Everyone wants a piece of marketing automation, it seems. But not everyone agrees on which vendors lead the pack.

The latest marketing automation software rankings -- crowdsourced G2 Crowd's Grid report released this month -- proves the rankings companies don't exactly agree when determining leaders.

But they do concur on one thing -- Oracle-Eloqua and Marketo deserve to be leaders. They were the lone vendors that got leader love in each of the five marketing automation vendor rankings we profiled. Salesforce-Pardot was ever so close, being named a leader in four out of five, with the fifth determining Salesforce-Pardot was a runner-up.

What Does G2 Crowd Say?

The Chicago-based crowdsourcer G2 Crowd has HubSpot, Salesforce-Pardot, Act-On, Marketo and Oracle-Eloqua leading the way. HubSpot earned the highest customer satisfaction score among all products on the site, which collects software reviews and produces reports.

Leaders, according to G2 Crowd officials, must receive a high customer satisfaction score and have "substantial market presence." For its "high performers," G2 Crowd tabbed Salesfusion, OutMarket, Ontraport, Net-Results, LeadSquared, Hatchbuck and Genoo. They have a "smaller market presence" than the leaders.

What Does Forrester Say?

How does this compare with the big boys? 

Forrester earlier this year named the nine most significant lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) marketing automation platform vendors.

So who's on top in general, according to Forrester? Act-On, Adobe, CallidusCloud, IBM, Marketo, Oracle-Eloqua, Salesforce-Pardot, Salesfusion and Silverpop.

So essentially, the rankings systems between Forrester and G2 Crowd disagree on four leaders: G2 Crowd did not have Adobe, CallidusCloud, IBM and Silverpop among its leaders or high performers whereas Forrester did. 

What Does Gartner Say?

Gartner, in its 2014 Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management, tabbed Oracle and Marketo as the leaders and Salesforce-Pardot, IBM and Adobe as challengers.

So make that 2-for-2 so far for Oracle-Eloqua, Salesforce-Pardot and Marketo being considered leaders here.

"Investment in lead management continues to be healthy," Gartner officials wrote, "but market consolidation has lengthened evaluation and sales cycles. Leaders in marketing and IT need to assess vendors' visions of a single marketing automation suite against their own tactical and strategic business requirements."

What Does Gleanster Say?

Gleanster Research earlier this year named its leaders in four key categories, one of which was marketing automation.

Here's what Gleanster's research had to say about vendors in the marketing automation space:

Learning Opportunities

Features and functionality:

  • Good: Infusionsoft (3.7), Ontraport (3.7)
  • Better: Salesforce-Pardot (4.4), Salesfusion (4.3), Net-Results (4.1)
  • Best: Oracle Eloqua (4.9), Silverpop (4.9), HubSpot (4.8), Marketo (4.8), Act-On (4.8)

Overall value:

  • Good: Net-Results (3.7), Salesfusion (3.7), Oracle Eloqua (3.7)
  • Better: Pardot (3.9), Silverpop (3.8), Ontraport (3.8)
  • Best: HubSpot (4.5), Marketo (4.5), Act-On (4.4)

Once again, Oracle and Marketo make an appearance among the leaders. HubSpot, Silverpop and Act-On do, too.

"Marketing automation systems help optimize the end-to-end revenue performance management (RPM) lifecycle which is largely defined as the process of tracking and optimizing all marketing and sales contacts through the customer lifecycle," according to the Gleanster report. "Your goal, simply put, is to optimize revenue across customer interactions, regardless of their stage in the customer lifecycle."

What Does TrustRadius Say?

Crowdsourcer TrustRadius also released rankings this year on marketing automation vendors. 

It divided its leaders into segments, with Act-On, HubSpot (top spot) and Infusionsoft leading the way for small businesses (1-50 employees). 

For mid-sized business (51-500 employees), the leaders nod went to Marketo and Salesforce-Pardot, with Marketo edging out Salesforce for the top spot.

And for enterprises with more than 500 employees, the TrustRadius formula tabbed Oracle as the lone leader.

“The most successful companies with marketing automation have put in place a demand generation strategy," Craig Rosenberg, co-founder of TOPO, said in the TrustRadius report. "They have people that will actually own the success of not just the marketing automation, but the demand generation program – someone is on the line to deliver the metrics (MQLs, leads), and there’s someone who will own the tool. In many small companies it’s the same person. In larger companies, it’s not."

Title photo by Prayitno (Flickr) via a CC BY SA 2.0 license.