of multiple millions of new fans on various social media networks for clients. As a contributor to Capture The Conversation and Word of Mouth Marketing Association's All Things WOMM blog, Brandon covers a big range of topics from social media marketing news to digital marketing strategy guides. Outside of work he is an active musician and lead singer for a band called My Body Sings Electric. You can catch the band playing shows around Denver or the west coast a few times a year. Want to connect with Brandon when he's not singing, writing, rooting on the Colorado Rockies or staying fit? Check his Facebook account, follow him on Twitter @Brandonsings, or head to Brandon's account on Google Plus.

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