Alternative Platforms to Salesforce for Google AdWords
On May 1st 2013, Salesforce will pull the plug on Salesforce for Google AdWords, and thousands of companies who use it will ask two questions.
- Why did Salesforce do this?
- What do I do next?
We’ll make a few educated guesses at why, and also point you towards some solutions that can replace Salesforce for Google Adwords.
Salesforce for Google AdWords is different from every other app, in that it was the only app installed by default with Salesforce. With close to two thousand apps on the app exchange, only Salesforce for Google AdWords came pre-installed. Amazingly, even a few months after new customers were blocked from using it, it was still there for new salesforce instances (though completely unusable).
So why did Salesforce go from pushing this app on every single customer to suddenly retiring it? Their press release certainly doesn’t help, with this vague statement:
“Unmatched pace of innovation is one of the hallmark benefits to salesforce.com customers, and in order to continue to deliver more breakthroughs around Google AdWords, we’re turning to our vibrant ecosystem of partners. We’re focusing our innovation efforts around making the Salesforce CRM you love even better which is why we have decided to retire SFGA. Our AppExchange partners will provide similar offerings with additional capabilities so you can continue to realize success with Google AdWords.”
Why did this happen?
Theory number 1: It wasn’t worth the support / internal resources. According to Salesforce product managers, only one to two thousand companies were actively using Salesforce for Google AdWords. Considering it was installed by default for everyone, that’s a low, low uptake of +around 1% for active use.
Theory number 2: Salesforce got in a match with Google about something and this was a casualty. Salesforce certainly had a lot more focus on integration with Google Apps in 2008, but this relationship since has cooled, with minimal development to bring the two companies, and their products, together.
Where do I go from here?
There are a lot of solutions out there, ranging from a home-brew DIY solution using open source software, to Marketing Automation companies owned by Oracle. We’ll go through our favourite three at different price points.
Solution for around $100 a month – Daddy Analytics
We’ve taken a look at the solutions that have popped trying to offer a replacement for SFGA. All manage to replace the features of SFGA, and all of them cost somewhere between $50 and $200, depending on your volume of leads or number of users.
The outright winner on features in this price range is Daddy Analytics. As well as replacing Google Adwords, it offers some nifty services based around the IP address, including telling you what company or ISP the Lead came from, what device they were on (can you price your wares higher to Mac users then PC users?), and even their estimated GeoLocation. We were also shown a sneak peak at their beta features coming out shortly, and this one really impressed us – per page tracking for Leads. So you’ll know which pages your prospect went to before and after submitting your web form, and how long they spent on each page. If they spent 3 minutes on the pricing page and then submitted their info, this likely a more qualified prospect.
Solution for around $1000 a month – Hubspot
HubSpot is the winner here, seems to have the highest ‘cool’ factor. Have you seen their Alanis Moriset spoof video? Not only is it funny, it shows the power of inbound marketing, and already has over a hundred thousand views. When that went viral, HubSpot’s incoming leads shot up. HubSpot is not designed as a replacement for SFGA, they are so much more – a marketing automation system that increases your prospects engagement while focusing on your marketing ROI. And HubSpot seems to really ‘get it’, showing a personality that is at once trendy and edgy, while also being focused and professional. Their features are almost too long to list, and their integration with Salesforce leads is robust, as Hubspot use both Salesforce and Hubspot in-house. Salesforce even owns a significant stake in them.
Solution for over $1000 a month – Marketo
Marketo is the market leader, and offers even deeper integration with Salesforce, and more of a full featured offering. You pay for that power, though, with pricing in the range of $2000 to $8000 a month (their pricing can be even higher or lower). Marketo, for example, has far more features around it’s email campaigns, with arguably better better drip-marketing, deliverability reports, and list management.
But the challenge of comparing Marketo to Hubspot is that we quickly move into subjective opinion, rather than a more objective comparison. It’s a bit like Oracle vs Salesforce, or Windows vs Mac. At the end of the day it comes down to what suits you, from the user interface to the company approach. When you’re spending the big bucks for Marketo or Hubspot, you’re going to have to evaluate them and determine yourself, as only you know your exact needs.
What would your solution be?