2011

Customer Experience Matrix

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Beanstalk Data Adds Service to the Marketing Automation Recipe

Customer Experience Matrix

Exploring a new marketing automation system is like biting into a bonbon: part of the fun is you never know what you’ll find inside. Thinking in those terms, Beanstalk Data is a tasty morsel. It provides all the basic B2B marketing automation functions: mass email, landing pages and surveys, behavior tracking, lead scoring, nurture campaigns, and CRM integration. Anyway, back to BeanStalk.

Marketing Automation Skills are Scarce: Strategies to Close the Gap

Customer Experience Matrix

The marketing automation industry continues to grow quickly, with many vendors announcing their client bases have more than doubled in 2011. But there’s also a growing realization that many marketing automation systems are used for only simple tasks – often no more than email, landing pages, and CRM integration. Surveys, like this one from IBM , show many obstacles to successful deployment.

Which B2B Marketing Automation Systems Have Hard-to-Find Features? The Answers May Surprise You

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: A close look at which vendors have the least common features finds some are widely distributed, while others are concentrated among products for big companies. As always, you need to look at the details to see which products have what you need. The main point, at least as I saw it, was that no single vendor dominates everything. You must look at the details to find the best match.

Marketers Do a Bad Job Selecting Marketing Automation Systems

Customer Experience Matrix

I presented my Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing Automation Software Selection during last week’s Webinar with Neolane. (To replay the Webinar, click here.) If you’re wondering how many companies actually commit those sins, the sad answer is: a lot. Here are some statistics. About half of buyers consider only one system , I’m told by various vendors. 42% of buyers rely on online research.

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150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

Beyond Marketing Automation: Building a Complete Marketing Infrastructure

Customer Experience Matrix

This started as a post about Empathy Logic , a company that merges data from marketing automation, CRM, Web tracking, order processing, social monitoring, and other systems; lets marketers segment and select from this more complete set of data; and sends the resulting lists back to message delivery systems such as email and Web sites. So, yes, there’s a need for a company like Empathy Logic.

The Seven Sins of Marketeing Automation System Selection

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ll be giving a Webinar this Thursday on evaluating marketing automation software, sponsored by Neolane. Part of the content will be a list of Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing System Selection. thought that was worth a blog post of its own. So here goes. 1. Ignoring Users. Selection teams often don’t take the the time to understand how future users of the system do their jobs today. Lack of Purpose.

eTrigue Puts a New Interface on Mature Marketing Automation Features

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: eTrigue's new product is aimed at small-to-mid size businesses who want an easier alternative to leading marketing automation systems. With mature features and a $1,000 per month starting price, the system is worth a look. eTrigue officially announced its new DemandCenter marketing automation system on Tuesday, replacing an earlier product dating back more than five years.

B2B and B2C Marketing Automation: Understanding the Differences

Customer Experience Matrix

As you might have guessed from my recent list of B2C marketing automation systems , I’ve recently been spending some time helping consumer marketers to select vendors. This is more a return than a departure: although I’ve written mostly about B2B systems for the past few years, my earlier work was largely in consumer marketing. Like any traveler, I’ve returned home with some new perspectives. Here are some observations - consumer marketers have to build databases; B2B marketers don’t. This accounts for most of the work and most of the cost. This might spark some debate.

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B2B Marketing Automation Industry Size and Segments

Customer Experience Matrix

As I mentioned yesterday, our new B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool (VEST) asks vendors to estimate the number of clients in each of four size categories. This provides an interesting overview of the industry. The segments are defined based on revenue. Installation counts are: Looking at the raw percentages doesn’t make much sense since businesses in each group are quite different.

The Pond Just Got More Crowded: Google, Salesforce.com and Sequoia Invest in HubSpot

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: HubSpot announced a $32 million investment yesterday by Sequoia Partners, Google and Salesforce.com. This could be a real game-changer in the small business marketing automation landscape. If you heard a loud thud late Tuesday afternoon, it was the sound of two shoes dropping. It followed $33 million in earlier funding since the company was founded in 2006. hope it’s just an aberration.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

Are We Making Marketing Automation Harder Than Necessary?

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: Is stressing the need for process change making marketing automation too complicated, or a recognition of what it really takes for success? There are vendors on both sides of the argument. Act-On Software officially relaunched its system earlier this week, offering a new interface and a new positioning. The interface is perfectly nice but the positioning is ultimately more important. My own position (loosely paraphrasing Einstein) is it should be as complicated and costly as necessary but not more. The oracles of conventional wisdom would probably agree. know I do. million.

Social Media Features in Marketing Automation Systems: Who Does What?

Customer Experience Matrix

Social media is arguably overhyped as a marketing trend: it gets well under 10% of marketing budgets (different surveys have figures from 3% to 8%) and results are questionable (it was rated the least effective content marketing tactic in a recent MarketingProfs study ). But social is clearly growing fast and has great potential. Results are summarized in the table below.

LeadLife Bundles Services with Marketing Automation

Customer Experience Matrix

LeadLife released a completely rebuild version of its marketing automation system last month. The new system features a cleaner interface and revised capabilities that reflect what LeadLife has learned about the needs of small to mid-size companies since its original product launch in 2008. This involves a careful balance between complexity and power. Other companies have taken a similar approach.

Pirates, Train Wrecks, and Marketing Automation

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: Selecting a marketing automation system is an adventure. Here's the screenplay. Ready when you are, CB. spent most of this week at the inaugural DemandCon conference in San Francisco. But the heart of the Workbook is a series of checklists like the one below, whereas DemandCon asked presenters to avoid long lists of bullet points. So I had to rethink the format. Our Story Begins.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Here's what we learned.

SDL Buys Marketing Automation Vendor Alterian for $107 Million

Customer Experience Matrix

So, it turns out that while I’ve been obsessing over vendor selection workbooks, our friends at marketing automation vendor Alterian up and got bought last week by language technology vendor SDL for about $107 million. Why didn't somebody tell me? I’m most familiar with SDL as a Web content management vendor, although their financial statements show that just over 75% of their revenue comes from manual and automated language translation. The company had more than $300 million revenue last year and is nicely profitable.

Marketo Raises Another $50 Million: Where Does the Money Go?

Customer Experience Matrix

Marketo this morning announced a new $50 million funding round, almost exactly one year to the day after raising $25 million in November 2010. In accompanying commentary, the company also revealed its 2010 revenue was $14 million, that it expects 140% revenue growth in 2011 (meaning about $34 million), and that it has about $70 million remaining of its total $107 million raised to date. Remember that Marketo said it has $70 million cash on hand? Actually, it said “in excess of $70 million” but we’ll assume the excess isn’t large.) There’s some truth to that. Something doesn't add up here.

Can CRM Add-Ons Replace Marketing Automation?

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ve long believed that B2B marketing automation is just a passing phase: that, ultimately, B2B marketing automation systems will be absorbed into CRM systems instead of operating independently. It’s a view I discuss sparingly in public, since so many of my friends in the marketing automation industry have a vested interest to the contrary. But there are also a few vendors who have bet in favor of merged systems, so it wouldn’t be fair to ignore their view entirely. Of course, the jackpot here is Salesforce.com. It also provides real-time alerts and landing pages. On the other hand….

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How Big Is the B2B Marketing Automation Industry?

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: Here are my estimates for the size of the B2B marketing automation industry, broken down by customer segments. Enjoy. I've been working madly on my new report on B2B marketing automation vendors. One of the things this has forced me to do is come up with an estimate of industry size that I'm willing to defend in print. These methods all yield similar figures -- around a $200 million in revenue for 2010. Bear in mind that the industry nearly doubled last year, so the current run rate is much higher. Including those vendors would at least double the total figure.

Advocate Marketing Creates B2B Relationships That Lasts A Lifetime

Read this report to learn how B2B marketing professionals are developing strategies and programs to engage buyers in shaping opinion and sentiment about offerings. And learn how advocate marketing builds longstanding relationships that persist even when individuals move from one career opportunity to the next.

Book Review: Adam Needles' Balancing the Demand Equation

Customer Experience Matrix

Business marketers can find plenty of books on broad strategies and plenty of other books on specific tactics. But a framework for connecting tactics to strategic goals has been missing. Adam Needles’ new book Balancing the Demand Equation (available here from Amazon ) closes the gap. Needles is a well-known industry leader who is Chief Strategy Officer at demand generation agency Leftbrain DGA. His book starts with a review of changes in the B2B buying process and the new demands these place on B2B marketers. The discussion then switches to tactics. Needles saves his own contribution for last.

Marketo Spark Targets Small Business Marketing Automation

Customer Experience Matrix

Marketo today announced the launch of Spark , a new brand aimed at small and mid-size business. Functionally, Spark is pretty much identical to the standard Marketo system. Exceptions are advanced features including revenue cycle reporting, email deliverability assistance, API access, fine-grained user rights management, and the Sales Insight salesperson application. Most of these aren’t of interest to small business, and several involve additional charges even for Marketo’s regular packages. So the news here is price. In other words, this is a price cut. That’s all fine and should work.

Oracle Integrates On Demand Marketing with On Demand CRM

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: Oracle has integrated marketing automation with its on-demand CRM product. Will competitors do the same? If I were more on the ball, I would have noticed that May 25 marked a full year since Oracle bought the intellectual property* of high-end B2B marketing automation vendor Market2Lead. I was actually briefed on May 17 by the Oracle team handling the resulting product but hadn’t noticed that the anniversary was approaching. wonder if they had cake? hope so, since they’ve clearly been working hard. The new system uses the same data structures as the rest of Oracle CRM On Demand.

Infusionsoft Helps Clients Map Their Marketing Strategy

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary : Infusionsoft is making it easier to build campaigns and taken a new approach to helping clients plan their marketing programs. Both are needed for marketing automation to reach to a wider audience. Infusionsoft this week staged the official coming out party for its latest release at its annual Infusioncon users conference. Users still need to build the initial Web form and put copy into all the blank emails. But Infusionsoft said that the automated set-up itself saves six to eight hours of work and even more time puzzling out the underlying concepts. Okay, that was totally unfair.

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Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

CRM Evolution Conference: Social CRM Takes Center Stage

Customer Experience Matrix

I caught an all-star panel on social CRM today at the CRMEvolution conference in New York. Up on the dais were Jim Berkowitz of CRM Mastery, Esteban Kolsky of ThinkJar, Brent Leary of CRM Essentials, Ray Want of Constellation Group, and Denis Pombriant of Beagle Research Group. You won’t find a more distinguished set of gurus, and moderator Berkowitz asked appropriately incisive questions. Yet my final impression was that social CRM is a problem in search of a solution. Maybe it was because the speakers kept emphasizing the need to define strategy and goals for any social CRM project.

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B2B Marketing Automation Growth Slowed In First Half of 2011

Customer Experience Matrix

You know that red-hot B2B marketing automation industry? Don’t look now, but growth is already slowing. Our just-released update to the B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Toolkit (VEST) shows that client counts grew just over 50% over the year ending in June, compared with nearly 100% growth for the year ending last December. That’s a marked decline, and the pattern is consistent across individual vendors: although some grew faster than others, each grew slower than during the previous period.* You might think the slower rate is expected because each period starts from a larger base.

List of Mid-Tier Business-to-Consumer Marketing Automation Systems

Customer Experience Matrix

The world clearly has more B2B marketing automation vendors than it needs – my master list of demand generation products includes two dozen. By contrast, mid-tier consumer marketers often have a hard time finding good options. The major B2C marketing automation vendors -- IBM/Unica , Teradata/Aprimo , and SAS are more attuned to the enterprise market. Here are some others, in rough order of industry familiarity: Alterian – extends beyond multi-channel campaign management to include Web content management, Web analytics, and social media monitoring. Decision Software Inc.

How Do You Measure the Influence of Marketing Messages?

Customer Experience Matrix

My review of Coremetrics Lifestyle raised the issue of measuring the impact of marketing materials on customer behavior. Of course, this is just one piece of the marketing attribution puzzle. But it’s worth a separate discussion because it’s such a common question – and, unlike so many measurement problems, this one actually has an answer. Let’s start with the original impetus. This was an “influence” report that showed the percentage of people reaching a marketing stage who had received specific marketing treatments (or had other attributes such as source, product history, demographic, etc.).

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

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Marketing Automation Interfaces Need Radical Surgery

Customer Experience Matrix

Several vendors have shown me their new campaign management interfaces recently. All were refined, attractive, and thoughtful. Each had subtle features that appeal to a connoisseur: floating tool pallets! Fly-over icon labels! Dynamic menus! Now, I’m not saying marketing automation vendors should find a new approach just because I’m bored with the old one. Something more radical is needed.

MakesBridge Offers Powerful Features to Small Business Marketers

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: MakesBridge offers a full set of marketing automation features with some special strengths that will appeal especially to small companies. I’ve written quite a bit recently about marketing systems for very small businesses – a category I’ve tentatively labeled “micro-business” and pegged at under $5 million revenue. This group of marketers has different needs from even slightly larger companies. Leaders in the space are Infusionsoft and OfficeAutoPilot , which both also provide integrated shopping carts for e-commerce. See my List of Demand Generation Vendors for other options.

Influitive Helps Marketers Build an Army of Advocates

Customer Experience Matrix

Marketers recognize the potential reach of social media, but are rightly frightened that they can’t control the message. Most social marketing applications sidestep the issue by focusing on creating communities ( Jive , Lithium ), monitoring conversations (Radian6 , Trackur ) and running promotions ( CrowdFactory , Nextbee ). Marketing automation vendors have mostly worked on making it easy to post and share messages and to capture social data. See my December 8 post for details.) Influitive tackles the control issue head on. It applies game-based motivational methods to company advocates.

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HubSpot's Strategy for Winning the Marketing Automation Horserace

Customer Experience Matrix

Back on September 20, I posted various tips from the Inbound Marketing Summit and HubSpot User Group. Naturally, the conference also included public and private discussions of HubSpot itself, but I thought those were best shared in a separate post. Here goes. The conference yielded a clear picture of HubSpot’s business strategy for the coming year. This strategy has two main elements, which were set out by CEO Brian Halligan in his keynote: - expansion to “middle of funnel” marketing. In concrete terms, it involves blogging, search engine optimization of Websites, and social media messages.

Marketing Optimization Toolkit: The Science behind Marketing Analytics

Marketers are well-versed in the art and science of optimization.

Constant Contact Adds Social CRM: Should Marketing Automation Vendors Be Worried?

Customer Experience Matrix

Small-business email provider Constant Contact yesterday announced the acquisition of "social CRM"* vendor Bantam Live. This is a major expansion for Constant Contact, placing it more squarely into competition with CRM and marketing automation vendors. As I've noted previously, small businesses are particularly likely to adopt a single platform for all of their marketing and customer management needs because the inefficiencies of multiple platforms are so obvious and painful in a small organization. And Constant Contact is just one of many small business email providers.

B2B Marketing Automation Report Is Ready.My Web Site, Not So Much

Customer Experience Matrix

The good news is, my new B2B Marketing Automation report (more formally: the Vendor Selection Tool, or VEST) is now available. The bad news is I can't actually sell it online, despite the best efforts of Web masters on two continents. But the good news is I'm more than happy to take credit card orders directly if you send me an email or give me a call. Email is info@raabguide.com. To recap a bit, the new report is based on a survey of 18 vendors, who answered nearly 200 questions about their products and companies. See my posts over the past few weeks for details on that. So far so good.

B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Comparison -- Here's a Sample

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ve been having way too much fun working on my new industry report. decided to make it an interactive document that lets users (viewers? readers? The Chosen?) set their own weights for the different scoring categories and do detailed, side-by-side comparisons of vendors they select. This gives the document vastly more play value than a simple report. Much more important, it reinforces the point that I keep stressing, which is that every evaluation must be based on the buyer’s unique needs. Click here to download a sample of the format. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Marketing Automation Vendor Selection: Summing Up

Customer Experience Matrix

It’s time to wrap up this series of posts on marketing automation vendor selection, which were based on my November 10 Webinar with Neolane (replay available here ). I’ve summarized them in three commandments. Forget the Past. Marketers have been doing such a bad job of selecting systems that they should forget their old approach and start from scratch. Remember the Future. Change the Present.

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Marketing Automation Selection: Finding a Future-Safe Vendor

Customer Experience Matrix

Marketers can do a better job of picking their marketing automation vendors if they roll up their sleeves and work at it. wrote yesterday about building a requirements document to define the features you'll look for. But you also need a vendor who will support your long-term success. Here are some ways to identify a “future-safe” vendor. Financial strength: it's not enough to just survive.