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
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.