MarketingPilot Offers Integrated Marketing Management for Mid-Size Companies


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Yesterday’s acquisition of AssetLink by SAS has prompted me to finally write about MarketingPilot, a vendor I’ve been following since its launch nearly ten years ago.

MarketingPilot started as an operations management tool for mid-size direct marketers, with features for project management, list and media buying, source code tracking, expense capture, and vendor management. Since then it has expanded steadily to encompass the full range of marketing resource management and then gone ahead to add marketing database management and campaign execution. The technology has evolved from Windows-based client server systems – using the Borland Interbase engine, if you want a real whiff from the memory jar – to a mix of on-premise and hosted options.

Average price and client size have also increased steadily, although the focus has remained on mid-size rather than enterprise clients. The company also created special editions for ad agencies, which now provide about 40% of its business. MarketingPilot has about 40 employees and 400 installations with over 15,000 end-users.

With AssetLink (60 employees) now owned by SAS, MarketingPilot also may be the largest remaining independent MRM vendor. I can’t say for sure because there are several companies in the field that I’ve never researched. But it doesn’t really matter, because MarketingPilot is now positioned as an integrated marketing management product. That puts it into roughly the same class as much larger firms including Neolane (200 employees) and Alterian (370 employees).

I say “roughly” because Neolane and Alterian are rooted in the campaign management side of marketing automation, while MarketingPilot is based on marketing resource management. Although the overlap between these products is growing, they are still quite different.

To give you an idea of the scope of MarketingPilot, here is a set of headings from its Web site:

Alerts – Analytics/Performance Measurement – Approvals – Budgets – Calendars – Campaign Management – Collateral Management – Contract Management – CRM – Digital Asset/Document Management – Direct Marketing – Direct Response – Editions – Email Marketing – Enterprise Edition – Enterprise Marketing Management – Estimates – Event Management – Expense Management – Financial Management – Internet/Online Marketing – Inventory Management – Lead Management – List Management – Marketing Automation – Marketing Database – Marketing Plans – Marketing Resource Management – Media Buying and Planning – Multi-currency – Purchasing – Print Production – Reports – Scheduling – Social Media – Solutions – Strategic Planning – Supply Chain/Vendor Management – Time Slips – Trade Shows – Web Portal

This is broader list than you’ll see from most marketing automation vendors – a group not known for modest product claims. But even MarketingPilot isn’t all things to all people (yet). Here’s a quick inventory of strengths and weaknesses:

– just about any MRM feature you can imagine: planning, budgeting, project management, vendor management, media buying, content management, creative mark-up, approval workflows, etc.
– email, landing page and Web form creation
– high volume email delivery
– social media execution and tracking
– lead distribution and lead scoring based on attributes, but not behaviors
– integrated CRM, with an future option to synchronize with external CRM systems
– marketing database management with separate company and contact levels
– a highly tailorable interface that shows each user only the features they can access (critical in a system with so many options)
– multiple languages, currencies and time zones
– segmentation on contact and company data, with plans for a visual query builder that allows more complex queries against additional tables
– single-step campaign execution, with multi-step campaign flows due later this year
– response reporting, with plans to add ROI calculations
– Google Analytics integration, with expanded Web visitor tracking and analytics using MarketingPilot’s own tags due later this year.

That’s an impressive list, even after recognizing that key marketing automation features are not yet available, including multi-step campaigns, advanced segmentation, Web behavior tracking, behavior-based lead scoring, and ROI calculations. But they’re all promised fairly soon. Once they’re delivered, MarketingPilot will be a viable mid-market option for integrated marketing management.

If somebody doesn’t buy them first.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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