Act-On Software Strengths and Weaknesses
Competitive positioning in the marketing automation software industry is highlighted with the following strengths and weaknesses.
Act-On Software Strengths
- Ease of use – Act-On Software offers a clean UI that leverages lessons from consumer technologies to deliver a rewarding user experience.
- Strong financial value – A low SaaS subscription fee and the absence of up-charges, add-on charges, professional service fees for implementation advice and the like is a strong value and welcome addition for marketing automation software customers.
- Quick time to value – With a low cost of entry, no annual contracts, and quick time to deployment, Act-On Software is a strong 'starter' marketing automation system for companies looking to make the transition from a manual environment to a fist-time automated environment.
- Solid email marketing platform – The synergistic or complimentary email marketing industry continues to show results and will incur continued growth. Forrester reports that U.S. firms alone spent $1.51 billion on email marketing in 2011 and forecasts spending to increase to $2.468 billion in 2016. Act-On is well positioned to tap into this large and growing market.
- Strong management team – The company founder and CEO, Raghu Raghavan, is a serial entrepreneur who was previously the CTO and co-founder of Responsys. Raghu has surrounded himself with a tenured executive team, including business development, engineering and development staff from his Responsys days. He is a technology visionary and seasoned leader who brings the experience necessary to achieve business success in a very competitive marketplace.
Act-On Software Weaknesses
- Broad but not deep – The application is very easy to use as long as you stay within the marketing software constructs. However, the product has more breadth than depth and you may find that your marketing objectives or software functionality requirements exceed the application. Further, a lack of design tools or software customization capabilities may leave you without viable options.
- Lack of advanced tools – Act-On Software does not offer a Platform as a Service (PaaS) suite or tool in order to make the software more extensible, customizable or adapt to functional voids. Similarly it lacks a report writer for access to information and a Business Process Management (BPM)/workflow tool to define more flexible automation with campaign execution, lead scoring, lead transfers and other marketing processes.
- No mobility – Act-On Software does not support mobile devices with an iOS, Droid or RIM Blackberry operating system mobile application.
- Cloud risk – Act-On cloud delivery is not competitive and may be a risk. Act-On Software is not delivered from multiple, redundant data centers, the company does not possess SAS 70, ISO and other data center certifications, and customers are not provided a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to backup the company's claims of uptime assurance.
- Very small partner channel – There is a conspicuous absence of business partners, alliance partners, agency relationships or system integrator relationships. While the marketing software is simple to get going, the true upside is only going to be realized when technology is aligned with business strategy and optimal business processes. Local partners to aid customers with these later efforts are extremely helpful.
- No online ecosystem – There is similarly an absence of an online marketplace of integrated third party products.
- Poor market visibility – Despite company growth, the company is a laggard in terms of thought leadership and market visibility. In most business software markets a few industry leaders control the industry messaging and set the tempo. In this industry those leaders are clearly Eloqua, HubSpot and Marketo. Act-On Software is unwilling or unable to match these leaders and thereby finds itself in their shadows and responding to their messaging.
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