Technology

Will The Marketing Automation Space Consolidate In 2011?

Earlier this year in August, IBM bought Unica for $480M. Unica is not necessary a pure marketing automation play, but it take a significant market share in the marketing management space. In a market review by Forrester in September 2009, Unica was repoprted to have $120M in revenue for 2008.

Now in the last 24 hours, we have seen Salesforce.com buying eTacts and Teradata to acquire Aprimo for $525M.

eTacts is a small email contact manger that could help Salesforce building a better marketing product. Everybody on the street agrees that Salesforce is weak on teh marketing side. They always wanted to stay out of that market, relying on 3rd party vendors. But now that the industry is growing quickly, it would not be surprising that they think about entering this market with a better product.

Aprimo was among the leader in larger marketing automation software. In the same Forrester market review Aprimo had $55M in revenue coming form 180 clients, of which 70% were above $1B in revenue. Aprimo was clearly for the large enterprise. SO either they grew significantly over the last 2 years to justify a higher price than Unica, or the whole market is boiling…

Now if IBM and Teradata are moving in that direction, and I suspect them to do so because marketing automation is a huge data driven initiative, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other players make a move as well. Among potential targets, there is Eloqua, Marketo or Silverpop that are possibly ahead of the curve.

Marketo is the fastest growing marketing automation platform. They are racking up client very rapidly, for a total of more than 800 now. They announced multiple funding rounds (up to E series) over the past 2 years for over $50M, which means that investors will look a an exit at a high price, and possibly not to hurry to go out. And Marketo need time to growth is Enterprise customer base.

Eloqua is the “oldest” player. They have been around since the late 90s. They tried to to go public but were never able to due to market condition. They announced about $40M in 3 rounds.  Investors are probably looking for an exit due to the time it has been since first investments. But they are loosing ground to newer player like Marketo and that could hurt their valuation.

Silverpop is reported to have over $50M in revenue in 2008, which was among the biggest at the time. That could give them a high tag price if compare to Unica and Aprimo acquisition.

I believe that this will set the tone for 2011 in the marketing automation space.

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Why You Should Think About Lead Management Optimization for 2011

BuyerSphere Search is the first stepI just finished reading a great post titled “Tailwinds for Marketing Automation Software” from Lauren Carlson, CRM Market Analyst at Software Advice. She outlines the macro trends that pushes adoption of marketing automation platforms as followed:

  • Buyers want content of real value
  • Buyers are increasingly wary of the phone
  • Desire for marketing accountability
  • Sales cycles are longer in a down economy
  • B2B sales processes are becoming “consumerized“
  • Marketing channels have changed and grown
  • SaaS systems are greasing the skids

I would also add that the buyers behavior have dramatically changed in the past few years. For example, when is the last time you heard someone considering buying a product over 1000$ say that he got on a plane to attend a trade show or that he responded to a direct mail advertisement? In today’s world, it is all about search. Everyone of us starts by searching on-line to narrow his need and than move on to talk to users and finally reaches out to vendors (see above chart, from The BuyerSphere Project book).

That new sequence puts additional pressure to Marketers as they now, more than ever, need to match their content with the buyers intent. The content needs to be relevant and the timing need be right. And the only way to lean toward that goal is by running a fully optimized lead management process relying on good marketing automation implementation.

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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 Lead Management, Marketing, Technology 4,738 Comments

New Forrester Report On Marketing Automation: Aligning With Sales Is No Longer Optional

Forrester just released this morning a great report about the Marketing Automation (MA) called: B2B CMOs: Make Marketing Automation A Catalyst For Alignment With Sales by Jeff Ernst.

They state that enterprise struggle with Marketing Automation and they don’t use use to it’s full potential. They limit themselves to mostly blast emails. This is why Forrester developed a maturity model to assess where enterprise are with regard to Lead management. They provide great details on each level and even a score card for enterprise to rate themselves. And, as the tittle says, they recommend using Marketing Automation to finally align Sales & Marketing, which make total sense in my opinion since it provides a common ground to cover the whole client acquisition cycle.

Key Forrester predictions:

  • Marketing leaders will be the drivers of alignment with sales.
  • The talent gap will widen.
  • Firms that advance their level of maturity will lead their markets.
  • Marketing automation vendors’ advances will outpace mainstream adoption.

And what does it means? Aligning With Sales Is No Longer Optional!

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Friday, October 8th, 2010 Lead Management, Technology 4,563 Comments

Mint to be acquired by Intuit for $170M

Simply amazing. Mint managed to be acquired by Intuit for $170M in 3 years. You can read full coverage of the news on TechCrunch, as Mint was the TechCrunch 40 winner 2 years ago! Intuit even made a move to understand Mint better last February.

Techcrunch news

Aaron Patzer, Mint Founder & CEO, comment on the news

Intuit move to analyze Mint

It seems that Intuit was inspire by the classic Remington advertising slogan:

“I liked it so much, I bought the company!”

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Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 Start-up, Technology 3,136 Comments

Acquisio to acquire PageVester from Emovendo

Finally, it’s now public! Acquisio, a leading provider of Paid Search Management Software, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all asset of Emovendo, including PageVester technology. PageVester is a very cool landing page application and it was Emovendo’s flagship product.

As the founder of Emovendo, I’m very happy to see our friends at Acquisio acquire PageVester technology and integrate it into its core offering. I’m now closing the final chapter of my 2nd start-up!

Marc Poirier, CMO of Acquiso, gave a sneak preview when he answered question #5 during an interview to Search Engine Watch magazine last week at the SES San Jose 2009 show.

See below for the full press release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Acquisio Enters into Agreement to Acquire Landing Page Maker Emovendo

- Combination Will Provide the Industry’s First and Only End-to-End Paid Search Productivity Suite -

Montreal, QC, Canada – August 10, 2009 – Acquisio inc., a leading provider of Paid Search Management Software, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all assets of privately held Emovendo, including its flagship product, landing page application PageVester (http://www.pagevester.com). The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re thrilled to announce the latest addition to our offering. This is an important milestone. Our customers will soon be able to gain control over the part of their marketing campaigns which has been in the hands of IT for so long, the infamous landing page” says Marc Poirier, Co-Founder of Acquisio.

“This technology allows marketers with absolutely no design or IT skills to assemble professional looking, dynamic landing pages, complete with forms, validation rules, and so much more. The application is also fully integrated with salesforce.com and can automatically feed it with every new captured lead”, explains Martin Le Sauteur, CEO at Acquisio.

Marketers using the Acquisio SEARCH platform will now have complete control over the entire cycle of their clients’ marketing campaigns. Alexandre Pelletier, founder and former CEO of Emovendo, says “Not only does PageVester allow users to rapidly build and deploy professional landing pages, it also supports the creation and management of A/B tests with Google Website Optimizer”. A/B tests allow marketers to present alternating versions of the same page to its site visitors in order to determine which one provides the best ROI.

Marc Poirier adds “Tweaking ad copy and bids is essential stuff, but it will only take you so far. You need to work on  post-click activity. This is where PageVester comes in. It delivers instant value to its users by simplifying landing page creation and A/B test implementation.”

About Acquisio

Acquisio is the creator of Acquisio SEARCH (http://www.acquisio.com) a Software-as-a-Service solution designed specifically for on-line advertising agencies managing pay-per-click campaigns on Google, Yahoo and BING. Acquisio’s set of applications empowers campaign managers, allowing them to spend less time building and launching campaigns, and spend more time on strategy and intelligent campaign refinement.

# # #

Contact: Marc Poirier, Chief Marketing Officer
Acquisio inc.
450.465.2631 x210
mpoirier@acquisio.com

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Monday, August 10th, 2009 In the news, Start-up, Technology 3,800 Comments

Email is so old… Surf the new Wave!

For the vast majority of its users, email is a fairly new technology. But email was invented about 40 years ago, which is kind of old for a new technology. Think about it, email was actually invented way before the Internet itself was!

Is it possible to rethink the concept of communicating together in today’s landscape of communication channel such as: Instant messages, SMS,  Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and much more ???

YES, and the answer is: Google Wave !

I’m simply amazed by this new way of seeing communication and collaboration. The overall concept is quit simple. The email is a piece of information that circulates to one or multiple recipients as opposed to a Wave which is a unique object where users participate in a conversation.

Few months ago a friend of mine introduced me to Ubiquity from Mozilla Lab. I loved the idea of doing more with the browser. Now I believe that our friends at Google are taking it a couple step further.

Some additonnal ressources can be found on TechCrunch:

Can’t wait to actually use it.

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Monday, June 1st, 2009 Technology 4,112 Comments

Firefox vs Chrome

Which browser should I use? Fairly common question. Here is my setup, from the first one I used…

The main reason why I switched back to FireFox is the ability to have 3rd party Add-ons installed in my ForeFox browser. Here are the Add-ons I’m not able to lived without:

  • Foxmark Synchronizing your bookmarks between multple computers)
  • Del.icio.us (Tagging bookmarks and accessing your tag bookmarks on Delicious)

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Thursday, March 12th, 2009 Technology 3,324 Comments

The Dentist

For us who work in technology, we sometimes don’t really appreciate how new technology can evolve some of the basics because we are constantly looking for the new thing that will come out. But today, I witness how simple things came become way better with a little help of technology.

I went to the dentist for my annual cleaning. They updated my file by taking pictures of my teeth. Yes, they took about 12 pictures inside my mouth and saved them in my file. Now next time I will come they will be able to compare the evolution and everything a dentist would like to check.

Ok, no big deal, no revolution. But I just realized how technology can create brand new businesses. Camera and PC are taken for granted now, but with the quality of image that improve all the time, the fact that cameras are now small enough to fit in a phone, all you need is to find a new way to use them. The camera look like a tooth brush with a larger handle and when a picture is taken, a couple a small LED light up and Click… Your teeth are on the PC.

You bundle that with easy to use software to manage picture for each client and you have just created a brand new business that sells a very powerful product that every Dentist in the world will want to use. No need to invent new technology, just sit back and look where new technology can be use and you may find the next holy Graal!

Now the next step for that industry is marketing! Can someone tell me why I do still need to take a piece of paper to note my next appointment and that the receptionist will call me the day before? Please send my appointment to my calendar (Google…), remind me by email and why not sending me 2-3 offerings during the year… Now we are talking CRM… Apply what I just mention above and you might be on the edge to create brand new SAAS for Dentist Appointment Management based on Salesforce. No technology development, just packaging and commercialization…

Anyone?

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Thursday, November 20th, 2008 Marketing, Start-up, Technology 3,459 Comments

Contact Management

I finally made my mind about how I will manage my contacts. We all have business contact and family/friends contact. I was not sure if I should sync them between Google and Salesforce but after thinking about it, my call is yes. At first I was only updating my Salesforce contact to Google and not my Family/friends one. Than I realize that I was mainly updating my contact in Google because I was using mainly Google all day long. I was not going back to Salesforce just for update. It is more convenient to stay in Google and do it from there.

In order to avoid all contact everywhere in Salesforce, I created a new account called “Friends” and I imported all my “Family/friends” contact under that Account. Now I sync all contact between the 2 application with Appirio Personal Sync and I have always access to each of them. If a contact emails me his new cell phone, I simply update it in Google and it get sync to Salesforce.

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Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 Technology 3,957 Comments

Set yourself in the cloud.

But first, why would someone want to be in the cloud? What difference does it make?

Well, here is my current setup: I use a desktop at home and at the office, I have laptop, sometimes I use my girlfriend’s computer and I use a Smartphone (ok, I know, the Treo 700 is not that smart, but still…). So I guess it is obvious that it sometimes it gets hard to have access to my most accurate information.

There are many tools available to synchronize but most of the time they require to install stuff on your computer and it is not always possible. So the solution is to go with only web base application, this way, no matter where I am or which device I use, I just need an internet access and I am done! Here what I did.

Step 1

I bought a new domain name (apelletier.com) and I bought a hosting package for the next 10 years at iWeb technologies (come on, just above 200$ for 10 years). I setup a Google Apps account with this domain. I now have a personal email (more personalized than a gmail account) that will never change and I also use the calendar.

To manage my contact, I opened a Salesforce.com Group Edition account (99$ / year). This way I can use the power of this CRM to track and keep a log of the activities I have with my contacts and follow all my tasks.

I also signup for Appirio Personal Sync to synchronize automatically my info between Google Apps and Salesforce. All the information in both calendar and contact are now sync.

Step 2

I have install Wordpress on my hosting account to start blogging about my passions and I have personalized it with a new theme. This blog will become the center piece of my online presence.

I also have an active profile on LinkedIn to manage my professional network and of course I have a Facebook account for my social life.

Google Apps and Salesforce get most of the job done, but I still need to find a solution to have my bookmark everywhere. This is why I use Delicious. It is very easy to manage and access my bookmarks online.

Next step

The next real challenge is to have my contact sync with my phone. There is no easy way for now, except if you have the new T-Mobil G1 Android phone (Techcrunch review) that sync with Gmail contact, but beside that I still need to find something.

Also, I’m not 100% done with managing my personal contacts. I’m still wondering if they should or not be in my Salesforce.

Google Docs is interesting, but I so use to Office that it might take me a little longer to switch for that.

Lastly, I have a Twitter account, but I haven’t start using it so far. Maybe it will come, I’m not sure of the value yet.

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Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 Technology 5,244 Comments