The landscape of the marketing automation industry is constantly changing — and that was even before the whirlwind that was 2020. And now, more than ever, midsize businesses are emerging as a specific firmographic with specific needs for marketing automation and digital marketing in general! So today, we’re going to go over the Best Marketing Automation Software for Midsize Business in 2021!

What counts as a midsize business? 

Midsize is generally defined by one of two characteristics:

  • Revenue between $10 million to $1 billion per year OR
  • Between 50 and 250 employees

Ok, cool… but why does this matter?

Being a midsize organization provides its own set of challenges that are different from the true small business and the enterprise level business. 

For one, there’s generally more marketing budget with a midsize business than with a truely small business, but still less than an enterprise business. The Marketing departments at midsize organizations need to be hyper focused on Return on Investment (ROI) and making sure that every dollar is going towards the bigger growth goals that the organization has. (It’s a pivotal time of change, and there’s often a lot of transition as far as technology, employees, and processes go during this stage of business too.)

Speaking of processes, two more common issues we hear about from midsize business marketers are 

  • Scalability of processes
  • Lack of time and capacity

While marketing teams are growing, it’s easy to get caught up in a few small wins — but when push comes to shove, it’s the bigger strategy. Bad processes that used to work for two employees in a small business, no longer work for an entire marketing department and end up wasting more time than they’re worth. 

Marketing automation obviously solves a lot of that issue for both Marketing and Sales departments. The availability of reporting and data in a marketing automation platform is one of the major ways to prove a channel’s effectiveness towards ROI and the automation of everyday marketing tasks creates more time for your team to focus on what really matters to your business goals. 

But it’s more than even just that!

As a midsize business, you want to make sure that you’re working with a marketing automation platform that truly understands the landscape of midsize business and can help you achieve multichannel digital marketing success.

Best Marketing Automation Software for Midsize Business

Now, in no particular order, here’s the best Marketing Automation Software for Midsize Business

Net-Results Marketing Automation

Now, this probably isn’t shocking to you: yes, we think we’re one of the best fits out there for midsize organizations in 2021! I’m a little biased, but here are a few reasons why:

Strengths:

  • Transparent Pricing
    Marketing automation isn’t a unique industry when it comes to non-transparent pricing, but let me put it this way: what you think you’re paying for, isn’t always what you’re actually paying for.

    Net-Results prides itself in completely transparent pricing with every feature included at every tier. No more paying extra to have the functionality you need!
  • Unlimited, Live, and Best-in-Class Customer Support
    Marketers have rated Net-Results Customer Support at an unheard of 98% versus Marketo at 78% and Pardot at 84%. And there’s a reason for that! All Net-Results customers get unlimited live and email support from our best-in-class Customer Success Team.

    Want to go over a campaign? Schedule as long as you need on your Account Managers calendar. Have a question? Email it to support; the team’s average resolution time is less than one business day. (That means most of our customers have their issues solved before they’ve even gotten a response from the other guys.)
  • The only all-inclusive mid-market tool with the technical flexibility required by seasoned marketers
    Net-Results advanced segmentation capabilities and technical flexibility make it one of the best marketing automation software for midsize businesses in 2021. Why? Because you get mold and shape the platform to do exactly what you want it to! Any combination of behaviors, contact attributes, or website visits can be used to trigger campaigns, dynamic email content, and more. The world is your oyster!

Data from marketers like you show that Net-Results customers achieve ROI more than 3x faster than with Marketo and more than 2x faster than Pardot. The average Net-Results customer reports going live in only 1 month (vs. more than 3 months with Marketo and more than 2 months with Pardot)

Oh by the way, 

But don’t just take our word for it! Download the G2 Report and find out why so many second-time marketing automation users switch from companies like Pardot and Marketo and come join us at Net-Results.

Weaknesses

  • Look of the platform
    Now… as a Net-Results user and a graphic designer, I can readily admit that our platform isn’t always the absolute best to look at. However, those shortcomings are easily overshadowed by the immense functionality and the time that it saves our marketing team by using it.

    But, one of our core values is that we continuously improve and this area is no different! So we’re building a brand-new platform with the same functionality our customers love but with a new look. And let me tell you… it’s sleek as hell. I genuinely can’t wait for everyone to see it. In the meantime, you can always schedule a quick chat with a member of our Product Team and they’ll give you a sneak peek. 😉

Marketo

Marketo, one of the biggest names in the marketing automation industry, is owned by Adobe, and is one of the original big contenders. How do they match up? Let’s take a look:

Strengths:

  • Powerful toolset (even if you have to pay extra for all features)
    Marketo does offer most of the features that you’re looking for: reporting, email marketing, landing page builder, the works. However, if you’re looking for a platform that’s going to help you get the bang for your buck, Marketo might not be the best fit for you. Why? Check out our free report.
  • Good for the experienced marketer
    While Marketo sometimes gets called “complicated,” we often hear from marketers that used to use Marketo (and now use Net-Results) that the platform was, for the most part, extremely competent and implementable.

Weaknesses

  • Support
    We’ve touched on this already (98% vs. 78%), but Marketo’s support doesn’t always have the best reputation. (You can read all about that and more in our free Whitepaper 6 Reasons Marketers Leave Marketo or head over to their support Twitter, @MarketoCares, to check more out, but we’ll leave it at that! 

Pardot

Pardot, which is owned by Salesforce, is another industry giant (they even have their own hashtag of users on Twitter: #Pardashians). Just like any other platform, they have their own strengths and weaknesses! Let’s check out why they make it onto the list of the best marketing automation software for midsize business in 2021.

Strengths:

  • Great Salesforce Integration
    This will come as no surprise to anyone, but Pardot has a great Salesforce Integration. Because they’re so connected to Salesforce, Salesforce consultants are oftentimes well-versed with Pardot and will generally offer those as well. It’s a seemingly logical choice for marketers who use Salesforce as their CRM
  • Powerful platform with relative ease-of-use
    Pardot is a large platform with a ton of functionality, and even better — we hear that it’s pretty easy to use! A lot of larger platforms (especially ones that are divisions of even bigger companies) are sometimes so incredibly complicated that it commonly takes marketing consultants to make a marketing automation implementation actually work.

Weaknesses:

  • Not a Salesforce User?
    If you don’t use Salesforce in your organization, this probably isn’t going to be your best choice and it might not be the best midsize business marketing automation software for your team. The “native” integrations aren’t often updated and are not given the support and attention that the Salesforce integration is given (understandable, but important to note).

    Do you use Dynamics CRM? Check out the best marketing automation solution for Dynamics CRM.

Act-On

Strengths:

  • More transparency with Pricing
    Act-On is the only competitor to price their platform based on the number of contacts who are “active,” which means “ones you actually email.” It loses a couple of points by the fact that once you go up a tier, you can never come back down (even if you scrub your database and have less mailable contacts), but generally, this is a huge step above a lot of other competitors!
  • Good for SMB
    Act-On definitely focuses more on the small and midsize business range than some of the other companies on this list. This is great for marketers because it means they’ll put more care into their relationship with you than a company that is solely focused on closing multi-million dollar deals and is happy to leave you in the dust for that! 

Weaknesses:

  • Partner Program
    This might not be super relevant for everyone, but Act-On’s partner program has left some agencies with a sour taste. We’ve heard this has mostly cleared up, but if you’re considering using an agency for your implementation, it’s something to keep in mind.

Hubspot

Hubspot is a leader in the industry, and for good reason! The company basically coined the term “in-bound marketing” and used it to take the marketing automation world by storm. 

Strengths:

  • Very good looking and intuitive-to-use platform
    It’s, undoubtedly, a gorgeous platform. It’s also for most marketers, and especially good for marketers who are just starting out with marketing automation.
  • Huge bank of resources and blog posts
    Google anything marketing related and you’re likely to come upon. Remember that whole inbound marketing thing we mentioned? They kick butt at it. They have what seems like thousands of resources about every facet of digital marketing, meaning that you as a customer (or even just a lead) have access to a lot of their information.

Weaknesses:

  • High entry-fee and small feature-set
    Hubspot is the choice of a lot of small businesses because of their awesome marketing: “starting at $200/month.” The reality is that we’ve never come across anyone paying anywhere near $200/month; it’s much more frequent that people come to us having paid anything starting from $2,500/month on upwards. Even Event-based Segmentation and Scoring & Triggers all require the enterprise edition which has a $3,200 a month minimum.

And that’s all, folks: the Best Marketing Automation Software for Midsize Business in 2021!

Hope you found that helpful. Don’t forget to leave a comment and connect with us over on Twitter and LinkedIn or subscribe to the blog below to get the latest digital marketing blog posts delivered directly to your inbox.

To your success!

Sarah Augustinsky
Marketing at Net-Results

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Sarah Augustinsky

on the books: digital marketing specialist — more commonly known as: sass master extraordinaire