Sunday, October 12, 2014

What’s Behind Hubspot’s IPO and Infusionsoft's $55 Million Financing?

by Dan Freeman 
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Two huge events shook the world of marketing technology last week and demonstrated the continued determination to harness marketing data to improve marketing and sales processes.

On Monday, October 6th, Infusionsoft―makers  of marketing automation software serving the small business sector―announced a new $55 million round of funding headed by Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs.

Then on Thursday October 9th, Hubspot went public, raising $125 million in its flotation and becoming the 3rd marketing automation IPO. Eloqua went public in August 2012, raising $92 million, before it was promptly purchased by Oracle in December of that year for $811 million. Then in May of 2013, Marketo went public, raising nearly $80 million.

Infusionsoft's fourth round of financing caps a record year for VC funding in the marketing automation sector.

Below is a chart of selected VC financings for marketing automation related ventures.



In addition to IPOs and venture funding, there’s also been a rash of acquisitions.




Between venture funding, IPOs and acquisitions, no one can argue that marketing automation is not hot.

But what’s behind this level of activity?

Advertising, and more generally marketing, has been in the throes of transformation for decades, or what the economist Joseph Schumpeter called ‘creative destruction’. To understand the transformation taking place, try to image marketing before Social Media, before Google, even before email and the Internet. Content was largely created by a few big ad agencies (think Don Draper) and pushed to consumers. Of course we still have ad agencies doing big TV campaigns but that’s far from the full story.  The Internet browser—Mosaic was the first—made content available to the masses and also spurred a content revolution.

With content vastly more accessible, a virtuous cycle of content creation and sharing was born. And it’s the exponential growth in content that is at the heart of the rise of marketing.  Google (and its predecessors) have transformed marketing from what was largely a top down, indiscriminate, push of content from a few large agencies, to a much more efficient, bottom up, pull from hundreds of millions of consumers via Internet search. That’s how Google has gone from start-up in 1998 to a $400 billion company in a mere 16 years. Of course we still push content, but at a fraction of the cost through Internet advertising and email marketing, and it’s aimed at intricate demographic and behavioral segments, and individuals that are far more likely to purchase.

The vast bulk of content today is created bottom-up, through websites, blogs, and, of course, social platforms. Add to the proliferation of content, the exponential growth in digital interactions, and now marketing has become more data intensive than Wall Street—hence the acquisition of marketing software firms by tech giants like IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe.

The transformation of marketing is represented both by meteoric rise in content and the ability of marketers to interact with that content. The primary challenge of marketing today—and the focus of many of today’s marketing technology firms—is managing the proliferation of content and interactions, and harnessing this data to put relevant content in the hands of customers and prospects so that products can sell themselves, or, in the case of B2B, at least do the bulk of the selling work before a hand-off to sales is made.

Software-as-a-Service (Saas), aka Cloud Computing

There’s another important factor at play in the rise of marketing; the coming of age of Software-as-a-Service (Saas) or cloud computing. SaaS made it far less costly to start new software ventures, and much cheaper (and less risky) for business users to purchase software. The IT department used to hold enormous sway over software investment dollars. Not so with cloud computing. The combination of vastly increased supply of software products and the release of purchasing power from IT to the marketing department resulted in rapid innovation and a burgeoning marketing for marketing technologies.

At the nexus of data, content, and technology is the sector known as Marketing Automation and it’s gone from red to white hot. Marketing Automation deals with functionality such as streamlining content creation, distributing across multiple channels, attracting web surfers, capturing leads, segmenting prospects, quantifying and responding to digital interactions, etc. To the extent that marketing technology firms can help marketers in this gargantuan effort, they will continue to thrive.




Monday, September 22, 2014

All-In-One Sales and Marketing Platforms Attract Small Business

by Dan Freeman 
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When Stacy Isemann and her husband Todd realized their company’s revenues were flat while costs were rising, they knew he had to do something. With a marketing staff of just one (that would be Stacy), they knew they had to be very selective in what they chose to do.

The couple started STL Rent A Box in 2012, a company that rents out reusable storage boxes for homeowners and companies moving locations.

They had tried their hand at email marketing previously—they’d used MailChimp but found that the purely self-help aspect of the service was not for them. After spending a good amount of time importing data, they sent out about three emails campaigns, then dropped off after lack of activity.

Stacy met Jonathan Herrick, Head of Sales & Marketing at Hatchbuck, at a local networking meeting in St. Louis—home to both companies. After discussing their marketing issues, Stacy decided to try Hatchbuck’s marketing automation software—something she hadn’t heard of before.

Hatchbuck is one of a new breed of marketing automation vendors geared to the small business market. Most marketing automation platforms were designed for the Enterprise market, where CRM systems are dominant and ingrained in the organization. These marketing automation systems must integrate with CRM, multiplying the complexity of implementation, and of day-to-day usage.

Hatchbuck, like Infusionsoft, Ontraport, and others incorporates CRM functionality into the marketing platform, so there’s no need to integrate. The all-in-one sales and marketing platform is an appealing and intuitive concept for a small business owner. As much as vendors claim to have seamless integration between systems, anyone who’s had to push and pull data between systems knows that integration is not simple.

Rent A Box didn’t even have a CRM system—they kept their contacts in Gmail.

Enterprise marketing automation systems also have extensive marketing bells and whistles which are simply not used by small businesses. But more than that, these features can clutter and complicate the user experience.

After some initial hand holding, Stacy was up and running with Hatchbuck in about two weeks and now considers herself proficient. She Skypes with Hatchbuck support whenever she has a question or needs help.

Rent A Box has a list size of about 6,000, the majority of which are real estate companies. They do a monthly email campaign and make frequent use of the system’s segmentation capabilities.

Stacy also gets much usage out of the CRM feature in Hatchbuck. After each client is done with their move, Stacey sends a thank you, and also asks for testimonials.

Business is going really well for Rent A Box. In fact, customers are doubling almost every month and they recently had to invest in new inventory.

As for Hatchbuck, they are growing nicely as well, tapping into the small business market that’s looking for simple yet powerful solutions to help facilitate both the marketing and sales activities.  According to Herrick, “The number of small business opportunities we bring into our sales funnel each month has increased by 250% and our customer base has grown 130% since the beginning of the year as small businesses realize the need for an all in one sales and marketing automation platform.”

For more information about marketing automation including profiles of 12 vendors, see this marketing automation industry overview.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Who’s Winning and Losing in Marketing Automation? Fall 2014 Round-up

by Dan Freeman 
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One of the most important metrics in evaluating the ultimate value of any cloud software product is the customer retention rate, a number that encapsulates the value obtained versus client expectations. Retention rate takes into account usability, support, expectations set, and impact on marketing and/or revenue goals. Companies that receive value in excess of expectations generally renew; those that don’t opt out.

Download a Just Revised Marketing Automation Industry Report Covering Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot Act-On, Infusionsoft, Salesfusion and many others.

Though a valuable indicator for customers considering an investment in marketing automation, don’t expect marketing automation vendors to divulge much about retention. They sometimes publish the number and growth rate of their customer base but not a single one lets on to retention rate, or its inverse—churn.

Not to worry. Another class of marketing technology companies can shed light on the magic retention metric.

Software tracking company Datanyze scans over 18 million of the world’s most-trafficked websites, hunting for JavaScript embeds and web tags that indicate the presence of hosted software—in this case a marketing automation platform. The chart below shows the total number of websites using selected marketing automation platforms as of 9/1/14.



Note that websites do not equate with customers as a single customer may use marketing automation software on dozens or even hundreds of websites. Nevertheless, website count is a good indicator of success.

But not so fast...

It’s not just absolute website count but rather the changes—the additions and loses over time—that are the strongest indication of platform success in the marketplace.

I analyzed the top 20 firms for which we have data—and which fall roughly into the marketing automation space—and calculated the percent change in websites using their software since January 1, 2014.


Change happens quickly in dynamic markets. Demand for marketing automation software is growing overall but aggregates mask marketplace turbulence. According to the data, only two of the 20 firms—Pardot and Act-On—have increased their website count by more than ten percent since the beginning of 2014. Seven of the 20 platforms have actually lost websites, a few by over 20 percent.

The data also implies that churn is higher than many would believe. For the 20 marketing automation platforms, the aggregate ratio of websites adds to drops for the first eight months of 2014 was 1.08, meaning that for every 100 websites that added a marketing automation platform, 92 websites dropped one.

Note that the Datanyze metrics are an indication only only and are by no means a definitive measure of software presence. A few caveats of this data are in order and can be found here.

Great marketing can generate a steady stream of new customers in a growing market, but only positive customer experiences will result in high retention rates. Caveats aside, one thing is clear; rapid change is ahead in the marketing automation sector.

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Caveats to Market Share and Retention Data

I've used Datanyze as an indicator of market share and customer retention among software
companies in the marketing automation sector. However, before readers draw too many conclusions, a few caveats are about the data are in order.

First, Datanyze tracks over 15 million sites, which seems like a big enough number. But keep in mind, there are over 900 million websites. So even the Datanyze Universe represents just small fraction of total active sites. Nonetheless, I believe the 15 million covers an overwhelming portion of total commercial websites that would have the budget to invest in marketing automation.
Want to get the Datanyze figures for another marketing automation vendor? Call me now at 201 266-6919. 
Next, the data tracks websites—not customers—so market share headlines should be viewed with some skepticism. A company that installs marketing automation tracking code may put it on single site, or on dozens or even hundreds. That said, as a sanity check, I compared the marketing automation websites tracked by Datanyze with the actual number of customers for several vendors and found the ratio to be within a range of 2.5 - 3.5 to 1. 
Example: Datanyze shows about 33,000 websites using Hubspot. The company said it had 10,195 customers at or near year-end 2013. That’s a ratio is 3:1 websites per customer—a reasonable and believable number. 
There’s also a degree of fuzziness in the data.  

The most significant source of fuzziness in the data may be the use of trials. Since trials frequently don’t convert to sales, vendors that offer free trials (Marketo, for example) may tend to show more adds and drops than those who don’t (Pardot, for example). This can skew the numbers.

Another consideration is that some vendors offer a variety of versions, not all of which should be considered as marketing automation tools. For example, Hubspot has a 'basic' package the includes email marketing and website tracking but not the more salient features of marketing automation such as lead scoring and automated lead nurturing. Nonetheless, these packages will be counted by Datanyze as part of Hubspot's totals.

The last caveat is that in order to identify software packages used, Datanyze analyzes the underlying software code, but there is certainly no foolproof way to find this code and to associate it with a particular vendor. Nonetheless, the company believes they catch the overwhelming majority of instances. 

Caveats and fuzziness aside, the changes in tracked websites over the course of several months or quarters provide valuable insights into which vendors are winning and losing in the marketplace. 


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Who's winning in marketing automation? Round-up for 1st half of 2014

by Dan Freeman 
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One of the most important metrics in evaluating the ultimate value of any cloud software product is its customer retention rate, a number that encapsulates the value obtained versus client expectations. Retention rate takes into account usability, support, expectations set, and impact on marketing and/or revenue goals. Companies that receive value in excess of expectations will generally renew; those that don’t will opt out.
Purchase Full VentureBeat Insights Marketing Automation Industry Report Here
Though supremely valuable, customer retention is a number that marketing automation vendors are loath to release. Vendors’ sometimes publish data on the number and growth rate of their customer base but not a single one lets on to retention rate, or its inverse—churn.

Not to worry. Another class of marketing technology companies to the rescue.

Software tracking company Datanyze scans over 15 million of the world’s most-trafficked websites, hunting for Javascript embeds and web tags that indicate the presence of hosted software—in this case a marketing automation platform. Website additions/losses over time are an indication of platform success in the marketplace.

The chart below shows the total number of websites using selected marketing automation platforms as of 6/30/14. Note that websites do not equate with customers as a single customer may use marketing automation software on dozens or even hundreds of websites.



But wait.

Further analysis shows that the leader, Hubspot, offers a variety of product packages, including a Basic package that includes many inbound features as well as email marketing, but does not include the most salient marketing automation features such as lead scoring and automated workflows.

I estimate that at least 60% of Hubspot’s customers are Basic and if we reduce their numbers by 60% the chart looks like this.


Using the Datanyze data, I also looked at websites that added and dropped marketing automation software during the first six months of 2014. The chart below shows the website additions (blue), drops (orange), and net changes (grey) among six of the most active marketing automation vendors.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Price vs. Features: First Time Marketing Automation Buyers and Experienced Users Care About Very Different Things

by Dan Freeman 
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I wanted to share this recent VentureBeat article in which I was interviewed....


If you own a marketing automation system, chances are you care most about features. But if you’re looking to buy a marketing automation system, chances are you care most about price. That’s just one of insights in a new report from VB Insight on the expanding field of marketing automation. (VB Insight is VentureBeat’s research platform.)

“That makes perfect sense,” report author Dan Freeman, the president of marketing consultancy Marketing Growth Strategies, said. “First-time implementers are just trying to do the nuts-and-bolts, simple stuff like landing pages or knowing who is visiting their website, while those who have been doing marketing automation for six months or a year are looking at the next stage … full nurture programs, automated workflows, and more.”

Current owners who are either adding to their system or switching to another rank features and ease of use as the most important parts of a system. New buyers who don’t currently use any marketing automation system, however, rank both total cost of service and monthly price above ease of use and price.
The two groups are looking for different functionality, and have different ideas about what to expect from their software, Freeman told VentureBeat.

“First-time buyers don’t know much about implementation … they kind of have in mind that the cost of the marketing automation effort equates to the cost of the software,” Freeman said. “But owners understand there’s more to it … both in costs and in returns.”
Read the full VentureBeat article...

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation Industry Report



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

70+ Players, Sub 5% Penetration: Marketing Automation Still ‘Crossing the Chasm’

by Dan Freeman 
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This is from a recent interview I did with VentureBeat Magazine....



After several years of 50-plus-percent growth, marketing automation is still the new kid on the block.

Even with 70+ vendors in the space.

“If you’re in the business, it seems like everyone’s doing it,” analyst and consultant Dan Freeman told me yesterday. “But if you take a different perspective, it’s really early.”

In the tech business-to-business sector, most companies have now adopted some form of marketing automation, Freeman says. But that’s only a small slice of the overall market, so even though marketing automation gets a lot of hype and virtual ink — particularly via major acquisitions such as those by Adobe and IBM — it’s still very early days.

According to Freeman, that puts marketing automation squarely in the “crossing the chasm” phase, meaning that the sector is just now spreading from the early adopters and innovators to the early majority.

Read the full VentureBeat article...

Position your products within the marketing ecosystem. Drive new revenue. Reach high value alliance partners. Thought leadership--white papers, eBooks, webinars, etc.  Contact me now. 

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation Industry Report



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Venture Capital Investment in Marketing Automation On Pace For Record Year

by Dan Freeman 
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Two financings last week signaled a record pace this year for venture capital investment in the red-hot marketing automation sector. Autopilot—“Marketing Automation for Agile Marketers”—announced that it raised a $10 million Series B funding round led by Rembrandt Venture Partners. Also last week, Captora, a company led by former Marketo and SuccessFactors executive Paul Albright, announced that it raised $22 million in Series B funding.

Whereas Autopilot features traditional marketing automation functionality such as lead capture and nurturing, email marketing, and lead scoring (see an Autopilot overview), Captora is focused on the top of the funnel—securing more inbound leads by automatically generating custom landing pages that match keywords used in searches (see a Captora overview).  These two financings add to an already robust year for venture capital investment in marketing automation technology.

Selected VC Financings for Marketing Automation in 2014
Position your products within the marketing ecosystem. Drive new revenue. Reach high value alliance partners. Thought leadership--white papers, eBooks, webinars, etc.  Contact me now. 
Over that past 10 years, nearly $700 million in venture capital has gone into the marketing automation sector, including $126 million so far in 2014.



Mergers and Acquisitions in Marketing Automation Continues Strong As Well

Since 2010, there have been nearly $7.5 billion of marketing automation acquisitions; $750 million in 2014 including IBM's $300 million acquisition in April of this year.
Maximize your company value--let us help you position your products within the complex marketing ecosystem, drive new revenue, and reach high value alliance partners. Create thought leadership--white papers, eBooks, webinars, Newsletters. Contact me now. 


****   ****   ****    ****
Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation Industry Report



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Who's Winning and Losing In Marketing Automation?

by Dan Freeman 
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Change happens quickly in dynamic markets. Demand for marketing automation software is growing at a healthy clip, but aggregates can mask marketplace turbulence. Behind the 40 plus percent growth rate lies a multitude of customer experiences that determine the ultimate winners and losers.

As businesses struggle to get a handle on the new world of digital marketing, they experiment with new marketing platforms. Marketers try to master this software—to leverage its promise to generate more and better leads, and to streamline marketing processes. For highly competitive products like marketing automation, nuances in product features, and how customers manage to utilize these features can make all the difference. The way a new customer is on-boarded, the support or self-help tools provided, and even the reality of the implementation experience versus the expectations set by vendors can have a major impact on customer retention.
Contact me now to create thought leadership--white papers, eBooks, webinars, newsletters--and a marketing strategy--to reach and engage with your best prospects
And in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model, retention is key. Vendors often lose money on new customers during the first year. It’s not until an annual renewal, or at least a period of several months, that customers become profitable. Vendors tout their success with press releases about new customers and sometime even publish customer counts and growth rates. What’s not revealed are the dropped customers—the churn.

Until now, that is.

Working with the tech data sleuth firm, Datanyze, I looked at websites that added and dropped marketing automation software from January through April of 2014. The results may surprise you. Salesforce's own marketing automation platform—Pardot—dominated the field with a net gain of 2,020 websites.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Marketing Automation Buyers Survey

by Dan Freeman 
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Over half of companies considering purchasing marketing automation systems are worried they don’t have the in-house skills to make it work. Another half aren't sure they have the budget and are concerned that marketing automation won’t deliver on its many promises.  These are some of the the preliminary results of a marketing automation buyer and user survey we are conducting with VentureBeat. Here are some more highlights…



What motivates businesses to invest in marketing automation? It's about LEADS, SALES, and MARKETING PROCESSES. 

Marketers’ top considerations when determining whether or not to invest in Marketing Automation Software are ranked as follows
  1. Need to generate better quality leads 
  2. Need to track/score leads
  3. Need to automate marketing processes 
  4. Need to improve sales effectiveness 
  5. Need to generate more leads 
Well be be publishing more results in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.    

SKILLS, RESULTS, COSTS: The top 3 reasons marketing automation scares companies

Top concerns about implementing marketing automation software
  1. Whether we have the in-­house skills to effectively implement 58%
  2. Budget; not sure we can afford it 54%
  3. Concern over software’s ability to produce real results 51%

COST AND EASE OF USE top selection criteria.

Three considerations stood out among buyer when selecting a marketing automation platform
  1. Total cost of service 
  2. Ease of Use 
  3. Monthly Price 
These beat out considerations such as Features, Integration with CRM, Start-up Time, and others. Of note: Recommendations from experts like Gartner, Forrester, came in last!

Of those respondents who do not use marketing automation currently, 46% use an email marketing service (MailChimp the most mentioned) and 60% use a CRM (Salesforce the most mentioned).

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook


Marketing Automation Industry to Reach $1.2 Billion

by Dan Freeman 
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We’ve updated our 2014 Marketing Automation eBook with a revised industry revenue estimate of $850 million for 2013 and a revised forecast of $1.2 billion for 2014. To arrive at these figures, we track over 30 marketing automation vendors, comparing user and revenue growth rates. We also profiled two additional marketing automation vendors. The new eBook explores all of the industry trends and profiles the leading vendors, including Marketo, Act-On, Pardot/Salesforce, Eloqua, InfusionSoft, eTrigue and many others.


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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook


Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Research on Top Marketing Automation Software Platforms

by Dan Freeman 
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Here are the latest marketing automation market share numbers for the Top 1 Million websites compiled by tech data firm Datanze: Hubspot – 21.1%, Marketo – 14.6%, InfusionSoft – 11.9% Eloqua – 9.9%, and Pardot – 8.0%.

But that's far from the full story.

Datanyze has just expanded its coverage of the Marketing Automation sector to include about 11 million websites in what they call the Datanyze Universe. I spoke with Datanyze Marketing VP Jon Hearty to delve more deeply into their data. The company looks the world's most authoritative websites—based on Alexa ranking—and analyzes the underlying source code to reveal software packages used on these sites.

Although 11 million is certainly a lot of websites to analyze, users should be aware that there are over 900 million websites (astounding number but here is my source). So even the Datanyze Universe represents just small fraction of total active sites.

Participate in our 2014 Marketing Automation eBook and reach thousands of new businesses looking for get a handle on digital marketing.   

Still, the data is revealing, as it tells us the actual number of found instances of each of the marketing automation software platforms among the universe of sites tracked. We all know that software companies have a way of, shall we say...embellishing their user base numbers. So this data represents a reality check on vendors' statements and marketing materials, and a touchstone for analysis.

We looked at the leaders in the marketing automation sector and how they changed as the list expanded from the Top 100K, to the Top Million, to the Datanyze Universe of 11 Million, and here is what we found.

Marketing Automation Leaders Among Alexa Top 100K Websites

Among the very largest websites, just over 3 percent had detectable marketing automation code—a notably low number. Among this group, Marketo is the clear leader, followed by Eloqua and Hubspot. It’s also interesting to note that Infusionsoft—designed for the entrepreneur and the very small business market—has a strong presence among the top 100K with a fifth place ranking.

Marketing Automation Software Ranking | MarketingTechReport

Marketing Automation Leaders Among Alexa Top Million Websites

Expanding the universe to the Alexa top 1 million sites, we see a different result. Although the top players remain almost unchanged (except VisiStat now joins the top 10, replacing VisualRevenue), Hubspot takes the lead, followed by Marketo and Infusionsoft.

Marketing Automation Leaders Among Datanyse Universe (11 Million sites)

Now we turn to the Datanyse Universe, which represents close to 11 million websites. Readers should note that, unlike the Top 100K or Top 1 Million websites tracked by Datanyse, the Datanyse Universe only approximates the top Alexa sites and includes many other sites that Datanyse customers have requested tracking on.

Want custom 3rd party White Papers, eBooks and Webinars to engage your prospects? Call or Email us now to discuss. 

Most striking is the jump of VisiStat from ninth place to first. VisiStat is not directly comparable to most of the 37 marketing automation vendors included in this data. The company has been in business for nine years and has a large customer base in both B2B and B2C. It’s primary functionality is the ability to identify previously anonymous website visitors through reverse DNS lookup, and to import visitor data directly into its database.










To play with the data yourselves, visit Datanyze

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Rise of Marketing (Technology)

by Dan Freeman 
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Digital Marketing ManThe abundance of marketing technology companies was described by Scott Brinker in last month’s illuminating post, What if 1,000+ marketing technology vendors were the new normal? The post tackles the rise of marketing technology mostly from an IT perspective. It’s tough to summarize 4,000 words but, as I understood it, the thrust of the argument goes something like this:  First, the rise in SaaS or cloud computing made it much cheaper to start new software ventures, and much cheaper (and less risky) for consumers to purchase. Second, unlike say, traditional manufacturing firms, where economies of scale rule the day, in software firms where success depends on rapid innovation, there are actually diseconomies of scale. Larger, entrenched customer bases, compounded by more management/organizational layers make change more difficult. Hence, we now have 1,000 plus firms broadly categories in the marketing technology sector.

I’d like to add to Scott’s analysis, but from a different perspective: the rise of marketing itself. After all, the notion of cloud computing and diseconomies of scale can be applied to any of the corporate functions—finance, HR, operations, etc.—yet it has been marketing alone that has sprouted this cornucopia of technology offerings. Advertising, and more generally marketing, has been in the throes of transformation for decades, or what the economist Joseph Schumpeter called ‘creative destruction’. To understand it, think of marketing way back…before Social Media, before Google, even before email and the World Wide Web. Content was largely created by a few big ad agencies (think Don Draper) and pushed to consumers. Of course we still have ad agencies doing big TV campaigns but that’s far from the full story.  The Internet browser—Mosaic was the first—made content available to the masses and also spurred a content revolution. Wired magazine described the breakthrough in October 1994:
“With Mosaic, the online world appears to be a vast, interconnected universe of information. You can enter at any point and begin to wander; no internet addresses or keyboard commands are necessary. The complex methods of extracting information from the net are hidden from sight. Almost every person who uses it feels the impulse to add some content of his or her own. Since Mosaic first appeared, according to the NCSA, net traffic devoted to hypermedia browsing has increased ten-thousandfold.”
With content vastly more accessible, a virtuous cycle of content creation and sharing was born. And it’s the exponential growth in content that is at the heart of the rise of marketing.  Google (and its predecessors) have transformed marketing from what was largely a top down, indiscriminate, push of content from a few large agencies, to a much more efficient, bottom up, pull from hundreds of millions of consumers via Internet search. That’s how Google has gone from start-up in 1998 to a $400 billion (last I checked) company 16 years later. Of course we still push content, but at a fraction of the cost through Internet advertising and email marketing, and it’s aimed at intricate demographic and behavioral segments, and individuals that are far more likely to purchase.

The vast bulk of content today is created bottom-up, through websites, blogs, and social platforms. Today (these figures will be outdated almost as fast as you read this) there are over 920 million websites, 40 million WordPress blogs (just 1 of many blogging platforms), 150 billion emails sent per day (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) 500 million daily Tweets, and 4.5 billion Facebook Likes—the ‘Like’ being the ultimate in abbreviated content. And then, there’s mobile content…there are over a billion smart phones and over a million apps in the iPhone catalog.

Add to the proliferation of content, the exponential growth in digital interactions, and now marketing has become more data intensive than Wall Street—hence the acquisition of marketing software firms by tech giants like IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe.

The transformation of marketing is represented both by meteoric rise in content and the ability of marketers to interact with that content. The primary challenge of marketing today—and the focus of many of today’s marketing technology firms—is managing the proliferation of content and interactions, and harnessing this data to put relevant content in the hands of customers and prospects so that products can sell themselves, or, in the case of B2B, at least do the bulk of the selling work before a hand-off to sales is made.

To the extent that marketing technology firms can help marketers in this gargantuan effort—streamlining content creation, distributing across multiple channels, attracting web surfers, capturing leads, segmenting prospects, quantifying and responding to digital interactions, etc.—they will continue to proliferate.

****   ****   ****    ****
Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook


Monday, March 10, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LeadRocket/Genius Acquired by SaaS Vendor CallidusCloud

by Dan Freeman 
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Last week, Marketing automation vendor LeadRocket (formerly, Genius) was acquired by Callidus Software Inc., which also owns LeadFormix, for an undisclosed amount. This announcement came a week after Salesfusion’s acquisition of Loopfuse (Salesfusion raised $8.25 million in venture capital just two weeks prior). As marketing automation catches on, and as more software firms—we count over 50—chase an expanding customer base, we will continue to see more consolidation.

The LeadRocket acquisition is notable as Genius was the an early leader in marketing automation—they raised over $40 million in venture capital between 2006 and 2009—more than any other marketing automation vendor during that time frame.

Venture Capital Funding for Marketing Automation (2005 - Current)
Venture Capital Funding for Marketing Automation (2005 - Current)



The publicly traded Callidus CALD acquired marketing automation vendor LeadFormix in 2012 for $9 million. Its full product suite provides Software as a Service (SaaS) for hiring, learning, marketing and selling.

So many factors come into play in determining vendor success; product features, usability, marketing prowess, pricing, support, company leadership, strategy, etc. These factors will sort themselves out through tens of thousands of marketplace experiments over the next year as users attempt to leverage marketing technologies to get a handle on the new world of digital marketing.

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Salesfusion Buys Loopfuse

by Dan Freeman 
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Atlanta-based marketing automation vendor Salesfusion announced this morning the acquisition of LoopFuse, another marketing automation company, also based in Atlanta. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Reflecting the rapid change in the marketing automation sector, this news comes two weeks after Salesfusion raised $8.25 million in a Series B financing round. According to the Salesfusion website,
“Salesfusion expects to more than triple sales, revenue, and customers by the end of the year.”
As adoption of marketing technologies accelerate, venture capital continues to flow into marketing automation.

More from the Salesfusion website;
Acquiring LoopFuse has significant implications for Salesfusion and the entire marketing automation space. Salesfusion is embedding LoopFuse’s dynamic social media publishing and monitoring tools directly into the Salesfusion suite of products adding social listening, publishing and nurturing to the leading marketing automation suite for midsized businesses. Expanding on current Loopfuse technology, Salesfusion will be the first provider to bring the power of predictive analytics to marketing automation, arming marketers with the first “smart” marketing automation solution and enabling them to interact with and nurture prospects and customers in a more efficient, intelligent way.
The addition of LoopFuse customers to the Salesfusion portfolio makes Salesfusion one of the largest marketing automation software vendors focused specifically on the midmarket segment, overtaking several competitors. Pease and Young, both of whom will stay on at Salesfusion, enhance the company’s business and technical capabilities and attractiveness to customers and investors. Said Christian Nahas, CEO of Salesfusion, “Marketers are asking for a solution that is smart and intuitive. A solution that helps them reduce the friction between marketing and sales and deliver bottom line results like never before. We are now one step closer to achieving that goal.” See more here
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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is Marketing Automation Crossing the Chasm?

by Dan Freeman 
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Marketing automation enables marketers to generate, capture and synthesize a vast array of prospect and customer digital interactions with their web sites, landing pages, email campaigns, and social platforms, and to assess and take action on the most promising leads. Seems like a no brainer, but it's still a challenge to get companies to commit. In fact, our research has revealed that less than 1% of businesses use marketing automation software today.

In his book, Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore describes a technology lifecycle in which the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation proceeds according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups. According to Moore’s model, the first group of people to use a new product is called "innovators," followed by "early adopters”.
The “chasm” is the crucial period during which a product is either adopted broadly, or remains part of a niche market. The “early majority” and “late majority” then adopt the product, followed by the last group, known as "laggards".
If this model is applied to marketing automation platforms, it becomes evident that, among large firms, Marketing automation has indeed crossed the chasm (we estimate a 20% adoption rate among companies with 500 or more employees).


By contrast, mid-sized firms are just now at the crossing while small firms (nearly 6 million of them!) are still in the innovators stage. This explains the growing number of marketing automation vendors seeking to gain a foothold into this market, as well as the substantial venture capital the sector has attracted.


Note also that the chasm is the steepest part of the growth curve, so gaining customers at this stage is critical for competitors in this space.

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.





Saturday, January 18, 2014

Can the Market Absorb More Marketing Automation Vendors?

by Dan Freeman 
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With last month's $1.5 billion purchase of Responsys by Oracle, marketing automation continues to be in the limelight. On the surface industry consolidation appears to be the narrative, but dig deeper and you will find compelling subplots. Creative destruction—which has transformed marketing since the rise of the Internet—is accelerating. As traditional marketing (think Madmen) gives way to digital, marketing technology ascends.

As this Infographic from Scott Brinker (Chief Marketing Technologist blog) shows, it’s truly the wild west for marketing technology, and marketing automation, as a “backbone platform” is front and center. Platforms are software that every marketer needs—such as CRM, or web content management—and Brinker includes marketing automation as another must-have technology.
“What makes them platforms, rather than just products, is that they’re increasingly open — interoperable with other, more specialized marketing software.”
Can the market absorb the entry of tech giants like Oracle, IBM, Adobe, and Salesforce, as well as dozens of new marketing automation start-ups? Our answer is yes. Consolidation and growth will occur in tandem as tens of thousands of marketplace experiments among platform users determine the eventual winners and losers.

One thing is for certain; adoption rates are hitting the steepest part of the product lifecycle, and to be a winner, vendors need to be in the game now.

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Venture Capital Flows and Marketing Automation Adoption

by Dan Freeman 
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Even as venture capital continues to flow into marketing automation, less than one percent of US businesses have invested in the technology.  In fact, it's still at the innovators stage but quickly moving to the early adopters stage—the steepest growth phase of the product lifecycle.



The simple truth is, if you are a marketing automation company and not growing at a rapid pace in the year 2014, don’t expect to compete for long in this space.

If you are a marketer thinking about implementing marketing automation, be an early adopter and gain a systematic advantage over your competitors.

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Marketing Growth Strategies LLC has been engaged in research, analysis, lead generation, and client implementation in the Marketing Automation sector since 2009 and has recently revised its highly successful 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.

Are you a marketing automation vendor looking to compete successfully in this high growth market? Learn about the capturing up to 500 fresh Marketing Automation leads.

Considering implementing marketing automation? Download the 2014 Marketing Automation eBook.