Salesfusion's purchase of LoopFuse today sets up a battle for digital marketers' attention in the midmarket marketing automation space.
The big gain for the now 75-employee Atlanta-based Salesfusion? Better social listening tools, top-notch IT and software-engineering talent and a continued lower-priced marketing automation alternative to the big boys like Marketo (500 employees) and Eloqua (scooped up by Oracle), according to Salesfusion CEO Christian Nahas.
"This was about two things — No. 1, talent," Nahas told CMSWire. "LoopFuse has really talented engineers on its team, and its CEO and I share a vision around the ease of use and smart marketing. And No. 2, this is about predictive analytics, social nurturing, social publishing and social listening tools. This tool will not just tell you that 500 people are talking about you — but the 50 most relevant people, their tone and buying signals."
LoopFuse for Salesfusion adds some spark to a marketing automation vendor that has had a pretty low profile in the B2B marketing automation space, said Lori Wizdo, Forrester Research analyst who specializes in marketing automation.
"They haven't invested in sales and marketing as aggressively as some of the other players," Wizdo said.
However, two weeks ago, Salesfusion secured a round of Series B funding for $8.5 million and then made the deal official with LoopFuse. "This should help them increase their market presence," Wizdo said. "They've brought on a new CEO in the past year, as well."
Where Does Salesfusion Stand?
Forrester included Salesfusion as a "strong contender" in its lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) automation solutions Wave ranking released earlier this month. It examined nine key players. Oracle (Eloqua) and Marketo topped the inaugural Wave, leading the pack based on current offering and market presence.
"It's not surprising that Eloqua leads in features and functions," Wizdo wrote in the report. "The company's products have been in the field the longest (since the early 2000s) and have been deployed by many larger enterprises with complex marketing program requirements. Marketo, which was launched in 2006, presented a product set to Forrester that indicates it has come up the functionality curve quite quickly vis-à-vis the competition."
Adobe (Neolane), Act-On, and Salesforce.com (Pardot) also fall into the "Leaders" category. The remaining four vendors -- CallidusCloud, IBM, Salesfusion and Silverpop -- scored as "Strong Performers."
"L2RM platform buyers need to remember that more is not better. More is simply more," Wizdo wrote in her report.
The same Wave evaluation for small businesses and small marketing teams revealed that Act-On and Salesfusion lead the pack -- with Oracle and Adobe ranked only as "Contenders" in the space.