About This Constellation ShortList™

Marketing automation has become a staple of enterprise software. B2B marketing organizations today require the ability to engage customers and prospects through a wide range of online and offline channels. The growing number of decision-makers and influencers in any given deal or account relationship increases the importance of technology solutions that make it easier to manage those communications and deliver personalized interactions at scale. Marketing automation tools allow marketers to initiate, build and track relationships as well as demonstrate revenue contribution. 

Increasingly, B2B marketers must more closely integrate marketing activities and relationships with sales. The biggest sticking points are the transition from marketing qualified lead to sales accepted lead and coordination and consistency between marketing databases and sales or account databases. While all major marketing automation vendors recognize this issue, some have come to the market with systems designed from the ground up to deliver this consistency. That’s the main reason X2CRM has been added to this list. X2CRM’s solution uses the same data across marketing, sales and customer service. It also provides the flexibility to define data models adapted to less conventional business structures, such as franchises and B2B2C.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these solutions:

  • Ease of use, user interface
  • Integration into CRM systems, sales visibility
  • Quickly and easily design campaigns, visual workflow
  • Thoughtful lead capture and scoring
  • Identify and manage key accounts to support account-based marketing
  • Aggregate web traffic 
  • Attribution of campaign ROI
  • Product vision and roadmap
  • Aggregated analytics and role-based reporting
  • Post-sale support and community                    

The Constellation ShortList

Constellation evaluates 50 solutions categorized in this market. This Constellation ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share, and internal research. Constellation also considered client company size and marketing resources to recommend solutions suitable for enterprises and small-to-medium businesses (SMB).

Enterprise Solutions

The enterprise category is defined as companies with a broad geographical reach, multiple lines of business, and/or over 3000 employees. These are the best-of-breed vendors that provide applications and services without bundling into another platform (in alphabetical order):

  • Oracle Marketing Cloud
  • Marketo, an Adobe Company
  • Salesforce Pardot

SMB Solutions

SMBs have limited marketing resources and budget, which is factored into the selection criteria. As SMBs grow, the solution needs to have the ability to scale accordingly. These are the best-of-breed vendors that provide applications and services without bundling into another platform (in alphabetical order):

  • HubSpot
  • Salesforce Pardot
  • X2CRM
  • Zoho CRM Plus (Campaigns and Social)

Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList evaluation will be updated every 180 days as needed.

Evaluation Services

Constellation clients may work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.


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