About This Constellation ShortList™

Organizations today require the ability to engage customers and prospects through a wide range of online and offline channels with the aim of rapidly influencing sales decisions. This is especially true of small to midsize (SMB) business-to-business (B2B) organizations often operating at “enterprise velocity” without enterprise budgets. To level the playing field, SMBs are actively looking to deliver on sophisticated personalized engagements while sparking customer acquisition by rapidly interacting with decision-makers and influencers to accelerate and sway decision cycles and outcomes. One-dimensional email campaigns won’t move the needle—transmedia marketing automation is a requirement.

Nurturing relationships that span complex account decision structures and an expanding list of engagement channels that must be monitored, managed and automated are often top of mind for the SMB marketing team, which is also asked to deliver results that rival much larger firms with must larger budgets. The focus is to more effectively streamline and prioritize engagements that most directly contribute to revenue

Marketing automation solutions for disruptive and growth-driven SMBs are delivering sophisticated tools, workflows and strategies in right-sized and flexible packages to fit the realities of smaller teams and scaling budgets. These solutions often blur the lines between sales and marketing engagements for smaller, more integrated teams that must act quickly to stay ahead of the curve.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these solutions:

  • Ease of use with simple, intuitive user interface
  • Web and mobile access and management
  • CRM integration, quick connections to data sources
  • Quickly and easily design campaigns with dynamic creative assets
  • Intuitive visual workflow creation and management
  • Identify and manage key accounts to support account-based marketing
  • Seamless integration of cross-channel communication tools (mobile, social, web)
  • Attribution of campaign ROI
  • Product vision and road map with expansion of integrations and connectors
  • Aggregated analytics and role-based reporting and dashboards
  • Flexible workflow creation for compliance, privacy and regulatory demands
  • Integration with advertising platforms including social media and content syndication
  • AI- and machine language-powered recommendations for productivity, data and analytics support, lead and opportunity analysis, and campaign optimization
  • Well-thought-out architecture, API connections and marketplace
  • Scalable, modular functions and upgrades to grow with the business   

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 SMBs. In alphabetical order:


  • Act-On
  • Bloomreach
  • Cheetah Digital
  • HubSpot
  • Keap
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • SharpSpring
  • Sugar Market
  • Zoho Marketing Plus


Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList will be updated once per year. There could be an update after six months, should the analyst deem it necessary.

Evaluation Services

Constellation clients may work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion, vendor selection and contract negotiation.

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