Most businesses find the idea of automating functions like sales and marketing compelling, as it helps marketers to streamline activities like lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring, customer life cycle marketing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurement.
Marketing automation, a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks and workflows, offers huge benefits. It can increase operational efficiency, grow revenue faster, shorten your sales cycle, improve your lead qualification, and free up time to focus on more creative work. But it does come at a cost.
This is because vendors managing marketing automation base their pricing on the approximate value that the software can add to a business. One thus has to take into consideration what is affordable for your business’ specific need.
These are some of the most popular marketing automation companies:
Hubspot was founded by Brian Halligan in Massachusetts in 2006 and has been built up to its current customer base of 11 500 customers in more than 70 countries.
HubSpot identified a mismatch between how organisations are marketing and selling their offerings, and the way that people actually want to shop and buy. They focus on pulling people in rather than just broadcasting information in the traditional way. HubSpot also differentiates themselves by building workflows around your marketing goals.
Infusionsoft was developed from eNovaSys, which was founded by Clate Mask in Arizona in 2001. The aim of the company was to revolutionize the way that small businesses grow through sales and marketing automation. Infusionsoft is currently used by almost 16 000 small businesses.
Infusionsoft promises to save time by reducing effort spent on chasing dead ends, and building relationships by automating the repetitive tasks. The system’s cloud-based software allows people to centralise customer interactions and daily activities in one place. Infusionsoft boasts email marketing capabilities (that can capture new leads), automatic follow-ups (creating new customers), lead scoring features (which identify the hottest leads, enabling you to close sales faster), and custom segmentation (which allows you to create lists based on demographics, lead score and behaviour).
Product visionary and entrepreneur, Raghu Raghavan, founded Act-On in 2008. The system provides a cloud-based platform that enables small and medium-sized marketing teams to effectively acquire customers, build loyalty and expand their relationships with them through several advanced marketing automation capabilities.
Its core functions consist of email creation and delivery, social media campaign creation and management, webinar/event communications and management, website visitor tracking, advanced SEO for websites and marketing content, integration of SEO with blogs and CMS, Google AdWords integration, lead management, lead scoring and nurturing, out-of-box CRM integration, API access for third party integration, and reporting.
Ontraport was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Landon Ray, who is also the current CEO. Ontraport is an all-in-one marketing and business automation platform aimed at helping entrepreneurs start, systemise, and scale small and mid-sized businesses.
The system allows you to create a personalised heads-up display of all your vital business stats on one screen, with an interface that allows you to add customisable metrics, set the reporting period, and stay up-to-date with your analytics. Ontraport allows you to track customer interactions, manage tasks automatically and score leads. You can also set triggers to perform various actions, like sending an email, direct-mail postcard, SMS message, scheduling a phone call or another automated action.
Phil Fernandez co-founded Marketo in California in 2006. This engagement marketing platform provides everything marketers need to succeed in this new era of engagement marketing.
Its capabilities include targeted campaigns with lead scoring, lead nurturing and advanced workflow automation, cross channel engagement (including email, web, mobile, events, direct mail, social media, and integrated social marketing), and a unified marketing calendar that fuses campaign planning and execution in one place.