Last November, after much consideration of alternatives, I settled on Alexa three-month Web traffic rankings as a reasonable way to measure the relative market presence of demand generation vendors. You can see that post here. I revisited that data today, adding a few new vendors and dropping some of the very minor ones. Results are in the following table.
(Note: after I posted this, it was pointed out to me that the bulk of traffic on several sites relates to customer log-ins rather than marketing prospects. For example, Alexa says that 89.4% of visitors to eloqua.com next go to now.eloqua.com, which is the domain for client landing pages and user log-in. I don't know whether this particular nuance makes the Alexa rankings a less useful indicator of market presence, but it probably means the figures relate more to existing customers than prospects. Alexa is a crude measure for many reasons -- although I do think the rankings correlate roughly with a vendor's volume of business and marketing actvitiy, I wouldn't go much further. - David)
There are no huge surprises. The leaders among demand generation systems are still Eloqua, Silverpop and Marketo. Infusionsoft and Genius.com also rank very highly, but they serve broader markets (small business and salespeople, respectively) so a direct comparison with pure-play demand generation vendors may not be appropriate. Silverpop's figures may also be inflated by its consumer email production business.
Vendors showing significant growth (highlighted in green) are mostly new entrants with below-average prices: Pardot, OfficeAutoPilot and LoopFuse. ActiveConversion is not new but also has a low price point. The outlier here is eTrigue, a long-established player that I've never looked at in depth. Their ranking is still very low, but has increased substantially. Judging from the press releases on their Web site, this may be due to a new release last October that added Salesforce.com integration. I'll explore further when time permits.
The only vendor with a really major drop in ranking was Lead Genesys, another long-time industry participant.
As the entries in the first column indicate, I've reviewed nearly all these vendors in either this blog or the Raab Guide to Demand Generation Systems. (The links all point to blog entries.) The only important exception is LoopFuse, which I have deferred at the company's request. (How about it guys? Ready yet?) NurtureHQ doesn't quite seem to be a full-scale demand generation system, insofar as it seems to lack landing pages. But its relatively high rank still surprised me, so I'll make it a priority to learn more.
My general interpretation of these numbers is that demand generation remains a dynamic market -- new participants can still enter successfully if their product and pricing are attractive enough. This is good news for marketers, since continued competition will result in continued product improvements. Major advances are still needed in usability, particularly for complex marketing programs, and in coordination with sales systems. Vendors who can deliver on these key requirements at reasonable price points should earn their place as tomorrow's industry leaders.
Alexa rank: November 2008
|Alexa rank: July 2009|
|guide||Silverpop / Vtrenz||29,080||28,640|