Why are marketing automation platforms getting so much VC funding?

Why are marketing automation platforms getting so much VC funding?. Since HubSpot's founding in 2006, marketing automation platforms — software that aims to automate specific touch-points of the customer acquisition and retention processes — have evolved into ubiquitous enterprise tools, employed by marketing departments of virtually every size and industry. The long tail of providers According to marketing research firm Asend2, a full 42 percent of firms now use such tools. As a recent review of the marketing automation software illustrates, although certain functions remain core to the marketing automation toolkit (these include fine-tuning landing pages and email marketing campaigns), other martech offerings include features that straddle the divide between CRM systems, or incorporate functions from entire separate areas such as web analytics and even project management. Given the evidently unmatched demand from marketers for an intuitive but powerful platform capable of automating all levels of the marketing stack, it is not surprising that martech startups managed to raise $17 billion last year — and marketing automation software continues to rank among the top business models in the category. Personalized messaging remains key to effective marketing. In an industry expected to be worth $5.5 billion within three years, there is much business at play. A new crop of forward-thinking, leaner tools will emerge in the coming years. The door remains open for new entrants to the marketing automation space. VCs realize this and are continuing to invest in the game-changers of tomorrow.

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Marketing automation getting VC funding

With Optimove‘s recent $20 million raise from Israel Growth Partners, industry experts are asking what it is about marketing automation platforms that makes them such magnets for VC funding.

Since HubSpot’s founding in 2006, marketing automation platforms — software that aims to automate specific touch-points of the customer acquisition and retention processes — have evolved into ubiquitous enterprise tools, employed by marketing departments of virtually every size and industry.

The long tail of providers

According to marketing research firm Asend2, a full 42 percent of firms now use such tools. And while the majority of those have adopted platforms that are household names (at least to CMOs) such as HubSpot, Eloqua, and Marketo, the rest of the market comprises a panoply of offerings often differentiating themselves through targeting specific niches within the marketing software market.

But why such a long tail in the first place?

As a recent review of the marketing automation software illustrates, although certain functions remain core to the marketing automation toolkit (these include fine-tuning landing pages and email marketing campaigns), other martech offerings include features that straddle the divide between CRM systems, or incorporate functions from entire separate areas such as web analytics and even project management.

The result is a surprisingly fragmented landscape of competitors competing under a rubric that is still far from standardization.

Unfulfilled expectations

Despite this preponderance of systems, however, one thing is clear.

Whether through typical feature-bloat or the sheer unwieldiness created by a well-intentioned effort to merge various enterprise silos into one ‘do it all’ software package, the majority of systems are fundamentally failing to provide the solution that marketers are seeking when turning to these tools.

According to industry expert David Raab, a…

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