About This Constellation ShortList™

The modern business-to-consumer (B2C) relationship includes rapidly personalized engagements at scale, demanding that marketing automation become the central customer engagement stack. For the small to midsize (SMB) organization, the velocity and scale of managing inbound engagements can strain the capacity to address the quality of outbound campaigns. Enter automation. B2C SMB organizations are looking for powerful marketing and engagement automation engines that balance the need to create repeatable and sustainable interactions with consumers while scaling for growth and utilization in periods of rapid growth and evolution.

Small teams, at times strapped for budget and talent resources, are seeking easy-to-use, functional marketing automation solutions with features and functions that can grow with the business and the customer. Tools to make tracking and predicting customer behavior as accessible as deploying creative campaigns through simple, agile workflows is top of mind.

Data is just as critical to the SMB as to the enterprise—the time and talent needed to turn data into intelligence and action signals can often be the key challenge that marketers hope is leveled through automation tools. SMB marketers are looking for analytics tools to track and validate the impact of marketing efforts, role-based workflows and dashboards and opportunities to add advanced functions as the team requires.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these offerings:

  • Ease of use, clear and simple user interface
  • Quickly and easily design and deploy campaigns
  • Intuitive visual workflow creation and management
  • Audience identification and segmentation capabilities
  • Multimedia asset creation, utilization and robust digital asset management
  • Facilitate and track advertising mediums, retargeting
  • Social listening and engagement capabilities
  • Web and digital campaign personalization
  • Behavioral tracking and testing
  • Multichannel campaign attribution
  • Product vision and road map, emphasis on artificial intelligence and attribution
  • Aggregated analytics and reporting
  • Integration with sales, commerce, data, and enterprise resource planning systems
  • Scalable pricing and function packages
  • Training programs to upskill and educate teams and talent
  • Resources to aid in business growth and marketing success

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
  • ActiveCampaign
  • HubSpot
  • Keap
  • Klaviyo
  • Zoho MarketingHub

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 can 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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