Mar 31

March 31, 2009 – Most demand generation systems excel at either simple or complex marketing programs, but not both, according to a report released today by industry consultants Raab Associates Inc.

The study scored seven vendors on usability factors drawn from their entries in the Raab Guide to Demand Generation Systems, a detailed, independent assessment published by Raab Associates at www.raabguide.com.   Six factors applied to simple marketing programs, six applied to complex marketing programs, and six applied to both types of programs.  Vendors could receive full or half credit for each factor.  Only one vendor, Market2Lead, ranked highly in both categories.  Marketo, Manticore Technology and Marketbright ranked highly for simple programs, while Equola, Neolane and Silverpop Engage B2B led for complex programs.

“The distinction between simple and complex programs is crucial when evaluating usability,” said David M. Raab, principal of Raab Associates Inc.  “Some features that make simple programs easy are ill-suited to complex programs, and vice versa.”  The study describes “simple” programs as being run by small marketing staffs who manage relatively few products and market segments.  “Complex” programs involve large marketing staffs, many products and many segments.

“Small and complex don’t relate to sophistication,” Raab cautioned.  “Marketers running small programs can be very sophisticated.  But their needs are still different from marketers running complex programs.”

In addition to usability scores, the report rates the vendors on twenty-two specialized features found in relatively few systems.   Examples include partner relationship management, detailed project scheduling, and custom database tables.  These items, also drawn from the Raab Guide, allow marketers who require these features to easily identify the most appropriate vendors.

The Usability and Special Features study is available without charge at www.raabguide.com.

About Raab Associates Inc.

Raab Associates Inc. specializes in helping marketers to select and deploy marketing automation systems.  Typical projects include needs definition, vendor selection, and performance measurement.  The firm also offers industry vendors assistance in understanding customer needs and establishing thought leadership through white papers, surveys and presentations.

The Raab Guide to Demand Generation Systems compares leading vendors on more than 150 specific items.  The Guide also includes detailed system descriptions, screen shots, and advice on managing selection projects.  It is based on independent research and backed by Raab Associates’ decades of technology evaluation experience.

David M. Raab has consulted on marketing technology since 1987.  He has written hundreds of articles for DM Review, DM News, and other industry publications; written hundreds more blog posts; and conducted workshops in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.  His book The Marketing Performance Measurement Toolkit was published in March, 2009 by Racom Communications and is available at www.racombooks.com.

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