Corralling Your Leads: Most Firms Are Investing In Marketing Lead Management

Brands will be pouring money into marketing lead management (MRL) systems this year, according the Vendor Selection Matrix from Research in Action.

The survey shows that 72% of companies will invest in a new MLM system (the same figure as in 2018).

Drilling down, 38.9% will be implementing their first system, while 33.4% will migrate to a more suitable platform and 25.3% will retain what they have. Lastly, 2.5% don’t know.

What are MLM systems?

The study defines them as applications that support the process of “collecting unqualified contacts opportunities from sources including email or direct responses.

These contacts can also be gleaned from database marketing programs, other multichannel marketing campaigns, offline interactions, social media contacts and Web page visits, the study notes.

Companies element them for several reasons, the top one being to improve their email marketing campaigns (13%).

Another 10.9% do so to improve their social media efforts and 8.8% to find and sell to more new customers.



In addition, 7.5% turn to MLM to consolidate their marketing resources and 6.7% to achieve marketing lead management process automation.

But let’s cut to the chase. Here are the top vendors in alphabetical order, along with their products. (This list does not reflect endorsement by MediaPost).

  • Act-On Software (Act-On Marketing Platform)
  • Adobe (Adobe Campaign, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Marketo Engage)
  • Creatio (Marketing Creatio, Studio Creatio)
  • CRMNEXT (CRMNEXT Marketing)
  • Evergage (Evergage Platform)
  • Hubtspot (Marketing Hub)
  • Marketo (Marketo Engage, Adobe Marketing Cloud)
  • Oracle—Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Responsys)
  • Pegasystems (Pega Marketing, Customer Decision Hub)
  • Right On Interactive (ROI Customer Lifecycle Marketing)
  • Salesforce (Pardot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  • Salefusion (Salesfusion)
  • SAP (SAP Marketing Cloud)
  • Sugar CRM (CRM for Marketing)
  • Zoho (Zogo CRM Plus)

It’s no small thing to move to one of these systems. The hurdles include:

  • Executive buy-in — 20%
  • Collaboration with sales — 15.5%
  • Internal acceptance—“turf protection” — 13.6%
  • Measuring the value of the automation investment — 13%
  • Skills and resources to operate the software — 10%
  • Understanding how to score and manage leads — 8.8%
  • Integrating with other marketing and sales systems — 6.5%
  • Skills and resources to generate sufficient content — 4.3%
  • Data privacy and compliance — 3.1%
  • I see no barriers at the moment — 4.3%
  • Others/don’t know — 0.9%

The barriers — and objectives — vary with a brand’s maturity level.

Email marketing tends to occur in the “chaotic” stage, when “engagement neophytes commonly first focus on email campaigning to purchased or built-up lists.” Of the firms surveyed, 15% are at this stage.

In contrast, 38% are at the proactive stage, which entails content marketing and lead collection distribution. Next is the Stable stage, in which brands achieve through-channel marketing automation — 26% have attained this level.

Then, there is the Proactive stage, which has been reached by 14%. These brands focus on marketing lead management and through-channel marketing automation.

Finally, 7% have reached the predictive stage, conducting customer engagement management.

Research in Action surveyed 1,500 business managers with budgetary responsibility. 

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