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Adoption in each of six marketing technology categories is up, according to a new report that looks at marketing technology ‘winners and losers’ in those categories:

  • Marketing Automation: 4% growth
  • Email Marketing: 3% growth
  • Analytics: 5% growth
  • Tag Management: 9% growth
  • Ecommerce: 2% growth
  • Web Personalization: 7% growth

These figures are based on data from Datanyze, which crawls over 40 million websites for “tags,” or snippets of code, that indicate the presence of certain technology. Datanyze also looks for SPF records, as it’s common for email marketing vendors to have an SPF signature. Taken together, these help determine whether or not a site is using a particular technology.

The report includes data and analysis for each category and is available for free: Marketing Technology Winners and Losers: Adoption Numbers From 40M+ Companies. In each category, the vendors are ranked by percent growth for the month of June, so keep in mind that the numbers will fluctuate — but also that annual growth will be much higher for most vendors.

Looking at the marketing automation category, for example, the top growing vendor was Selligent, followed by Active Campaign, SharpSpring, SALESmanago, and Drip.

We’ve found that marketing automation adoption rates remain highest among B2B enterprises but, as discussed in our report on the topic, B2C and SMB interest, in particular, is growing.

In fact, every single one of the top five growing marketing automation vendors are focused on either B2C or SMB companies (or both).

Of course it’s worth noting that there are a lot more SMB companies than enterprises, so by sheer volume it’s easier to grow with an SMB focus.


Selligent, a B2C marketing automation vendor focused on the mid-market, is our biggest winner in the marketing automation category, with 12 percent growth. The company also received major new funding from HGGC, a leading middle market private equity firm, just last month. The firm acquired a majority stake in the company, which Selligent plans to use for major expansion into the U.S. The company is headquartered in Europe, where most of its current customers are also located.

Selligent’s overall customer number is still significantly smaller than that of bigger vendors, but the company has been growing quickly, and we expect to see increased growth from the major cash infusion.

ActiveCampaign, which caters primarily to SMBs, is a close runner-up to Selligent. The company has seen tremendous growth, which we expect to continue as more SMBs consider marketing automation, thanks to lower costs and easier implementation.

SALESmanago, number four of the ‘winners,’ is one of the other few solutions available to B2C companies — especially for smaller B2C organizations.

SharpSpring and Drip round out the top five winners at numbers three and five, respectively. Both cater to smaller B2B companies, and adoption rates for both have been growing rapidly.

In absolute numbers, Hubspot and Marketo are the biggest winners, but percentage-wise, neither had the biggest gains. Marketo was number seven with 6 percent gains, while Hubspot was number 18 with 2 percent gains.

Marketing automation


IBM appears to be one of the biggest losers in the marketing automation category, as both Unica and Silverpop are in the bottom five. Both still showed gains, but just barely. Overall, growth appears stagnant.

The very bottom, or “top loser” depending on how you want to frame it, is Genius. But this is a bit deceiving; CallidusCloud, which acquired Genius, seems to be using the LeadFormix tag and phasing out the Genius/LeadRocket tag (CallidusCloud also acquired LeadFormix). As a result, Genius shows no additions at all, while LeadFormix shows some growth, putting it closer to the middle of the pack.

Salesfusion and LoopFuse round out the bottom five, which is also noteworthy because Salesfusion acquired LoopFuse in January 2014. Both tags show stagnant growth. The marketing automation space serving the B2B mid-market is crowded, and we expect several vendors to be weeded out as competition increases.

Note on the data

The Datanyze data is a good measure of adoption numbers, which correspond with growth in users. However, there are a few caveats worth pointing out:

  1. There are many more small businesses than large enterprises, meaning that we are not comparing growth for the same categories; growth velocity is likely easier to achieve for vendors catering to smaller companies. Datanyze does allow users to segment by only top websites (e.g. top one million or top 10,000 Alexa websites). In this case, we used their full data set, which includes over 42 million sites.
  1. For the same reason, growth is not necessarily a good reflection of revenue. One vendor might have a cheap or freemium option while another sells deals for seven figures.
  1. It’s easier to hit big growth numbers if the total count is low to begin with: A company with 20 customers that gains five more has a 25 percent growth rate, compared with a company with 5,000 that gains 1,000, which would be “only” a 20 percent gain. For that reason, we also include the absolute numbers in addition to growth percentages.
  1. In a few categories, some of the vendors with the smallest overall adoption have been excluded.

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