Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My List of Demand Generation Vendors and Their Target Customers

[Note: I update this post periodically to keep the information reasonably current.]

Demand generation features often sound similar, but the different vendors do aim at different types of clients. If you're looking for a system, try to find a vendor who will match your company.

One of the audience members at the B2B Marketing University in Boston asked about demand generation systems for small businesses, and how to distinguish among the vendors in general. My brief answer was that the biggest difference was less functionality than the target markets the different vendors pursue. This has more to do with the degree of personal selling (and after-sale service) than anything else. I also promised a blog post on the topic. Here it is.

(Incidentally, there's one more B2BU session left this year, in Seattle on December 1. I'll be flying cross country to attend, so you could too.)

The table below presents a reasonably comprehensive list of demand generation (a.k.a. B2b marketing automation) vendors, with links to my reviews where I've written one. The vendors are divided into four categories based on my understanding of their target customers. I'm sure some of the vendors will tell me they're in the wrong place -- and since this ranking is based on their own perception of their target markets, I'll make adjustments when they do. (Clever of me to write this while they're all distracted by DreamForce, don't you think?)

- Micro Business: these products are aimed at companies where the owner does their own marketing, or perhaps one employee who does marketing along with other functions. The systems have very low starting prices tailored to low volumes. Most offer a CRM option (typically priced at $10 to $20 per seat per month) for companies who don't want to pay for The feature/function lists of these products are often comparable to systems aimed at larger companies, although there are certainly differences when you look at the details. (Note: I've put NurtureHQ into this category based on their price and what I can tell from the Web site. I haven't had a chance to review it personally.)

- Small Business: these products are sold to small businesses, often with just one or two people in the marketing department. Vendors keep costs to a minimum by selling largely online or over the phone, and through self-service approaches such as free trials and pay-by-month arrangements without contracts. Prices are a little lower than products in the Small/Mid Size category, but the difference isn't usually that large. Similarly, functionality is generally comparable although they may be less sophisticated at some tasks such as dynamic content generation (automatically altering an email or Web page based on lead characteristics) and branching campaign flows.

- Small/Mid Size: these firms sell to small and mid-size companies, and occasionally to divisions of the giants. Every vendor cites a different revenue range for its "sweet spot" but $50 million to $500 million might be typical. Starting prices are all over the map; I've assigned vendors to this category based on a combination of pricing, features and my personal sense of their business. Functionally, these are pretty sophisticated products, although they don't usually meet all the needs of very large marketing organizations, such as fine-grained security and advanced content management. (See the Vendor Usability Study on the Raab Guide site for a discussion of these features.)

- Mid/Large: these vendors have the features needed to serve large companies and large marketing departments. They also tend to have a broader range of supplemental capabilities, such as support for telephone call centers. Pricing tends to be higher and more complicated, allowing buyers to pay for specific components as needed. These vendors have geared their sales process to selling to large firms, with the in-person demonstrations, technical reviews, formal proposals and contract negotiations that implies. Of course, these companies will sell to mid-size firms as well.

Final Thoughts: I know it's a cliche, but you really do need to select a vendor that matches your own company needs. Considerations extend beyond feature checklists to include sales and support models, pricing structures, training requirements, consulting partners, and usability. This list should aim you at the right neighborhood to begin your search -- but don't be afraid to look elsewhere if you find a product that seems appropriate.

vendorlink to my reviewCRM option availablepublished price liststarting price

Micro Business

Infusionsoft*blog yesyes$199/month for 10,000 names, 25,000 emails
MakesBridge*blogyesyes$150 / month for 50,000 names, 5,000 emails,

yes $295 / month for 5,000 names
$597 / month for 50,000 names, 100,000 emails

Small Business


$500 / month for 10,000 visitors (email not included)
Act-On Softwareblogyes
$500 / month for 5,000 active names

$750 / month for 10,000 names and 25,000 emails
Beanstalk Datablogyes
yes$599 / month for 10 users, unlimited leads, up to 50,000 emails / month
- other versions from $199 / month
yes$1,000/month for 10,000 names
- other versions from $200/month
yes$350 / month for 10,000 names, unlimited email and pageviews
- free version up to 2,500 names, 5,000 email / month

$350 - $400 / month for 30,000 page views, 10,000 emails, 2 hours of support
yes $1,000 / month for 30,000 emails
$1,500 / month for 25,000 names, 125,000 emails
True Influenceblog
yes $1,500 for 10,000 names



$1,000 / month for 10,000 names (unlimited email, page views, users)*blog

$1,100 / month
- free version up to 3,000 names, 10,000 emails / month
LeadFormix  (was LeadForce1)*bloglimited
$500 / month
Lead Genesys

yes$995 / month for 10,000 names, 20,000 emails, 25,000 page views

$500 / month for 1,500 emails; $1,395 / month for 25,000 emails
Manticore Technology*blog

$2,000 / month up for 10,000 names
yes$1,500 / month up to 10,000 names (lite);
$2,400 / month up to 25,000 names (full)

$1,000 / month
Right On Interactive*blog

$1,700 / month 
Treehouse Interactive*blogyes
$599 / month for 5,000 contacts


Aprimo Marketing Studio*blog

$4,000 per month for the base version with up to 10 users and 250,000 emails
yestypically starts above $2,500/ month
(out of business)

$1,600 / month
Oracle CRM On Demand Marketing*blog

$2,000 - $4,000 per month

$5,000 / month
Silverpop Engage8*blog

(not available)

* also in Raab Guide


FoundPages said...

Great chart. FYI ActiveConversion does include drip nurture emailing in its monthly cost. Also I'd they fit more in the small/mid-sized category than the small category based on their customer list.

David Raab said...

Ah, somehow I always put ActiveConversion where they don't belong. But I think they still don't do the email themselves; i.e., you work through Vertical Response, Constant Contact, etc., and pay them extra. I wouldn't consider them competitors of the firms in the Small/Mid-Sized category but am happy to hear otherwise. I know FoundPages is the parent/sister company of ActiveConversion: do you speak for them directly?

smersy said...

Thanks David, also has a version, Genius Pro Email Marketing starting at about $1000 per month (unlimited email. Here's a link to our product descriptions and comparison.

Scott Mersy

Unknown said...

Hi David,
I think whoever posted from ActiveConversion/FoundPages is concerned more with the category being used. Perhaps SMB or SME should be used rather than Small? You're right that we don't really compete with the vendors in your Small/Mid-sized category.
Regards, Fred.

Unknown said...

David, I've been looking for this list! Thank you for the compilation! As a Swiftpage Gold Consultant, I respectfully offer the Swiftpage/ACT! Software integration as the new best solution for small businesses marketing automation. An entrepreneur can easily launch and manage complex drip marketing campaigns for approx $70/mo (1,000 email sends/day) + a one-time software license of $349. Just can't beat this price/value combo. Want to see/try a demo? I'll set you up with top brass at Sage.

smarketer said...

Hi David,

great work and a valuable list. I would suggest to ad Hubspot ( as a solution for small businesses to it. It is not a typical marketing automation software and still lags email and the nurturing part. On the other hand it offers a great value with landingpages, great SEO tools, blogging, lead management, etc. that enable small businesses to increase their number of inbound leads.

David Raab said...

I've reviewed Hubspot at . But so far I don't think they qualify as a demand generation platform, so I feel it's best to leave them off of this list -- people are confused enough!

Mike Volpe - HubSpot said...

I'd encourage everyone to think about "Demand Generation" vendors as companies that offer you the ability to get found by more potential customers and convert more of them into leads and sales. Most of the systems on this list do the second thing (convert your leads database into customers) but do NOT do the first one (attract more leads to your company). And getting more new leads is generally the biggest challenge for companies of all sizes except large/enterprise.

In the past 6 months, HubSpot has added lead nurturing, social media monitoring, automatic closed loop campaign analytics, and a whole bunch of other functionality to the 1,800+ companies using our software. Even though we're not "on the list" I'd encourage people to take a look, especially because many companies on the list have under 100 customers. To me, the vote that counts the most is market adoption, and I think we're one of the top leaders on that important metric.

JeffBaker said...

Aprimo's Marketing Studio product line would also be a good option in the mid/large category:

David's initial review:

David Raab said...

You're quite right Jeff. I've added it to the list.

Jeff Ogden said...

Good and comprehensive list of vendors, David. Thanks for posting it.

I still think that no matter which you choose (And Find Customers uses Genoo), you still need remarkable content and rock-solid processes. Too many businesses think buying software drives lead generation. It simply does not.

Thanks David.

Jeff Ogden, President
Find New Customers

Adam B. Needles said...

As always, David, this is a great resource for B2B marketers. Thanks for this breakout (and thanks for the B2B Marketing University plug).

My additional thoughts here: If this is one axis of analysis, the other two critical axes I would add are: 1.) whether a given platform has the right interface and combination of channels and logic management to serve as the 'center' of all of your B2B marketing activity management and 2.) whether a given platform integrates with your CRM and other critical prospect/customer data assets.

On point one, I think the ultimate goal here is for your automation platform to not be a side show to your demand generation process ... it should manage your demand generation, moving opportunities from as far upstream as possible to eventual sales hand-off. So you want to make sure your platform has the right combination of capabilities to actually do this for your organization.

On point two, automation and CRM are more integral than ever. So you want to make sure that your system has full integration into whatever CRM you are using, including helping sales get better insight into what type of marketing has occurred upstream before they begin working on an opportunity and how they can best manage continuity of dialogue with this buyer.

When it comes to the mosaic that is the marketing automation marketplace, I think that these are the two other pieces that determine whether a platform is the right fit for a B2B marketing organization.

Adam Needles
B2B Marketing Evangelist

Twitter: @abneedles

Gym1 said...

great discussions. do any of these solutions integrate with a yahoo store? If not, would someone recommend one that does integrate well with a yahoo store? thanks in advance.



Elvin said...

Leadsberry would also be a good option in the Small/Mid-Size category: