In the never-ending list of software options that business owners consider when trying to improve efficiency and save money, marketing automation ranks high. In fact, marketing automation software has become one of the most in-demand tools for marketers. In all that noise, it’s difficult to navigate what companies provide marketing automation software, and which one is best suited for your particular wants and needs. Let’s take a look at some options.
First, there’s a key distinction to make. 100s of companies claim to provide marketing automation. Case in point, many email marketing companies say they’re a marketing automation provider. There are only a handful of pure-play marketing automation companies that focus deeply on key areas of automation, including lead qualification, lead nurturing, lead distribution and sales intelligence. What it really boils down to is the size of company you’re looking to work with, public or private, and how fat your wallet is. Here are some pure-play vendors to keep in mind:
With more than 50,000 users, Oracle’s Eloqua software ranks at the top of the list of marketing automation software. Robust and allowing for considerable customization, Eloqua is appropriate software for businesses that focus on email marketing and data cleansing. Eloqua also offers pre-designed templates for landing pages as well as the option to block free email addresses on contact forms, which provides better quality leads to sales teams.
Before choosing any marketing automation software, you need to decide what your priorities are. You should be aware that high technical skills and knowledge will be required to use Eloqua.
Marketo’s marketing automation software has evolved since its introduction several years ago. Marketo has expanded to include B2B personalization and marketing management (budgeting software)solutions. Marketo’s platform allows users to stream their overall marketing process and efforts. In general, Marketo has seen extraordinary growth since introducing their software and was ranked the 78th fastest growing business in 2012.
Marketo has its ups and downs – one of its obvious downs being as a company of its size, individual attention may be limited. The novelty of going with a boutique firm in this space never wears off.
Pardot introduced their marketing automation software in 2007 and was acquired by ExactTarget in 2012. Ranked the 172nd fastest growing business in 2012, Pardot experienced a 2,001% increase in growth over a three-year period. Offering an email design interface including multiple pre-built templates, Pardot allows users to configure email content that’s driven by date fields or sales rep assignments. Additionally, many users claim that Pardot is able to improve inbound marketing strategies while letting companies focus on the most promising leads.
Developing a wish list of features and requirements and then choosing the tool that best suits your needs is the best way to choose a marketing automation program. This way, you’re likely to spend your budget on the best software out there while embracing the technology that will likely improve your business processes. Marketing automation is becoming mainstream and with it, the list of companies who provide this software is growing. Research carefully, include your sales and marketing teams, and choose software that will best drive revenue and covert leads into customers.
Better yet, take a look at Lead Liaison’s offerings and work with a company that is not clamoring to satisfy Wall Street, can meet your individual needs, and give you more in-depth training than anyone else on the market. You’ll need a fat wallet for Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot, and you’ll have plenty of money left over to eat lunch with Lead Liaison. We can help you take the next step in considering marketing automation solutions! Feel free to ping us to learn more!