On February 26th, VP of Products for VentureBeat, John Koetsier, wrote an article diving into the top 10 marketing automation companies. The data was pulled from the VB Marketing Automation Index, which included responses from over 1,000 professional marketers with automation experience. If you want a copy of the report, it will run you $299 and is available here (totally worth the money, btw).
Some of the results were spot on with what we anticipated, and some were rather surprising - covering the following automation providers. We've included their top 10 rankings as well.
- Salesforce/Pardot (2)
- SAS (4)
- Silverpop (10)
- Net Results
- Eloqua (5)
- Marketo (3)
- Hubspot (1)
- IBM/Unica (6)
- Infusionsoft (8)
- Act-On (7)
- LoopFuse (9)
Here's our take on both the surprising and not-so-surprising findings.
The Not-So-Surprising Results
HubSpot took top honors as the best all around marketing automation solution. We could've told you that! While this doesn't surprise those of us agencies who specialize in HubSpot services, it may come as a surprise to others out there who've only been exposed to the other players in the market.
It was also not surprising that Marketo came in the top 3. Much like HubSpot, they also "eat their own dog food" by living and breathing inbound marketing for themselves. Both companies are on a constant mission to educate buyers and do a pretty darn good job.
Last of the not-so-surprising results? Market growth. We've seen this industry literally explode over the last several years. HubSpot's recent IPO is a prime example of this growth. Likewise, the quick acquisition of automation products by larger tech companies, like SalesForce's acquisition of Pardot and Oracle's acquisition of Eloqua, also shows that the automation market is quickly amassing interest.
The Surprising Results
One of the first things that took us by surprise was that Silverop (10 on the list) ranked higher than SalesForce when it came to CRM integration. That's right, SalesForce, known widely as the CRM solution for SMBs was outranked by a smaller upstart. This is especially surprising considering SalesForce's acquisition of Pardot mentioned above. Looks like there's still some work to do for those guys.
Another surprising finding was the number of automation solutions companies & marketers are using simultaneously. Now, we've spoken to several companies where they're blending use of Eloqua and HubSpot, Marketo and HubSpot, SalesForce and anything, etc. However, to say that 44% of these companies are using 3 or more solutions at the same time is crazy! Our thoughts are that this is due to poor vendor education and implementation, leaving companies only half-understanding what the software can do and thus, bringing on additional solutions unnecessarily. It could also be due to companies simply incorporating half-baked solutions that don't cover all the bases, thus actually requiring that they bring on supplemental tools.
VentureBeat's research is another step in the right direction toward educating the market on automation solutions. The more access companies have to 3rd party, unbiased research, the less likely they are to adopt multiple solutions unnecessarily.
Other great research sites like G2 Crowd and TrustRadius are also doing wonders for businesses, ensuring that as this market grows, customers remain empowered and educated.
We love that.