2014's Big List of Marketing Automation Software
:: By Derek Schou, Associate Editor ::
The software that marketers use is their lifeblood - and marketing automation software is no different.
In many cases, marketing automation software replaced the need for marketers to keep track of all their campaigns manually, freeing up time that was effectively lost to mundane, but necessary, tasks. Now, marketers depend on their software, whatever it may be, to keep up with their ever-expanding duties.
There are dozens and dozens of choices when it comes to selecting marketing automation software, but Website Magazine has compiled a list of some of the best options on the market.
HubSpot is one of the best reviewed software options. This software goes far beyond email to social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and even a content management system (CMS). HubSpot is a diverse option with many additional features that marketers may find useful like keeping track of when they first and last contacted a client.
Understanding who a client is and what they are doing on a website is vital if marketers want to appeal successfully to current and potential clients. Act-On’s cloud-based software helps marketers to understand where website visitors are coming from and what campaign drew them to a site.
Keywords are one of the most important parts of any successful website. Marketo helps marketers stay current on the most popular keywords through a suggestion tool as well as analyzes both a site and its competitors' keywords so marketers can keep one eye on their competition at all times. Also, to help in the sales process Marketo has an interesting function called Lead Scoring which helps marketers figure out which leads are the hottest and which leads could use a little more time to nurture.
Product of mega-company Oracle, Eloqua is a versatile option for marketers that offers many features including Targeting & Segmentation which helps marketers identify the best leads using data and preferences. Eloqua also helps marketers align their work with sales associates to create a smoother flow of information and more efficient work environment.
Created with the small business clientele in mind, Ontraport makes sure that marketers never forget to follow-up with clients via an automated follow-up reminder. This option also lets marketers follow up with current and prospective clients that contact the company through their Facebook pages.
With an expansive list of features, Net-Results offers marketers a scalable option that can keep up with demands of businesses of all sizes. One of the more noteworthy features of this marketing software is its ability to integrate with WordPress. WordPress is used by 60.5 percent of all websites which use a CMS, which translates to 22.7 percent of all websites.
With a concentration on social media, MarcomCentral looks to connect marketers with customers on some of the most popular destinations on the Web - Twitter and Facebook. MarcomCentral also enables marketers to communicate effectively with sales teams to make sure they are always on the same page to make communication with end-users more effective and relevant.
For marketers, knowing who their consumers are and what their habits are is the ultimate goal. Vocus allows marketers to piece together who their customers really are through Behavioral Segmentation. With this feature marketers can track actions taken by customers and filter them into groups with common behaviors for more selective marketing at a later date.
Molded for use by small businesses, Infusionsoft offers marketers at small businesses everything they need to compete in their market. With exposure being one of the key factors in success for small businesses, Infusionsoft enables marketers to get their message out with social lead generation and email marketing.
Pardot specializes in business-to-business (B2B) marketing and offers marketers a lot of interesting features to help mesh up their marketing and sales efforts. One of the most convenient features of Pardot is that it can be integrated with multiple customer relationship management (CRM) systems to help manage all facets of a marketing and sales team's jobs including Salesforce.com (Pardot’s parent company), SugarCRM and NetSuite. Like many of its competitors, Pardot also lets marketers schedule social posts as well as include social share buttons on their emails, blog posts and whitepapers.
Marketing themselves toward medium sized businesses, Salesfusion offers an expansive array of features for businesses which are larger than just a few people but smaller than enterprises like HP and Dell. Salesfusion allows for integration of multiple CRMs including Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce and SugarCRM. With this software marketers can also keep track of event information including seat counts, analytics and return on investment (ROI) analysis.