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 (and budget) forcing outbound campaigns onto the back burner and negatively impacting the quality of all engagements.

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 want easy-to-use, functional marketing automation solutions with features that can grow with the business and the customer, without the need for large IT, developers or large costly specialized teams to get systems and campaigns up and running. SMB-focused tools demand scalability, build to be flexible around features, functions, and even licenses as teams can expand and retract quickly.

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
  • Integrations into major social and digital networks for integrated communications and advertising orchestration including Facebook, Instagram, and Snap
  • Web and digital campaign personalization
  • Behavioral tracking and testing
  • Multichannel campaign attribution
  • Application of machine learning (ML) and Augmented Intelligence (AI) for recommendations, data analysis and campaign optimization
  • Product vision and road map including expansion of AI capabilities, smart assistants
  • 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
  • Community for networking, sharing and connections with peers and similar users
  • 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. SMBs have goals for explosive growth but limited marketing resources and budget, which is factored into the selection criteria. In alphabetical order:

  • Act-On
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Emarsys (SAP)
  • Hubspot
  • Intuit MailChimp
  • Keap
  • Klaviyo
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • Sugar Market
  • Zoho Marketing Plus

Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList will be updated at least 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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