About This Constellation ShortList™

As digital channels have come to dominate B2C relationships, marketing automation has become a staple of enterprise software. At the same time, the responsibility of marketing teams within B2C organizations has extended beyond branding, marketing and advertising to include customer loyalty and advocacy. This has created demand for sophisticated marketing automation solutions that make it possible to track and predict customer behavior, facilitate product marketing, improve personalization and build durable customer relationships—all while navigating a changing landscape of data privacy regulations. 

Data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning capabilities are rapidly becoming par for the course. CMOs and their teams use these tools to continually improve the responsiveness and efficacy of their marketing campaigns. Although relatively early in adoption, “trainable” AI tools are being applied to market segmentation, channel management, and content and campaign performance. Analytics tools track and validate the impact of marketing efforts on customer conversions and revenue. 

As some B2C companies seek to streamline the customer handoff between marketing and sales, vendors are responding in kind. Some, like Zoho and X2CRM, have developed integrated offerings that unite marketing automation, CRM, and customer service in a single platform. That’s why X2CRM has been included in this list.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these solutions:

  • Ease of use, user interface
  • Quickly and easily design campaigns, visual workflow
  • Robust segmentation capabilities
  • Facilitate and track advertising mediums, retargeting
  • Social listening and engagement capabilities
  • Web personalization, integration with commerce platforms
  • Behavioral tracking and testing
  • Multi-channel campaign attribution
  • Product vision and roadmap, emphasis on AI and attribution
  • Aggregated analytics and 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):

  • Adobe Marketing Cloud
  • Oracle Marketing Cloud
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • SAS Customer Intelligence

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
  • Kahuna
  • 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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