Feb 12

Marketing automation systems for very small and very large businesses have shown the greatest innovation in the past year, according to research released today by Raab Associates. The January 2015 B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool (VEST) added five vendors focused on serving very small companies, which form the industry’s largest pool of potential new users. But vendors serving enterprise marketers have been most aggressive at extending their systems beyond traditional marketing automation to include display advertising and other new channels.

“Just when you think all marketing automation products are starting to look too much alike, a new crop of vendors comes along to shake up the market,” said VEST author David M. Raab. “Each new entrant takes a slightly different approach, giving buyers more opportunity than ever to find a system that meets their particular needs.”

The VEST Report helps that selection process by presenting more than 200 data points on each system. Marketers gain immediate access to apples-to-apples comparisons that would take weeks or months to assemble on their own.

Other information based on VEST results includes:

• Industry revenues grew 50% to reach the $1.2 billion in 2014 and are expected to grow another 50% in 2015 to $1.8 billion.

• Small business systems are most likely to combine CRM with marketing automation, saving resource-strapped small companies the effort of integrating separate systems.

• Marketing agencies play an increasingly important role in spreading use of marketing automation, supplying skills that are missing from many in-house marketing teams. Agencies are most important for small and mid-size companies, since large enterprises have deeper internal resources.

• Enterprise marketers are being offered a much broader array of features, including marketing asset management, Web site integration, predictive modeling, access to external data, and coordination of email with mobile apps, social media, and Web display ads. This expansion is being driven by vendors who serve consumer as well as business marketers.

The VEST report is available at www.raabguide.com/vest.

About the VEST Report

The VEST helps marketers purchase marketing automation systems that match their needs. It provides more than 200 data points about each product, narrative descriptions of vendor strengths and weaknesses, and fitness ratings for small, mid-size and large marketing departments. Products in the report include: Act-On Software, Adobe Campaign, CallidusCloud Marketing Automation, dbSignals, eTrigue, GreenRope, Hatchbuck, HubSpot, IBM Silverpop Engage, Inbox25, Infusionsoft, LeadLiaison, MakesBridge, Marketo, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Mindfire Inc., Ontraport, Oracle Eloqua, RedPoint Global, Right On Interactive, Salesforce.com Pardot, Salesfusion, Sharpspring, SimplyCast, Teradata Applications, TreeHouse Interactive, and Venntive.

The VEST also includes graphics showing leaders and challengers for the three industry segments, background information on the marketing automation industry, explanation of marketing automation features and benefits, and advice on managing a successful vendor selection.

Buyers also receive an Excel spreadsheet showing all data points for each product , explanations for each data point, and scoring weights used for the comparison charts.

Information in the VEST was gathered in January 2015. The report is published by Raab Associates Inc., an independent consulting firm specializing in marketing technology and analytics. Price is $795. For more information, visit www.raabguide.com/vest.

About Raab Associates Inc.

Raab Associates Inc. helps 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.  For more information, visit www.raabassociatesinc.com.

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