Act-On Unveils Online Marketing Platform - InformationWeek
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Act-On Unveils Online Marketing Platform

Web-based software targets SMBs and small marketing groups within larger organizations while pushing enterprise-like application integration across digital channels.

Act-On Integrated Marketing
(click image for larger view)
Act-On Integrated Marketing
Act-On Software on Tuesday launched its online marketing platform for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and small marketing groups within larger organizations.

The Web-based software enables the expected range of digital marketing tactics, including email, social media, landing pages, forms, lead management, webinars, and analytics reporting. Though Act-On has been around for about three years, CEO and founder Raghu Raghavan considers this the official launch of the company.

"A lot of what we're about is the beginning of the commoditization of marketing automation," Raghavan said. "Everybody should be able to use it. Everybody should be able to afford it. Everybody should be able to derive value from it."

Act-On is casting a decidedly wide net when defining SMBs: Raghavan says the company's target is the "Fortune 5 million," and that his sales and marketing team is charged with looking past early adopters of online marketing.

"Every startup in Silicon Valley goes up and down Silicon Valley trying to sell its services to the other startups up and down Silicon Valley," Raghavan said. "If you look at us, we sell to a wide range of companies. If you look at our top 20 [clients], a lot of these are companies that have been around for 30 years, but you've never heard of them." Act-On has around 250 current customers and 22 employees.

Raghavan, who was a co-founder of email marketing vendor Responsys, sees his company as a move-up market from Constant Contact and other online marketing firms that serve the small business segment.

"One of the things I really admire about Constant Contact is, by sticking with a very simple product, how they hit an enormous market," Raghavan said. "I think just above them is another enormous market." In particular, the CEO said that Act-On is targeting companies looking for an integrated marketing platform beyond email -- that's a trend that Constant Contact and other firms have been pursuing for some time.

According to Raghavan, Act-On's is taking "more of an enterprise approach, in the sense that the solution needs to tie into other enterprises applications that these companies are using. Even small companies, we find, are using Salesforce.com." Act-On's platform integrates Salesforce.com; Raghavan gave online meeting tools from WebEx and Citrix as other examples of integration that are needed.

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