7 Marketing Automation Alternatives for SMBs
What Marketing Automation alternatives are there for SMBs? Wikipedia refers to Marketing Automation as software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
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According to Marketo, Marketing Automation helps marketers; streamline their lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-sell and up-sell, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurement. Some of these practices are possible at small volumes without software, but technology becomes essential with any scale and with the increasing number of channels marketers are required to manage. In particular, these processes all require:
- A central marketing database; A place for all your marketing data, including detailed prospect and customer interactions and behaviors, so you can segment and target the right message to each customer. Think of this as “system of record” for all your marketing information.
- An engagement marketing engine; An environment for the creation, management and automation of marketing processes and conversations across online and offline channels. Think of this as the “orchestra conductor” for your customer interactions.
- An analytics engine; A way to test, measure, and optimize marketing ROI and impact on revenue. Think of this as the place you go to understand what worked, what didn’t, and where you can improve.
Looking at alternatives that can help marketers with Marketing Automation we can look at pure Marketing Automation vendors. But their solutions can be pricey for SMBs. So we’ve indicated 7 different approaches to achieve the same objectives:
- Customer Data Platforms
- Marketing Automation Solutions
- Data Integration Platforms
- Process Management Platforms
- Data-Syncing Services
- Data-Rich Form Solutions
- Marketing Automation Plug-Ins
As Manceppo can be categorized as a Customer Data Platform we start with this approach when comparing 7 marketing automation alternatives.
1. Customer Data Platforms
Within the marketing technology landscape, Manceppo can be positioned as a customer data platform (CDP) for SMEs. A CDP is packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems (CDP Institute). CDP’s help build a central marketing database like Marketo suggests and provides analytics on top of that database. The functionality for engagement with audiences is typically a symphony with other marketing systems that are integrated with the CDP, like the CMS, the email tool and the social media engine.
A large part of the CDP market seems to focus on companies with large-scale customer data stores and not on the smaller B2B companies. Companies like Radius and Insight360 are primarily focused on larger B2Bs, and AgilOne and BlueConic are focused on B2Cs.
Manceppo is building the “If This, Then That” CDP solution for smaller B2B companies. Our cloud-based platform integrates with the open APIs of the most popular marketing tools, providing marketers a central data store for content and profiles from the marketing tools they love to use. Our smart workflows empower marketers to build a low-cost marketing automation alternative combining their favorite tools. It’s 70% to 90% more affordable than implementing a marketing automation solution, and marketers no longer need to migrate their existing tooling.
2. Marketing Automation Solutions
Marketing Automation tools typically include engagement functionality and offer an integrated approach. Tools always include email marketing (workflow) features, but also: social media tooling, A/B testing, landing pages, detailed performance reporting, dynamic segmentation, lead nurturing and lead scoring.
The key difference between Manceppo as CDP and marketing automation tools like HubSpot, Act-On, Marketo or SharpSpring is that Manceppo allows marketers to continue to use the tools they already have in place, such as Mailchimp for email marketing and WordPress for content management, and integrate their choice of any of the wealth of available tools tailored to specific needs.
3. Data Integration Platforms
Data integration platforms are focused on merging and centralizing data. This alternative to automate marketing from the data management space is, in general, broader in scope, offering a foundation on which SMEs can potentially build their own CDP by adding functionality. An example of a platform that focuses on managing customer data for marketing and sales is Xplenty.
4. Business Process Management Platform
A business process management platform enables companies to optimize business processes by integrating legacy systems—as such, the scope of such solutions doesn’t include the creation of a unified customer database. An example of a platform for SMBs with templates for marketing and sales is Pipefy.
5. Data-Syncing Services
As the landscape of marketing tools has exploded over the last few years, we’ve seen a rapid rise in services that sync data across tools. These services, however, typically only connect one tool to another, not multiple tools with one unified customer database. Major players include Zapier, PieSync and Bedrock Data.
6. Data-Rich Form Solutions
Another marketing automation alternative to helping B2B marketers manage customer profile data is offered by services that build web forms. Some of these services have focused on enriching data gathered by a form, like ReachForce (which was acquired by Leadspace) and Formstack (which acquired Bedrock Data).
7. Marketing Automation Plug-ins
For the WordPress users many stand alone plugins a available that focus on providing low-cost marketing automation functionality within the WordPress framework, including plug-ins like Groundhogg, Inbound Now and Jumplead.
Getting started with Manceppo as marketing automation alternative
Marketers benefit from an abundance of great low-cost and easy-to-use marketing tools, like WordPress, MailChimp, Eventbrite and LinkedIn, to name a few — Chiefmartec.com now counts over 7,000 tools marketers can use in their marketing stack. However, building this stack to combine tools into an integrated platform is a challenge, often resulting in a fragmented view on lead profiles and content ending up in multiple data stores, and ultimately to poor interaction with potentially interesting prospects. The mainstream solution to tackling this — marketing automation — is often too expensive for smaller companies.
Manceppo is the “If This, Then That” solution for smaller B2B companies. Our cloud-based platform integrates with the open APIs of the most popular marketing tools, providing marketers a central data store for content and profiles from the marketing tools they love to use. Our smart workflows empower marketers to build a low-cost marketing automation platform combining their favorite tools. It’s 70% to 90% more affordable than implementing a marketing automation solution, and marketers no longer need to migrate their existing tooling.
So we at Manceppo advise you to get started with Manceppo ;-).