Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
A new report based on authenticated user reviews of marketing automation platforms has suggested social listening and advertising capabilities are still areas requiring improvement.
According to the new 2016 Marketing Automation Software Grid from US-based business software review platform, G2 Crowd, vendors leading the field for their strong customer satisfaction scores and market presence were HubSpot, Pardot (Salesforce), Marketo, Act-On, Oracle Eloqua and iContact Pro. Of these, HubSpot earned the highest overall satisfaction score as well as the highest overall market presence score.
In addition, 14 vendors were listed as ‘high performers’ within the rankings, receiving strong customer satisfaction scores but recording a smaller market presence. These included LeadSquared, Salesfusion, Autopilot, Net-Results and GreenRope.
The Grid also included a ‘contenders’ category, featuring several enterprise-grade vendors such as IBM Unica, Adobe Campaign, Silverpop (IBM) and Infusionsoft, as well as a ‘niche’ quadrant, featuring Teradata, CallidusCloud, ONtraport and Plumb5.
The Grid was determined using customer satisfaction data reported by authenticated users, along with vendor market presence determined from social and public data. The latest report stemmed from more than 3400 marketing automation reviews, and products ranked had to receive at least 10 reviews to be included.
While the rankings could be considered subjective and be swayed by the size and scope of users deploying these platforms, the report also shared several insights that point to the ongoing development and expansion of these marketing automation platforms, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
For example, social functionalities in marketing automation software were rated slightly lower than other features, with average satisfaction ratings for social listening and social advertising at 75 per cent and 71 per cent, respectively.
In contrast, scores for segmentation and lead scoring leapt year-on-year, suggesting that vendors have been making improvements to these features within the platforms.
What was also clear was the importance of customer service. G2 Crow said products with a steep learning curve and long implementation times required a high quality of support in order for users to make the most of the software. Key to users were fast response times, product forums and additional learning materials.