The Best Marketing Automation Software and Solutions: The 2023 CRM Industry Leader Awards

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Market research firm MarketsandMarkets expects the worldwide marketing automation software market to grow from $5.2 billion in 2022 to $9.5 billion by 2027, at a compound annual rate of 12.8 percent.

The firm maintains that the primary uses of marketing automation today are for lead nurturing and scoring, though recent advances in artificial intelligence have prompted greater use to improve personalization, customer segmentation, content optimization, predictive analytics, and routine task automation.

Account-based marketing remains a top priority, as does the ability for solutions to create, manage, and optimize campaigns across a variety of channels, including email, social media, websites, mobile applications, and more.


Adobe gained a foothold in marketing automation in 2018 when it acquired Marketo. Continuous product expansions, integrations with other Adobe products, and a firm focus on content creation have made that product the workhorse that it is today. Adobe is “a powerhouse that defines the category at this time,” states Paul Greenberg, president of the 56 Group. “The recent use of generative AI and the integration into Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud positions [Adobe] well going forward into the next generation or two of marketing.” Independent CRM analyst and consultant Marshall Lager says the appeal is even simpler than that: “Adobe is a great match for serious businesses that want a serious marketing automation application,” he says.

HubSpot has its roots in inbound marketing, and though the company has been expanding greatly in the past few years, its marketing flair has never wavered. “It’s a great choice for small businesses, midmarket, and even enterprises up to a point,” Greenberg, says. Lager says the company “scores consistently high among users because of its ease of setup and use.” But Geoff Ables, managing partner of C5 Insight, says HubSpot’s appeal goes even deeper. “HubSpot still has a reputation for the most powerful digital marketing automation platform in the industry,” he says.

Oracle has rearchitected its scattered marketing automation capabilities onto a single platform, and now with Oracle Fusion Marketing, it is recapturing a lot of attention. Greenberg calls Fusion Marketing “a powerhouse, and one of the most important Oracle business applications.” But as is the case with most Oracle CRM offerings, integration with other Oracle apps is the real story. “Fusion Marketing has superb integration with [Fusion Sales] to align both departments,” Greenberg says. “That means common rules of engagement, revenue objectives, etc. Oracle is unique in the quality of the functionality necessary to facilitate that integration.” Wettemann agrees, noting that “the ability to drive marketing from insights in ERP Cloud and other data sources” gives Oracle “a differentiated story in marketing.”

As it’s been doing across its entire CRM portfolio, Salesforce has been infusing artificial intelligence, specifically its Einstein and new Einstein GPT engines, into Marketing Cloud, and it’s having a huge impact. “What makes [Salesforce] stand out is that it can handle massive amounts of data and sort, analyze, and spit it back out in nearly an instant. With the addition of generative AI, it can build campaigns quickly, and the analytics are very strong, with Einstein and their more traditional analytics easily accessible at scale,” Greenberg says. “Salesforce continues to extend its marketing automation—already one of the deepest and broadest sets in the industry—with Einstein AI and GPT to drive even greater efficiency and customer engagement,” Wettemann adds. “Marketing Cloud is the place a lot of organizations will look first, and they’ll find enough power there that they won’t continue the search,” Lager says.

Zoho might not have as much sophistication as many of its competitors in the marketing automation space, but that hasn’t hurt the company one bit. “Zoho continues to build out its marketing automation capabilities and provides much of the core features needed, plus integrated event management and collaboration, to provide customers that aren’t looking for every bell and whistle with a single, integrated marketing stack,” Wettemann says.

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