5 marketing automation software icon

5 automation vendors to consider

Enterprise marketing automation and CRM system have been around for almost 20 years. Looking at the market landscape, we witnessed a number of IPOs and acquisitions of the venture-backed companies in the martech industry. While HubSpot and Salesforce continue to offer leading SaaS solutions for inbound marketing and sales.

Over this decade of technological advancement, the SaaS companies gained momentum in developing software products for inbound marketing and sales. Much of this improvement in integration is attributed to open-source software that formed a closer alliance with proprietary software. This evolution was gradual but necessary to ensure all software providers adapt to the growing demand in features and version updates. In the early 2000s, acquisitions were primarily between corporations. Nowadays, open-source developers can form their own tech companies, and some can be venture-backed. These mid-size open tech companies can be acquired by other open source enterprises or proprietary enterprises.

Eloqua 

Back in 2000, Eloqua Ltd was a private company. 12 years later, Eloqua became a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol ELOQ. It was valued at $368 million which was around 4.4 times of $85 million annual sales. Eloqua SaaS was acquired by Oracle Inc four months later. The Eloqua is today’s world remains a proprietary solution, but the software has closer integration with open source software.

Pros
  • The Eloqua’s data management tools are useful for data normalization, cleansing, and appending data with third party services such as Demandbase or data.com.
  • In terms of integration, the Oracle Marketing Cloud has a broad range of integrations with over 100 third party platforms. With a well-designed visual campaign builder, similar to Infusionsoft, Oracle Marketing cloud uses a powerful campaign builder as well.
  • HyperSite builder: allows you to quickly build personalized microsites using dynamic user content.
  • Oracle Marketing Cloud is the most powerful and reputable marketing automation tool for enterprise businesses.
Cons
  • Expensive – Starting at $2,000 / month, Oracle Marketing Cloud isn’t priced to be accessible. On top of this, expect to sign a long-term contract.
  • Slow implementation time – Due to the types of organizations that typically use Oracle Marketing Cloud, implementation usually takes a long time.
  • No integration with Google Adwords – Oddly, there is no way to track PPC ROI using Oracle Marketing Cloud. This is particularly odd considering that many enterprise businesses will be spending hundreds of thousands to millions on PPC per year.
  • Customer-facing quality – Many user reviews have noted a gradual decline in quality since Oracle acquired Eloqua and renamed it Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Marketo

Marketo was acquired by Adobe at a $4.75 billion valuation 10 years after it was founded in 2008. The addition of Marketo to Adobe company expands Adobe’s footprint in the marketing cloud industry. Similar to Salesforce Pardot and HubSpot’s appraoch, Marketo focuses on acquiring SaaS users for the subscription revenue stream.

Advantages

Marketeo is known for a simple UI with great Salesforce integration. It’s easy to setup relative to other competitors in the industry. It offers great customer support and community which is a a strong asset for users and developers who value communal support.

Disadvantages

Marketo has a buggy landing page and form builder. It’s very limited in terms of report and analytics functionality without extensive add-ons and plugins. The pricing has steep jumps with three standard tiers: $895, $1795, and $3175 per month. Each tier unlocks new features which means it might cost an additional $900 to $1400 per month for just a handful of extra features.

Mautic

Mautic exists as the first open-source marketing automation and campaign management platform since 2014. Fast forward this year in May, Acquia acquired Mautic to broaden the Open Source Digital Experience Platform offerings. With over 100+ plugins and well-documented API libraries, Mautic provides a suite of tools and knowledge base to enable enterprise implementations.

Advantages

Mautic is an open source software with transparent and customizable code base open for end-users to re-generate and modify new editions. The open source community provides support forum to assist end-users with trouble-shooting and create new integrations to sync with data in the Mautic servers. End-users have the option to store data in their own virtual private server or used shared hosting within a managed SaaS company. Developers can create integrations with Mautic without incurring subscription fees. All plugins are unlocked with no addition costs.

Mautic’s Integration Library 

Mautic plugin integrations mautic

Disadvantages

For average end-users, who are unfamiliar with the back-end server infrastructure, they can either purchase a managed SaaS or hire sysadmin support for maintenance and upgrades. Some Mautic plugin integrations are still in beta or under development. They require developers’ expertise to diagnose if the plugins are feasible to integrate with Mautic.

HubSpot

HubSpot offers an all-in-one marketing solution suite with a free CRM solution. They have a global network of partnership program that enable agencies to grow their business with inbound marketing, agency design, and sales solutions. HubSpot is one of the more affordable enterprise inbound marketing solutions right out of the shelf. It has on-boarding and support services available for any agencies, startups, and SMB owners who are new to marketing automation.

Advantages

HubSpot is provides a clear and efficient on-boarding process with marketing collateral to showcase to individual users. It has a user-friendly interface that is modern and accessible. HubSpot is a one-stop shop where you can organize and make changes to sales stages in the CRM pipelines.

HubSpot CRM

Disadvantages

The startup cost is realtively low for the most basic plan. However, as companies wanted to increase their contact limit and move onto smarter marketing automation and dynamic content, the price escalates from $50 x12 = 600 to $800 x 12 = 7200. This is 12 times the increase in price – a high startup investment for SMBs. To obtain an entprise edition, pricing starts at $3200/month, with a handful of extra features such as revenue attribution, analytics filter, and consumers event trigger reporting. The Professional mid-tier package already covers A/B split testing, automation, traffic analytics, and custom reporting.

In our opinion, it’s not justify to sign an annual contract with HubSpot to commit payment at $3200 x 12 month = 38.4k per year. This is 533% higher than the annual fee for the Professional plan starting at $7200/year. But to be honest, it’s in the interest of the SaaS vendors to mark up the prices for larger organizations.

HubSpot is a sales-drive business. Everytime  you are on the phone with an account manager, they would try to lure you into an upgrading your HubSpot plan or sell you extra add-ons for higher margins. Their subscription model is similar to a gym memebership. They are banking on your employees not using much of the HubSpot Software to pocket pure margins.

Hubspot Plan