Marketing Automation Capabilities at a Glance

The 2017 Marketing Automation Comparison Report, released by the research arm of integrated strategy, technology and lead gen agency R2i, provides a ready overview of functionality offered by eight leading marketing automation platforms.

The usual suspects are represented on the list, from Adobe and Salesforce Pardot to Marketo and Eloqua. The report assesses over 70 parameters, grading them from excellent to “not available” (or in  cases where “there is not enough variability for a rating,” indicating whether the feature is present).

The parameters assessed fall under the following headings:

  • Campaign Design
  • Campaign Management
  • Marketing Channel Support
  • Email
  • Website Targeting/Personalization
  • Lead Management/Scoring
  • Social Marketing
  • Reporting
  • User Experience

A rough and ready ranking can be derived from the report, by scoring for parameters which rate as excellent or “very good” (and adding features which can’t be rated but which are available). This unscientific approach shows a fairly narrow spread of capabilities among the most feature-laden platforms, the spread between the top three (Adobe, Marketo, and Microsoft Dynamics) being only about three points. Hubspot and IBM Marketing Cloud score least well according to these parameters (and on R2i’s assessment), while Adobe Campaign, Eloqua (Oracle), Salesforce Pardot, and Sitecore CXM fall somewhere in the middle).

But of course, anyone considering introducing or upgrading marketing automation capabilities will need to look more closely at the specific strengths of the platforms. There’s little to choose between them, on this showing, when it comes to email marketing. There’s a much greater spread of capabilities with respect to lead management. Not all brands will be equally interested and invested in all the parameters assessed here. There are differences in “recommended” CRM integration (Salesforce is recommended for four out of the eight platforms). 

There will be differences in cost and ease of implementation too, unexamined here. But this is a good starting point to get a feel for the main players in the space.

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