‘Popular’ Marketing Automation Vendor Study

Capterra, a software directory website, recently released the results of a research study comparing the popularity of various Marketing Automation vendors.  The comparison focused on available stats from Alexa, Compete, Google and Twitter data as well as some user data.   While top marks went to familiar companies such as Eloqua, Hubspot, and Infusionsoft (all NeoMarketing Partners), I was concerned about the consistency of the metrics and the interpretation of the meaning behind ‘popularity’.  Kudos to the Capterra team in bringing the data together, noting a lack the potential holes and opening up to feedback on their study.

Popularity <> Quality

The strongest caution about any take away from this study is that popularity does not mean it’s the right fit.  Capterra has long stated that such rankings shouldn’t be used in making a decision. From their blog post on the study:

For Capterra’s entire 12 year history, we have always advised against this.  “Ignore the rankings” we tell them.  “It depends on the specific needs of your company.”

Here are a couple of issues with the study strongly worth considering:

  1. Audience: Infusionsoft & Hubspot serve different size and sophistication of marketing organizations from Aprimo & Eloqua solutions.  So naturally, there is a difference in the number of customers.
  2. Verifiable Data:  Nearly half of the vendors evaluated by the study did not have complete revenue, customer data or user data.
  3. Weighting: Like lead scoring, it’s so important to factor in what elements are more important than others.  While we have a list, but each person will factor one attribute strong than others (B2B v. B2C, Large v. Small Co.)
Basically, I’d suggest you leverage other tools in evaluating your next marketing automation system purchase.


Value / Benefit?

Regardless of the first version of such a study by Capterra, it’s worth looking at the individual measurements/rankings of the vendors.  Some vendors in our space are excellent examples of how you can leverage social media and content creation to your advantage.    Also, you know have a long list of vendors worth your considering.   I agree with Capterra’s original charter… while there are many similar capabilities across all vendors, the time where marketing automation is a commodity product is not yet here.   Continue to outline your needs and do your homework to match them to the right solution.