Blog: Sales and Marketing Automation

Archive for December, 2007

ZDNet gets clued in

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Recently I came across this article by Dana discussing “why Sourceforge is losing ground with commercial open source players.” The answer lies within the question itself… commercial open source. Any business that does operations online, and especially an open source business, needs to be able to identify the different types of visitors that are visiting their site.

After an interview with Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator, it is apparent that Dana comes to this realization himself stating that having full information on visitors “lets them fine-tune their strategies, initiate sales calls, and create alliances quickly.”

The tooling required to do this effectively is just not present within Sourceforge and is a necessity, not a luxury, for open source companies. Did I mention that Appcelerator uses LoopFuse?

Market Talk: Marketing Automation in 2007 (2008)

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

As 2007 draws to a close, I thought I’d post my version of a “Year-In-Review” blog covering activity in the marketing automation space. Certainly its been an active year with some M&A and IPO activity, and new startups ramping up, and some complimentary market players diving in. This is, no doubt, a hot space to be in (kinda of reminds me of the early JBoss days), and what makes this an even more exciting time is that there are no clear leaders in the space.

What you will note is a common theme; that everyone (even those in complimentary markets) are moving toward the same objective – a complete and consolidated solution for all marketing (and sales) needs. Its a natural progression, I believe, as the email marketing folks are trying to differentiate themselves out of the race-to-the-bottom pricing effects, analytics companies are under pressure from cheaper and sometimes free alternatives, and marketing automation companies are looking to beat everyone else to be the first with this holy grail of solutions (I don’t believe anyone has it “right” just yet).

So here goes, what I believe were considerable moves in this space for 2007 that will set the stage for it in 2008…

  • Unica: Acquired MarketingCentral (7/07). A good play that helps round out their offering. Not really in the marketing automation space, but I believe to be slowly moving in that direction.
  • ManticoreTechnology: If I get one more resume from anyone working there, I’m going to blow a fuse. Seriously now, can someone just acquire them, and put them out of their misery already? I’m sure there’s something there worth buying, right? Aeron chairs? Foosball tables?
  • Omniture: Acquired WebSideStory (10/07), also launches closed-loop-marketing addition to their offering as a plugin. I’m betting they’ll make big moves in to this space in ‘08, possibly through further acquisitions and likely with the intent to
    • differentiate themselves with the other web analytics companies they have a history of competing with (enter B2B)
    • seize this soft market in one fail swoop before anyone else can dream of it.
  • Eloqua: Closed a whopping $23m round (11/07) one year after their last round. New CEO seems to have cleaned house of the old guard that were taking the company in to the upper regions of the Canadian tundra (ie. nowhere). Even though they’re hobbled by a surprisingly dysfunctional and overpriced technology offering, they are eagerly locking unsuspecting customers in to multi-year contracts. Smart move, as you’ve been voted most likely to get steamrolled during the mad-dash to consolidate the space. I do sense IPO coming soon for them.
  • Marketo: Popped on the scene early this year with a bucket of cash. One half-baked and feature-lacking product later, they’ve resorted to employing tactics from the”3D Startup Manual”. You haven’t heard of the 3D Startup Manual? It has one page, and it reads “Dillute! Dillute! Dillute!”.
  • Market2Lead: Injection of cash (10/07) by partner Rainmaker Systems may keep these guys afloat a while longer. Their technology is lacking, but its nothing $1m can’t fix, right?
  • SilverPOP: Ye old stomping grounds. Acquired vTrenz (05/07) marketing automation. A good play for the Pop, seeking to break away from the rest of the pack in email marketing. I blogged about this earlier.
  • WebTrends: I have no idea whats happening there. My guess is that 2008 has them following Omniture’s lead in to this space.
  • Aprimo: Filed for IPO (9/07) with a $50m run-rate. Clearly a potential leader in the space that has the potential to swallow up a large chunk of it on its own.

So thats my rather narrow view of the world (well, at least the bits I’d openly share). I won’t share any major plans regarding where LoopFuse is headed in ‘08, except to say that we will strive as hard as possible to shatter the dreams of all of those mentioned above by continuing to build a world-class platform, while providing solutions for our growing clientèle. ;-)

Sprinkle Sugar on your Loops

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Ok, so flame me for the lack of a catchy blog title. ;-)

Thanks to the folks over at SugarCRM, we’re proud to announce that the LoopFuse Marketing Automation platform is now part of the SugarExchange. Our friends at SugarCRM have added LoopFuse smack-dab on the SugarExchange homepage as a featured listing.

From the onset, we’ve strived to work closely with our friends at SugarCRM, believing that the pairing of both technologies allows marketing and sales teams to leverage a suite of powerful tools not commonly found in the marketplace under an affordable price with such a wide breadth of functionality. The combination of Web Analytics, Email/Internet Marketing, Lead Management, and CRM Integration help consolidate the commonly-used, and often disparate tools that most marketing and sales organizations employ. An advantage to this consolidated toolset lies in marketers now being able to measure ROI from their marketing campaigns and web activity, due to the nature of LoopFuse’s integration with the SugarCRM platform.

LoopFuse’s OneView platform, is able to integrate with any flavor of SugarCRM; OSS, On-Demand and On-Premise. We offer a free fully-functional 30-day trial for anyone wishing to kick the tires and integrate LoopFuse with SugarCRM.