No vendor is better-known than IBM when it comes to technology-based products. The company produces a wide variety of computer equipment and software products, many of which are aimed at large, complex enterprises. In the last two or three years, IBM has made a concerted effort to reach out to businesses of all sizes with inbound marketing solutions.
IBM purchased Unica to bolster its marketing automation offerings and has also added Silverpop to the mix, supposedly to boost IBM?s appeal to smaller, less tech-savvy customers. Could Silverpop be a valuable solution to amplify your inbound marketing? It?s up against quite a lot of competition, including industry giant HubSpot.
So how do the two compare?
Actually they are quite different. HubSpot offers all-in-one capabilities that give small and mid-size companies a solid inbound marketing foundation. Features and tools are designed to help attract top-of-funnel leads as well as nurture them through the mid-funnel decision-making experience. Despite IBM?s statements that Silverpop is aimed at smaller businesses, the software is primarily designed to help B2B and B2B enterprises boost the power of their email marketing.
- Comprehensive product designed to provide all necessary inbound marketing capabilities ? website, blogging, SEO, social media and analytics — to users of all skill levels.
- Content marketing and lead management tools facilitate both top-of-funnel lead acquisition and mid-funnel lead nurturing.
- Many pre-built templates simplify design of landing pages, calls-to-action, etc.
- Automatic responsive design and mobile optimization.
- Work flow scheduling includes auto-responder options.
- Built-in email testing feature.
- Smooth integration with Google Analytics, Adwords and other data gathering resources allow detailed reporting and analysis.
- Designed to provide broad functionality but not a lot of deeply advanced capabilities, especially in terms of customization and work flow design.
- Comprehensive offerings may be more than necessary for some marketers.
- Target email offers based on criteria such as webinar or web page views, premium content downloads, etc.
- Useful for entire companies or specific departments within large businesses.
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop work flow design.
- Many options to customize work flows, including ability to print and send direct mail.
- Considerably more options than HubSpot for A/B testing emails and landing pages, allowing up to four simultaneous test versions.
- Detailed audience segmentation.
- Email scheduling based on individual history of open times.
- No blogging tool.
- No SEO optimization tools.
- Reviewers on G2 Crowd give this software very low marks, across the board.
- Many critics say that Silverpop is not user-friendly and seems ?outdated.?
So what are your marketing automation goals? If you are looking to implement a broad range of inbound marketing solutions but don?t have a lot of technical expertise, HubSpot?s one-source simplicity could make it an excellent choice. It provides all the tools you need to get started with inbound marketing and expand your efforts as your business grows.
However, for established B2B or B2C marketers looking to greatly increase tailoring of marketing communications, IBM?s Silverpop may be just the right tool.
Marketing Matters Inbound?is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content?strategy, call-to-action mapping and traditional media placement. Our experience in?B2B digital?marketing?and traditional media allows us to deliver results through a strategic media mix. We believe in?aligning and merging marketing and sales/operations for optimal return on your marketing investment.