B2B Marketing Automation predictions for 2011

December 23rd, 2010 by Roy Russo

johnny-carson-carnacIt’s that time of the year again – when I throw seashells on the ground and translate the wisdom of the Gods regarding what is coming for the new year in marketing automation. 2010 was a banner-year for LoopFuse, and I forsee it being an even better year in 2011 for us… but this blog post isn’t about me…

  • I will continue to be outspoken: It’s important that this be stated up front for those of you that get your feathers ruffled easily (stop reading now, if you’re one of those people). Although I do speak my mind often, and it is fact that the marketing automation industry has a disproportionate share of hypersensitive executives, I do believe that Jill Rowley from Eloqua may be a strong contender for most outspoken, as seen in the comments here. It is likely that I will lose my seat to her in 2011.
  • Acquisitions will happen: As marketing automation continues to mature, acquisitions will come from different and complimentary spaces – look for CMS, CRM, ERP, and Email Marketing companies to jump in to the game. Future acquisitions will likely be carried out over the need to compliment a technology offering, thus disregarding consultant-ware vendors. Simply put, look for pure tech buys that fit an acquirers current business model.
  • SalesForce.com will not buy (a company): SalesForce.com will either build marketing automation capabilities in to their products on their own, or simply buy the technology that gets them to market quicker. SFDC has a history of acquiring technology. SFDC does not acquire consultant-ware. Just to clear this up with the previous point; SalesForce.com is not a services company, it is a technology company. Did I mention that LoopFuse is built 100% on Java technology and runs on Tomcat/JBoss (just like SFDC) and integrates seemlessly via Appexchange plugins and natively using the SFDC API? ;-)
  • David Raab will continue to get it right: David covers the marketing automation market and complimentary markets with a rare level of insight and unbias. Although he and I don’t agree on a host of issues, I do find his arguments to be educated and supported by facts. The fact that David remains untainted by the current flurry of buying-up industry pundits and analysts by vendors, is a bright spot in our market, and I hope it continues to shine.
  • A shift away from consultant-ware: There is a lot of noise in the space leaving buyers with confusion and facing a high-barrier to entry. On one hand, the “industry leaders”  claim to have the easiest-to-use marketing automation system on the planet. On the other hand, they claim you will need to add extra head-count, train your staff, and hire professional service consultants to use the system. So which is it? The logic puzzle will end as this market continues to mature, with easier to use products that are low-cost and offer the same capabilities as higher-cost alternatives. As in every space during this young stage, we will be moving toward commodity and the segmentation-line will be drawn between companies that are service-based and those that are tech-based.
  • Food-fights will continue: Let’s look at 2010: LoopFuse and Genius go freemium – Marketo CEO opens-mouth-inserts-foot. Marketo and Eloqua fight over sales guys. Silverpop gets h4×0r3d (hacked) and then clams-up. This won’t change. There are too many companies chasing too much money in a startup wild-west atmosphere. Until the market matures past the startup phase, the fireworks will continue.

With that, I store away my seashells for another year and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the folks at LoopFuse!


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