In 2020 I’ve tested and worked with many marketing automation platforms. As we progress into the future, it is fair to say that everything established on the market can be interconnected nowadays, and no matter which apps you currently use you can find a way for all of them to work together and deliver results.
However, when businesses decide strategically which path to take, they usually opt to use one platform that offers most, if not all of the features they need. So below I mention only the platforms that offer All-in-one, rather than individual services (email, SMS, CRM, etc.) and I divide the TOP 3 into the top 3 platforms that provide the best value (Yang) and the top 3 that provide the strongest brands (Yin).
Yes. Below are the top 3 for 'SHE' and the top 3 for 'HE'.
TOP 3 FOR YIN
TOP 3 FOR YANG
What is the difference between the top brands and the top value-creating marketing automation platforms?
A brand is an intangible value in peoples' minds. A brand can not always justify its position by the mere value it creates. The TOP 3 brands for marketing automation are those that are large, have a deductive top-down approach to App development, and whose price premiums enable them to focus on the largest corporate clients. These platforms speak the lingo of boardroom executives and have the off-shore accounts to afford them.
The top 3 marketing automation platforms, on the other hand, started from the button up, serving the little guys (SMEs). According to the theory of Clayton Christensen laid out in his book ‘The Innovators’ Dilemma’, these smaller guys will learn how to function with smaller margins and more effectively approach the market. With time, they are expected to encroach on the incumbents.
By being focused on numerous verticals and horizontals and companies of all types, large and small, Zoho One, HubSpot, and MailChimp, they are focused on creating value rather than making a brand that can outdo Oracle, IBM, and SAP in the value they create.
Think of the top 3 Yin brands as similar to IBM in the 90s. Obviously, IBM is still IBM.
Think of the top 3 value-creating Yang marketing automation platforms as similar to Microsoft and Huawei in the 00s.
Surely, some companies care about the brand first and the value second. They will endure technical fallacies and astronomical prices only to have a better-refined nuance of colors in their emails. If your philosophy revolves around looking pretty first and doing things second (Yin) then opt for the best brands. If you want to optimize the value you and your company create, choosing the top marketing automation platforms (Yang) is a rational choice.
Depending on what you chose for your company, you can conclude which energy is dominant in your business. Is it the destructive, corrupted, and appearance-focused Yin, or is it the proactive, innovative, and unsullied Yang?
However, there’s something in between the transparency and down-to-Earth nature of Yang and the seductive attractiveness of Yin, and given that we live in a grey world, no wonder its revenues are 13 billion just from providing CRM-based marketing services.
And that’s SalesForce:
SalesForce started by serving the little guys (SMEs) and now it is moving upstream with approaches that are more similar to SAP than to Zoho One. I would say this movement is a natural progression.
But why do corporations tend to be tinting towards Yin as they grow and are hiring disproportionally Yin-like personalities? Why were the founders of these large companies who have since passed away or are not actively managing the business mostly highly motivated, creative men who shared the creational Yang?
While Yang creates value, once a company is large enough to provide safety and shelter to employees, it attracts mostly Yin-type people. It does not hire many Yang people. Procedures and rules that limit self-expression make such behemoths less interesting for the wild entrepreneurs who oftentimes create value by rocking the boat. Men and women.
With time, this cycle of Yin and Yang happens as part of the natural growth of each company. Surely, as time passes, the added-value of the Yang founders and their heirs will be diminished, but the scale will prevail and so will the off-shore accounts, mostly managed by Yins. This starts the downfall of the Yin brands which opens the market for new Yang challengers (startups) or executives (outside CEOs) who will take them on a new path to salvation.
An eternal cycle, so it appears.