5 Most Popular Marketing Automation Systems among B2B Companies

26 Mar

5 Most Popular Marketing Automation Systems among B2B Companies

By ActiveCampaign, B2B Marketing, HubSpot, marketing automation, marketing automation systems, Marketing, Marketo, Pardot, SharpSpring

As your company starts growing, you will find it more difficult to maintain 1:1 relationship with your customers. Your marketing program will become too complex to handle only with Outlook, Word, and Excel spreadsheets and this is when marketing automation comes to the rescue.

In a 2018 survey on marketing automation statistics, Emailmonday reported that 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation while a majority (58%) of B2B companies are planning to adopt the technology. Marketo defines marketing automation as “a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster”. If you also want to forget about having to manually press “send” on each and every email or message you create but still offer your customers a personalized experience with your business, the only thing left to do is to choose a marketing automation system.

What to consider when choosing a marketing automation system?

According to a report published by Adestra, when deciding what marketing automation system best suits your business needs, you should consider: the ease of implementation (64%), technical support (42%) and cross-platform integration (41%). Ascend2 took the analysis one step further and reported that analytics and reporting (52%), campaign management (46%) and lead nurturing (46%) are considered the most useful marketing automation features.

From our experience, before making a decision on what marketing automation system is the right one for your business, you should take all the above mentioned factors into account but also check these systems in terms of costs, ease of use and their unique selling arguments.

Looking at the results published by Finances Online and Trust Radius, the most popular marketing automation systems are: HubSpot, SharpSpring, Marketo, Pardot (Salesforce product) and ActiveCampaign.

To invest or not to invest in a marketing automation system?

From our experience, it is very important to carefully review and understand the true cost of using the marketing automation system, including all the hidden costs for onboarding, training, implementation and continued support after the initial installation. Let’s have a look at the offers of the top marketing automation systems on the market, emphasizing their unique selling arguments.

With an annual billing plan starting at $15,000 (no setup fees), Pardot was founded by Salesforce only as a B2B marketing automation system and is the most expensive system on the market. This price is justified especially by the coverage of up to 10,000 contacts in your database, a number 10 times higher than the other marketing automation systems considered here. In addition to this, other features included in this plan are:

  • real-time sales alerts;
  • customizable board available for measuring and tracking campaign outcomes;
  • easy-to-use segmentation wizard;
  • generating only high-quality leads.

Although its annual billing plan starts at $12,600 (including an one-time onboarding fee of $3,000), HubSpot ranks first on every list of customers’ preferences. Let’s see what you get in this package:

  • coverage for 1,000 contacts in your database;
  • an all-in-one inbound marketing and sales software;
  • easy-to-use interface;
  • compact and ready-to-use marketing funnel.

The next system in terms of costs is SharpSpring, with annual costs starting at $7,200 (including an one-time onboarding fee of $1,800). Unlike HubSpot that requires an annual subscription, SharpSpring offers a month-to-month billing basis that includes:

  • coverage for 1,500 contacts in your database;
  • fully optimized for mobile usage;
  • dynamic forms for lead capturing;
  • excellent client support.

One of the best money-for-value marketing automation systems is provided by ActiveCampaign. Unlike HubSpot or SharpSpring, ActiveCampaign offers both an annual and a monthly payment, with costs starting at $588 (paid yearly and no setup fees) or of $840 (paid monthly and no setup fees). This package includes:

  • coverage for maximum of 1,000 contacts in your database;
  • intuitive automation builder with a drag-and-drop flowchart tool;
  • focus on customized “smart content”;
  • fully-featured sales CRM suite.

Unlike the marketing automation systems presented so far, Marketo’s pricing plans are available only on a quote basis. Let’s have a look at its features the users consider most valuable:

  • installing social components to the emails via the “Forward to Friend” functionality;
  • creating beautiful landing pages with data capture forms;
  • native integrations with leading CRM and productivity service providers;
  • fully optimized for social marketing.

Final thoughts

All marketing automation tools help you identify your audience, design the right content, and automatically trigger actions based on schedules and customer behavior. Depending on your business needs and commercial objectives, you should choose the marketing automation system that best fits your marketing strategy. Get in touch with us today and our dedicated team will help you make this decision.

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