Thursday, August 23, 2012

Raab Report: Neolane, Aprimo, and Eloqua Rate Highest for Large Company B2B Marketing Automation

Tuesday’s post looked at the micro-business sector leaders according to our VEST report and gave a bit of background on how the ratings are created.  Today let's take a look at the same diagram for large businesses, which we define as companies with $500 million revenue or more.

These companies have large marketing departments that may manage hundreds of campaigns for different products in different locations. Our scoring reflects their need for special features for automated content selection, project management, complex lead scores, and tight control over the rights granted to individual users. This group had about 1,400 clients in mid-2012, generating an estimated $85 million in revenue. This is 5% of industry installations and 25% of industry revenue. Many of these were small departmental implementations; there are probably fewer than 500 true enterprise-wide deployments. The non-specialist vendors such as IBM Unica and SAS, are not included in these figures but also have significant revenue in this segment.

As before, vendors closer to the top have the most appropriate features for this segment, and those further to the right have the most similar customer base and company resources. The chart shows Neolane and Aprimo (owned by Teradata) as the clear leaders, with Eloqua also very strong.  Marketo and Oracle (specifically, Oracle CRM On Demand Marketing) are considerably further back in the leader quadrant.

It’s important to recognize that Neolane and Aprimo are fundamentally different from the others. Both are general purpose marketing automation systems that serve large numbers of B2C as well as B2B clients. The clearest technical distinction is the marketing database: Neolane and Aprimo are designed to connect with custom-built, external marketing databases, whereas B2B marketing automation products like Eloqua, Marketo, and Oracle are based on an integrated database using a CRM data model (usually, although Oracle is tied to Oracle's own CRM). This doesn’t mean that every client actually connects them to CRM system. But it does mean that the standard data models match the CRM data models and, in many cases, that abilities to expand the data model with custom tables are limited.  One reason that Neolane and Aprimo rank so high in this sector is, precisely, that large businesses often want more database flexibility than the CRM-based approach allows.

As with Tuesday’s chart, the other important place to look on the chart is the upper left, which captures companies that have suitable features for this segment but are too small to rate as leaders. SalesFusion (which also ranked highly in the micro business segment; a good trick) and TreeHouse Interactive stand out in that region. So does MarketingPilot, a newcomer to the VEST that is more like Neolane and Aprimo in serving a mix of B2C and B2C clients. See my 2011 MarketingPilot review for more details, bearing in mind that they’ve added capabilities since then.

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