2011

Customer Experience Matrix

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.

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.

Trending Sources

Beyond Marketing Automation: Building a Complete Marketing Infrastructure

Customer Experience Matrix

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.

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The Content Marketing Pyramid

The Ultimate Framework To Develop & Execute Your Content Marketing Strategy

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.

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.

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 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.

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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 ).

Best Practices for a Marketing Database Cleanse

A framework comprising of best practices to consider and red flags to avoid.

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.

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. I spent most of this week at the inaugural DemandCon conference in San Francisco.

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.

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. All this new information begs for an update of the analysis of Marketo’s finances that I prepared last year.

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.

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The AdRoll Guide to Account-Based Marketing

Personalize your marketing to convert your highest-value accounts.

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.

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.

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. I wonder if they had cake?

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.

Effective B2B Marketing Content That Will Lead to Sales Growth

Effective marketing content leads to increased sales productivity, more revenue, greater marketing effectiveness and stronger alignment between marketing and sales.

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.

CRM 38

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.

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.

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.

Stop Killing Your Content: 3 Reasons Your Content Falls Flat

Each year B2B organizations spend more than $5.2 billion on content creation.

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.

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!

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.

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.)

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Customer Success and Marketing Alignment: The Key to Unlocking Customer Advocacy

Most B2B companies say the customer experience is a priority, but their teams are not prepared or coordinated enough to make this a reality.

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.

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.

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.

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. I 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.

5 Pillars of Marketing Automation Success

Ensure Your B2B Marketing Clients Get the Best Results

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.

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. I 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.

Vendor Selection: Writing a Good Requirements Document

Customer Experience Matrix

My last two posts (not counting this morning’s detour into Marketo-land) described common errors marketers make when selecting marketing automation systems. How did we come to this? I see two reasons: Marketers are like everybody else.

B2B Marfketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool: What’s Inside and Why

Customer Experience Matrix

Summary: Our new B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool (VEST) has been carefully crafted to help marketers at every step of the selection process. I think it’s worth walking through the main components to explain why they’re there.

Flip My Funnel - Guide To B2B Account Based Marketing

As modern B2B marketers, we have been lucky enough to witness some of the most dramatic shifts in marketing strategies and technologies.