Friday, May 18, 2007

Manticore Offers A Lower Cost Alternative For Online Lead Generation

Somehow I received a copy of “Increasing Revenue Through Automated Demand Generation” (registration required), the kind of title that sends chills up my spine. The paper, from Manticore Technology, recommends five best practices for business marketing: (1) define a unified marketing and sales pipeline; (2) deploy an integrated marketing and sales platform; (3) measure pipeline activity; (4) automate lead nurturing; and (5) focus on the top of the funnel. There’s a bit of special pleading in items (2) and (4), and item (5) seems a bit arbitrary (doesn’t it really depend on where you get the greatest return on investment?) But, still, this is perfectly reasonable stuff.

Manticore itself is pretty interesting. As the recommendations suggest, it provides a hosted system for integrated lead generation and management. The company positions itself directly against Eloqua, and indeed is quite similar. That is, it can generate outbound emails, build customized landing pages for email response, track behavior of Web site visitors, and execute multi-step lead nurturing campaigns with logical branching depending on prospect behavior. It can also track the sources of Web site visitors and manage pay per click Web advertising campaigns. The main advantages Manticore claims over Eloqua are lower cost and easier, faster implementation. (Manticore doesn’t mention this, but Eloqua also has some capabilities that Manticore lacks, including direct mail, event management, and online chat. Whether that is worth the extra money will depend on the situation.) Both products integrate with (and Eloqua with several others).

Manticore also has something called “Prospect Builder” which may actually attempt to identify anonymous visitors by looking up IP addresses and connecting email addresses with company domains. I can’t quite tell from the Web site whether this is what actually happens, but if it does, it’s a nice little bonus. Otherwise, what Prospect Builder clearly does is maintain profiles of visitor behavior (emails received, Web pages viewed, etc.) and link these to profiles in

I’m glad to know about Manticore because people do occasionally ask about this sort of system and balk at the cost of Eloqua and even-more-expensive Vtrenz (just purchased by Silverpop; see last week's post). It’s good to have a lower cost alternative.