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Effective marketing campaigns are often the first step in the customer acquisition process. However, to often marketing gets short rift from the executive team, marketers are under-resourced and marketing campaigns are not systemic, automated, measured or learned from. This marketing forum seeks to share market research, expert insight and peer advice to support marketers to better select and deploy marketing and CRM software systems, improve campaign performance, increase marketing budget ROI and demonstrate marketings strategic role in the customer acquisition, engagement and renewal process. Marketing Software

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Most Read Marketing Software Reviews
Social CRM Headlines

Social CRM
3.5 stars
What’s the Best Marketing Automation Software for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Users?
Dynamics CRM Marketing Review This marketing software review compares and contrasts the top marketing automation solutions designed to work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The review evaluates ClickDimensions, Marketo, SalesFUSION and Silverpop CoreMotives and identifies differentiation, strengths and weaknesses as they impact or benefit Dynamics CRM users.
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4 stars
Eloqua Software Review
Eloqua Review Eloqua is the category-defining marketing automation leader. However, that leadership is more at risk now than at any time in the last decade. The competitive landscape has ballooned and become fragmented. Venture-backed start-ups spring up with near predictability. Nonetheless, the release of Eloqua 10 has reconfirmed why Eloqua continues to lead the marketing automation software industry.
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4.5 stars
Marketo Review
Marketo Review Marketo is an aggressive up and comer in the lead management and marketing automation software industry. This hyper growth company is a thought leader, practices what it preaches, delivers impressive marketing software and backs it up with outstanding customer support. Marketo clearly aspires the top leadership position and has become the marketing software vendor to catch.
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3.5 stars
Act-On Software Review
Act On Software Review Act-On Software is the most recent new comer to show early success in the highly competitive marketing automation software industry. Act-On sports an appealing design and user interface, achieves ease of use and quick time to value, and has lowered the cost of ownership for many SMBs. It's missing a few standard marketing software features, but whether that's an issue depends upon your objectives.
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4 stars
HubSpot Software Review
HubSpot Review HubSpot has joined the marketing automation software leaderboard, although not in the usual way. While the company's solution performs key marketing automation tasks such as lead acquisition, nurture campaigns, lead scoring, lead transfer and more, the company is a tireless advocate for inbound marketing, and offers a suite of tools to aid content creation and getting that content found on the Web.
 
Special Report
New The How To Guide For Marketing Automation Software Selection
This How To Guide provides a sample illustration, references repeatable best practices and delivers on the specific steps and actions necessary to manage your software selection project, define your marketing software requirements, create a useful requirements document - and make the most informed purchase decision when selecting a lead management system or marketing automation software solution.

Read the Marketing Software Selection How To Guide »

How To Guide For Marketing Automation Software Selection
 

 

 

Marketing Automation Software

While traditional marketing management systems, often included with Customer Relationship Management systems, perform campaign setup, profiling and integration with sales force automation (SFA), a new breed of marketing automation or lead management systems have stepped up with increased lead acquisition capabilities, including automation to capture prospect information using form submissions, assess prospects' online behaviors to determine where they are in the sales process, nurture prospects with highly relevant messaging until they are ready to buy, score the prospects based on their digital behaviors, automatically forward sales ready leads to the sales force once a threshold score is achieved and provide closed loop analysis to continually improve the process.

 

Marketing Facts & Figures
  • The Marketing Automation Software industry exceeded $3 billion in 2012.
    Source: Gartner
  • B2B marketing automation systems will grow 50% to reach $750 million in 2013.
    Source: Raab Associates
  • The Global Marketing Resource Management (MRM) market is to forecast to grow at a CAGR of 13.9% over the period 2012 to 2016.
    Source: Infiniti Research
  • Top marketing issues include generating more high quality leads (69%), help reduce lengthening sales cycles (39%), education buyers on the value of products (37%), and market to a growing number of stakeholders in the buying process (33%).
    Source: MarketingSherpa, B2B Survey
  • IDC research shows that 62% of B2B vendors need more leads in order to generate the same amount of sales.
    Source: IDC
  • The call from the sales force is not "Give us more leads" - it's "Give us better leads."
    Source: MarketingSherpa, B2B Survey

 

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Marketing Best Practices


Marketing Thought Leaders In Their Own Words
Social CRM Headlines

3.5 stars
Revenue Disruption—Revenue Performance Management and the Cure for Revenue Dysfunction
Phil Fernandez of Marketo Phil Fernandez, CEO of Marketo, squarely explains how a historical breakdown in sales and marketing alignment along with a disruptive change in the way buyers buy has created a revenue dysfunction that stifles revenue growth. In his new book, Revenue Disruption, he also shows how to cure this ill using new thinking and Revenue Performance Management.
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4 stars
A Deeper Look at Eloqua—Culture, Strategy and Customer Success
Joe Payne, Eloqua Leveraging culture as a predecessor and highly synergistic compliment to business strategy, implementing a go to market business model based on continuous customer success and championing the best practices of the most successful customers for the benefit of all customers are just a few of the actions of industry leader Eloqua, and its tenured CEO, Joe Payne.
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3.5 stars
HubSpot Marketing Software Discussion with Brian Halligan
HubSpot In this video discussion with Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, Brian shares why inbound marketing (aka content marketing) makes sense, the HubSpot target market, how his marketing software disproportionately empowers SME's over big brands, and how HubSpot helps its customers grow lead flow by an average of 50 leads per month.
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3 stars
Act-On Software Discussion with Raghu Raghavan
Raghu Raghavan In this video discussion Act-On Software CEO, Raghu Raghavan, advises that marketing automation software is growing beyond the enterprise market and select industries such as high-tech, and shares the bottom line benefits of marketing software, including more leads, more conversions and increased ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment).


Featured Marketing Articles

4 stars
The CMO's Top 3 Objectives
Chief Marketing Officer Unlike most other C-level executives, CMOs are without commonly accepted strategies and routine measures. This may be in part why CMO’s so often don’t have a seat at the executive table and incur such high churn. So what’s a CMO to do? Here’s the three most important stakeholders and strategies for CMOs to deliver the greatest contribution to the company, and get that seat at the executive table.
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3.5 stars
Why You Need Marketing Automation Software
Why Marketing Automation Software Marketers increased investments in online marketing methods are incurring tactical challenges which impede ROI and strategic challenges which impact their ability to deliver the volume and quality of leads needed to achieve revenue objectives. Here we identify exactly how marketing automation software is stepping up to help resolve these challenges.
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4 stars
Why Marketing Automation Software Fails to Deliver
Why Marketing Software Fails Despite claims of more qualified leads for the sales team, accelerated pipeline velocity and supporting analytics which tie marketing investments to top line revenues, marketing automation software has yet to cross the chasm to mainstream adoption. And while the benefits are espoused by the vendors, the risks are harder to come by. Here are the top 7 reasons why marketing software fails to deliver.
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4 stars
How To Use Nurture Campaigns to Double Qualified Leads
Nurture Marketing According to Forrester research, businesses that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. Here is a nurture marketing strategy to apply nurture campaigns in a way that doubles your qualified leads as well as some of the best nurture marketing campaign best practices which will further increase your lead conversions and total lead acquisitions.
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4 stars
Lead Scoring Best Practices
Lead Scoring Successful lead scoring helps prioritize leads, send sales-ready leads to the sales team, nurture the not-yet-sales-ready leads until they become qualified and reduce the perennial problem of lead leakage. But deciphering a leads digital footprints in order to determine exactly when that lead is ready to buy is a challenging undertaking. Here's a 10 step framework to calculating accurate lead scores.
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4 stars
Lead Distribution Best Practices to Decrease Lead Leakage and Increase Top Line Revenues
Lead Distribution The mechanics of assigning leads based on a lead score to sales people are simple. However, lead assignment in the absence of accompanying processes does little to ensure that leads are followed through or combat the perennial problem of lead leakage. Here are 12 lead distribution best practices, along with supported analyst research, to optimize your lead distribution process.
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3.5 stars
How to Grow Revenues Using Social Marketing
Social Marketing Social marketing is one tenant of a social CRM strategy and an innovative opportunity to acquire more qualified leads for the sales team and grow top line revenues for the company. Here I share six social marketing methods to help marketers and Chief Marketing Officers fill the top of the sales funnel with targeted leads.
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3 stars
How to Grow Revenues with Marketing Automation Software
Revenue Growth with Marketing Software Marketing automation software can help accelerate sales-ready leads through the revenue funnel. And while extremely valuable, that doesn’t increase the volume of leads going into the top of the funnel in order to grow top line revenues. Here I share how to use marketing automation software beyond its core constructs to increase the volume of new lead acquisitions, and grow revenues.
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3 stars
Dueling Marketing Software Growth Tracts—Social Marketing vs. Marketing Automation
Social Marketing So far this year, Oracle, Marketo and Salesforce.com have acquired Vitrue, Crowd Factory and Buddy Media, respectively. In each case, the acquisition is designed to accelerate social marketing. But don't confuse social marketing automation with marketing automation software. While the two overlap to be sure, the objectives and capabilities remain separate—at least for now.
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3 stars
Marketo Ups the Ante in Marketing Automation Software
Marketo The Marketo customer engagement release demonstrates new innovation, in the forms of Smart Streams and content scoring, to address the perennial challenges of buyer engagement and delivering remarkable content. This is helpful technology for the modern marketer who seeks to deliver relevant, contextual and personalized content to recipients exactly when it’s needed.
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3.5 stars
CallidusCloud Marketing Automation
CallidusCloud CallidusCloud shows the potential to bring some much needed differentiation to the marketing software industry by using its LeadRocket solution to extend marketing automation to sales people and create a more holistic revenue cycle framework with its Lead to Money Cloud. The vision is good but the verdict is still uncertain. Nonetheless, this may be some innovation a crowded industry is in need of.
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3 stars
Salesforce.com Shakes Up Marketing Automation—Acquires ExactTarget
Salesforce acquires ExactTarget Salesforce.com shook up both the CRM software industry and the closely affiliated marketing automation software industry today. While many including myself have been predicting for some time that Salesforce would acquire a marketing automation vendor, I’m not aware of anybody that thought it would be ExactTarget. Instead, most pundits expected it would be Marketo.
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3.5 stars
Oracle Acquires Eloqua—And What This Means to the CRM Industry
Oracle Acquires Eloqua Oracle has acquired marketing automation pioneer Eloqua, and with this acquisition accelerates its growth into a red hot marketing software industry. But this acquisition is interesting not because Oracle gains an impressive product, but because this product is symbiotic with Oracle’s CRM and CX software solutions, and will further fuel a movement where competing CRM software publishers follow suit.
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3 stars
Infor & Orbis Merge Marketing Automation with MRM
Infor Orbis MRM Software Infor has upped its product strategy and end-run in the red hot marketing software industry. With the acquisition of Orbis Global, Infor is integrating Marketing Resource Management (MRM) software with its flagship Epiphany solution as well as its Inforce marketing automation software. If successful, the company will combine two high growth market sectors for big results.
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3 stars
Eloqua IPO and its Impact to the Marketing Software Industry
Eloqua What would an Eloqua IPO mean for the marketing automation software industry, or for Eloqua itself, for that matter? In addition to the media buzz, Eloqua has made its intentions known to potential buyers, customers, and competitors. The announcement also promotes its product, staves off competition from chief competitor Marketo, and indirectly advertises its availability to be acquired.
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4 stars
HubSpot Excels By Packaging Marketing Simplicity in a Suite
HubSpot HubSpot helps bridge the gap between a smaller company's marketing skills and its ability to gain market visibility. When both skills and visibility exist, the company gains market share. However, if one or the other is absent, the company falters. HubSpot focuses on building online market visibility for SMBs, particularly those that lack technical or digital marketing savvy.
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3 stars
Tips & Tricks to Improve Test Marketing and Increase Campaign Results
Marketing Tests The most successful marketers are the ones constantly testing the responses to their marketing campaigns. Testing results in incremental improvements over sustained periods of time which then drive better campaigns with tighter focus and improved response rates. Yet most companies don't test their marketing campaigns.
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3.5 stars
What Exactly is Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing Software In a world of increased competition, shrinking customer bases and eroding financial margins, savvy marketers are leveraging new marketing automation software to automate lead development processes such as lead acquisition, nurture campaign management, lead scoring, customer segmentation, customer data integration (CDI) and marketing analysis.
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3.5 stars
Integrating Marketing Strategies with CRM Software
Marketing Strategy CRM solutions have found a new strength for forward thinking marketers. Instead of just recording and making sense of transactional data, CRM solutions can be used to create, synthesize, correlate and display the data in visual presentations that identify patterns, relationships and new sale opportunities. The effect is a more direct integration between marketing strategy and system automation.
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3.5 stars
What Exactly is a Chief Customer Officer, and Do I Need One?
CCO The idea of a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) has been growing slowly but steadily over the past decade. Only a handful had the role and title of CCO five years ago, including forward-thinking Monster.com, Sun Microsystems and Cisco Systems. Although they don’t all have the same responsibilities, they tend to focus on customer acquisitions, retention, service and relationships..
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3 stars
3 Principals For Successful Drip Marketing Campaigns
Drip Marketing By applying messages over a prescribed period of time in calculated intervals and in a progressive sequence, drip marketing campaigns help build customer awareness for your company and products and systemically move the customer into an active sales cycle when they are ready to buy. Drip campaigns also provide the benefits of increased response rates and less executional effort.
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3.5 stars
A Primer To Marketing Automation Software
Marketing Automation Software Marketing automation software that is integrated with CRM software eliminates many time-consuming yet vital tasks, automates both atypical and commonly recurring business processes, advances sales prospects to become sales ready leads, provides analytics to measure benefits and results, and ensures closed-loop visibility around acquiring new customers.
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3.5 stars
Marketing as a Service (MaaS)
MaaS Just when marketing automation software is becoming an accepted add-on to CRM systems, technology vendors are upping the ante, providing growing capabilities as a service. This newest cloud-based category of Marketing as a Service (MaaS) is an extension of the marketing automation software provided by technology vendors like Eloqua, Aprimo, Marketo, Silverpop and Unica.
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3.5 stars
Just What is a Marketing Automation System Anyway?
Marketing Automation According to Forrester Research, marketing capabilities have been largely under served from CRM software providers, thereby giving a new breed of marketing automation vendors a sizable market void to satisfy. These new marketing systems automate everything from lead acquisition to landing page creation to sophisticated nurture campaigns with automated scoring and lead distribution.
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4 stars
6 Step Approach to Increased Customer Loyalty
Customer Loyalty Using your CRM software 360 degree view of the customer relationship you can aim targeted offers at highly specific segments of your customer base to build loyalty, deliver relevant messaging, grow customer share and retain more of your customers. Consider the following six step approach to use targeted offers to increase customer loyalty.
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3.5 stars
Control Group Marketing | The Benefits of Doing Nothing with CRM
Marketing Control Groups Even without CRM software or marketing analytics, there's a simple way to track the impact of your campaigns. Using a marketing control group, you can select and exclude a random sample from your campaign's marketing list, measure the targeted population activity and identify the difference, as well as the halo effect.
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3 stars
Automating Campaign Management with CRM Software
Marketing with CRM Software A well-run Customer Relationship Management system can help you avoid traditional marketing campaign challenges while improving campaign response rates, conversion rates and marketing budget ROI. For example, when marketers deliver targeted messages to segmented buyers, email reads increase by 200% or more.
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4 stars
6 Steps To Improved Data Quality For More Effective Marketing
Marketing Data Quality As marketing becomes more focused, pervasive and customer centric, and as campaigns become more sophisticated in using more data points, leveraging clean, complete and accurate data becomes more critical to achieving results. To maximize campaign effectiveness and marketing budget ROI, consider the following six best practices to data management.
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2.5 stars
Perfecting Event Marketing – Can CRM Software Help?
Event Marketing Event marketing can effectively contribute to new customer acquisitions, up-sell, cross-sell and increased customer engagement, if you are able to create a memorable experience for delegates and execute methodical event management that delivers an ROI. While CRM software systems are largely void of marketing event management functionality, that's starting to change.
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3.5 stars
5 Ways To Approach the 'Demographic of One'
One to One Marketing In marketing pursuits the demographic of one is the ideal destination. That is, each marketing message is precisely targeted to the needs, buy criteria or maximum receptivity of a single customer. The theory behind the demographic of one is that the more closely you tailor your campaign to your target, the more likely it is to produce the desired response.
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3.5 stars
Better Campaign Results From Better Marketing List Management
Marketing Lists Marketing lists are the lifeblood of conventional marketing. We use lists to outreach new prospects, keep track of customers, follow prospects through the nurture process and manage campaigns that contact our customers or prospects. However lists can also be tedious and time-consuming to manage. That's where CRM software can add value.
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3.5 stars
Mining The Marketing Database For Lost Opportunities
Marketing Data Mining We all know its less costly and time consuming to sell existing customers over new customers, but many marketers fail to recognize its also less costly to sell to former prospects and customers than new accounts. Consider this 11 step process to mine your marketing database and add new life to old prospects.
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4 stars
Direct Mail Marketing is Dead. Long Live Direct Mail Marketing
Direct Mail Marketing I'm surprised by the number of marketing pros who suggest direct mail no longer has role in the marketing mix. It should not go unnoticed that retailers continue to show impressive returns with their paper based catalogues or marketers continue to show innovation - and impressive response rates - with odd sized and abnormal form factor mail distributions.


Marketing Briefs
More References

  • Marketing Automation Software Achieving Red Hot Growth
    The Marketing Automation Software industry reached $2.8 billion in 2011 (about a quarter the size of the $11.9 billion CRM software market) and is expected to achieve double digit growth each year for at least the next three years, according to Gartner. In fact, marketing automation software is now the fastest growth sector in the CRM software industry. End

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