Wednesday, September 28, 2011

List of Mid-Tier Business-to-Consumer Marketing Automation Systems

The world clearly has more B2B marketing automation vendors than it needs – my master list of demand generation products includes two dozen. By contrast, mid-tier consumer marketers often have a hard time finding good options. The major B2C marketing automation vendors -- IBM/Unica, Teradata/Aprimo, and SAS are more attuned to the enterprise market. Here are some others, in rough order of industry familiarity:

Alterian – extends beyond multi-channel campaign management to include Web content management, Web analytics, and social media monitoring.  It offers both hosted and on-premise options and uses a proprietary analytic database engine for key functions. Many marketing service providers manage Alterian systems for their clients.  (Alterian was purchased in December, 2011 by language technology and Web content management vendor SDL.)

Neolane – provides multi-channel campaign management, realtime interactions, and marketing resource management. Clients can choose hosted or on-premise deployment, or a “mid-sourcing” option where the system is run by the client but email is sent by Neolane.

Decision Software Inc.  – offers MarketWide, a very powerful campaign management tool. Can be deployed on-premise or hosted and managed by the vendor.

ExactTarget – originally an email service provider, it now also supports mobile, social, Web pages, and Web analytics. Recently introduced its “Integrated Marketing Hub” which offers more advanced campaign management and can support a more complex marketing database. Only available as a service.

Entiera – a hosted system that offers outbound campaigns and interaction management. Entiera also builds and maintains the client’s marketing database. (Enteria was purchased in May 2012 by credit scoring and analytics vendor FICO.)

MarketingPilot – started as a marketing resource management system and has steadily expanded.  It now offers true campaign management on a real marketing database. Can be hosted or on-premise.  (Acquired by Microsoft in October, 2012.)

ClickSquared – originally a marketing services provider but now repositioning itself as cloud-based campaign management software. Just launching a new version of its system, snappily named “Cross-Channel Marketing Hub”.

Portrait Software – purchased by Pitney Bowes in July 2010 and now part of the Pitney Bowes Business Insight group, along with former MapInfo and Group 1 Software products. Provides outbound campaigns and real time interaction management as well as advanced analytics.  The campaign management portion is based on the Million Handshakes system purchased by Portrait in 2008.

Conversen – a hosted system that offers a mix of campaign management and multi-channel output generation.  Recently enhanced to support complex marketing databases as well as simple lists.  I recently wrote a white paper about their approach.  (Acquired by Experian in May 2012.)

RedPoint – a suite of tools for database building, campaign management, and analytics. Can be hosted by a service provider or run on-premise by the client. Highly scalable and mature – the company has been growing quietly for six years and has some very large clients.

SmartSource Online –  offers hosted email, content management and Web forms, backed by a workflow engine that allows multi-step campaigns and daabase management.  Specializes in custom applications and support for other marketing service providers.  (Acquired by Extraprise in April 2013.)

Selligent –  offers tightly integrated outbound and interactive campaigns, with hosted or on-premise deployment.  Based in Belgium with plans to enter the U.S. market in 2013.  Well-established among European retailers and publishers.  Sold mostly through agencies and marketing service providers.

Final Note: this post also originally listed SmartFocus as an option.  But Emailvision, which purchased SmartFocus in April 2011, is no longer selling it as a stand-alone product.  The SmartFocus interface will survive as a front-end to the Emailvision email system.

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