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How Marketing Automation Has Evolved in the Last 12 Months

Over the last several months, with my colleagues Jonathan Block and Jason Hekl, I have attended several dozen marketing automation platform (MAP) vendor briefings in preparation for SiriusDecisions’ consolidated report on the MAP market, which is due to be published later this year. Through these vendor briefings, plus inquiries with our client base and our benchmark surveys, we have identified how the marketing automation space has evolved during the last 12 months.

These changes cover a wide range, including Eloqua going public, a rise in large enterprises leveraging the demand center model, increased marketing automation platform traction in the SMB marketplace, and new product capabilities. Among all of these changes, we at SiriusDecisions have noted two changes in the marketplace and two changes in marketing automation platform features and function that we consider to be most impactful.


  • Market consolidation. During the last 12 months, the marketing automation platform software market has continued to consolidate. Examples include Aprimo, a Teradata company, acquiring eCircle; CallidusCloud acquiring LeadFormix; and Silverpop’s acquisition of CoreMotives. Several smaller MAPs were also acquired – Experian Marketing Services purchased Converseon, Intuit purchased Demandforce, and FICO purchased Entiera.
  • Market growth. The number of b-to-b organizations using marketing automation is accelerating. Based on SiriusDecisions’ research, we estimate a 20 percent penetration rate of a potential $3 billion marketing automation platform software market; this will grow to approximately 50 percent by 2015. The penetration rate across industries is not equal, as some sectors, such as high technology and software, demonstrate significantly higher adoption. Life sciences, business services and manufacturing are industries where we note increased traction.

Features and Functionality

  • Measurement. One growing trend we see in marketing automation platform tools is the leveraging of measurement and reporting. Looking across the broad spectrum of marketing automation platform vendors, we see the following partnerships adding expertise to existing business intelligence tools: Aprimo/Teradata Aster, IBM Unica/Cognos, Pardot/GoodData and Silverpop/Hadoop.
  • Social. The increased inclusion of social media has provided marketing automation platforms with additional channels for engagement and interaction with customers and prospects. This includes the ability of some marketing automation platforms to schedule social media postings within an automated workflow, and drive alternative engagement opportunities through polls and voting capabilities. Social registration has also provided an alternative way for individuals to register for high-value content. This helps to increase the conversion rates of online registration forms, enhance the user experience and foster the integration of a contact’s social profile. In addition, a contact’s social media interactions (e.g. assets consumed through social media and white papers) can be used to improve segmentation by restricting a contact from receiving emails that highlight assets they have previously consumed via social media.

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