Announcing the Top Rated Marketing Automation Software for 2018

Megan Headley
Megan Headley
February 13, 2018
Awards, Marketing

Announcing the Top Rated Marketing Automation Software for 2018

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Marketing Automation Software. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores. They are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, site traffic, or status as a TrustRadius customer.

Marketing Automation software allows marketers to scale inbound and outbound marketing efforts by automating their digital communication workflows, using demographic and behavioral data to personalize the audience, content, and timing of their messages. Products in this category typically have email marketing at their core, but they also include tools to manage campaigns on other channels (like social and mobile), to publish web content (blogs, landing pages, etc.), to analyze engagement with content, and to update the sales and marketing system of record–either via a built-in CRM in the case of tools for smaller businesses, or via an integration to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, etc.

Because Marketing Automation is a well-established category, many products tout similar features and value propositions. However, they differ greatly when it comes to campaign complexity, scalability, reporting capabilities, and ecosystem, i.e. their ability to integrate with the rest of your marketing stack. Reviews from users like you can be very helpful to suss out these differences. In particular, pay attention to the reviewer’s technical expertise, list size (number of contacts), and whether they are using the tool for B2B or B2C marketing.  

Here are the winners:

Overall Top Rated


With 1,119 ratings and reviews on TrustRadius, HubSpot is one of the most widely used marketing automation platforms on the market. Its biggest presence is in the SMB segment, with 52% of ratings and reviews contributed by users at small businesses and about 31% contributed by users at mid-size companies. Reviewers say HubSpot is easy to use, and like HubSpot’s online training, user events, and other support resources. They also appreciate the integration between HubSpot marketing and sales tools, including HubSpot’s free CRM.

“The all-in-one system offered us the best package for our strategic company goals. We had none of this in place prior to HubSpot and certainly not the level of analytics available now. We use all the functionality available to us and HubSpot does everything we need. The certifications have been extremely welcomed by the team and have become almost an internal competition to grow internal knowledge and skill sets. […] HubSpot also ensures all our departments are aligned, especially marketing and sales and all the new product developments are set to take this to a whole new, exciting level.”

Lindsey Witcherly | Inbound Director | Cognition Agency


With 1,135 ratings and reviews on TrustRadius, Marketo is another very well established marketing automation platform. Its biggest presence is in the mid-market, with 55% of ratings and reviews contributed by users at mid-size companies, about 16% contributed by users at small businesses, and about 19% contributed by users at enterprises. According to reviewers, Marketo strikes a balance between complexity and ease of use (though it’s not a platform for beginners with only basic marketing automation needs). Reviewers praise the sophisticated emails, segmentation, campaign logic, landing pages, and reports they’re able to create and customize with minimal coding.

“Marketo contains all of the logic that moves leads through the funnel stages (leveraging a combination of activity and demographic-based scoring) and collects all of the necessary data to allow us to report on funnel metrics (lead velocity, conversion rates, volume, and revenue impact via an integration with SFDC). We’ve built out our nurturing as well, using advanced logic to ensure people receive content that is mapped to their specific role and their place in the buying cycle. With the robust logic capabilities, you can pretty much design your nurturing and lead management framework to function in any way you need it to. So it’s a very scalable platform.”

Emily Thornton | Senior Consultant, Technology | ANNUITAS

Adobe Campaign

Adobe Campaign has 89 ratings and reviews on TrustRadius. Its largest presence is in the enterprise segment, with 40% of ratings and reviews contributed by users at enterprises. Adobe Campaign is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, and reviewers say it fits well in this ecosystem (if an organization’s budget allows them to use Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, etc. in conjunction with Adobe Campaign). Reviewers like the direction of Adobe Campaign’s UI development, and say the product works well to manage larger-scale campaigns across multiple channels/devices, with robust reporting.

“Adobe Campaign is well suited for enterprise-level marketing communications. It can manage and deploy large volumes of emails very efficiently. Workflows can allow multiple touches, staggered sends, and segmentation to occur all within one delivery if needed. Interactions and reporting can happen in real time or near real time if needed. When integrated with the rest of the Marketing Cloud, Campaign becomes even more powerful as platforms like Analytics and AEM can have functionality brought directly into Campaign for more effective content creation and reporting.”

Marty Idziak | Senior Consultant Marketing Strategy and Automation | ICF

IBM Watson Campaign Automation

IBM Watson Campaign Automation has 76 ratings and reviews on TrustRadius, with 37% contributed by users at mid-sized companies and 28% contributed by users at enterprises–both segments in which the product is Top Rated. (The underlying technology was acquired by IBM from Silverpop in 2014.) Reviewers say IBM Watson Campaign Automation has a nice interface that allows them to set up simple email automation easily, with the ability to configure integrations, personalization, etc. beyond that if needed.   

“Intuitive interface; work from left to right to join up data (contacts), email creative, campaign automation, reporting and integrated products. Great automation capability: set up and automate the easy stuff quickly, allowing you to pay more attention to the hard stuff. […] You can learn the basics easily via the on demand eLearning and quickly be automating simple email campaigns. So if you’re a small team with limited IT resources, you can get up and running with automated campaigns from a simple spreadsheet and some HTML in no time.”

Verified User | Technician in Marketing | Marketing and Advertising company with 51-200 employees

IBM Campaign

IBM Campaign has 47 ratings and reviews on TrustRadius, and is based on the technology acquired from Unica in 2010. Its largest presence is in the enterprise segment, with 49% of ratings and reviews contributed by users at enterprises. IBM Campaign is more complex than a product like IBM Watson Campaign Automation, with more advanced analytics, audience segmentation, multi-channel campaign management, and resource management features–comparable to other Top Rated enterprise marketing automation systems like Eloqua and Adobe Campaign. Reviewers say IBM Campaign handles customer data well, making it a powerful tool for segmenting large audiences and calculating the ROI of marketing campaigns.

“You can produce every type of multichannel campaign. With a good dedicated team for this application (guys from IT, marketing and/or finance) you can do whatever you want. With this application, we were able to leverage our knowledge of our competitors with some geo-marketing campaigns. As we do Email, Door to Door, Outbound Telemarketing, Inbound, Unadressed Mail, Unsold and Direct Mail campaigns, IBM Campaign is a really good choice for our company.[…] We can calculate the ROI for each campaign.”

Gabriel Racine | CRM Analyst | Cogeco Connexion


SharpSpring has 118 ratings and reviews on TrustRadius, with 84% contributed by users at small businesses (mainly marketing and advertising agencies). The vendor offers a special partner option for agencies that want to use SharpSpring to run their own marketing campaigns and their clients’ marketing campaigns (via a white-labeled solution). Reviewers appreciate SharpSpring’s range of features (CRM + marketing automation), low cost compared to competitors, and the utility of running their own programs on the same system as client programs.

“SharpSpring allows me to use it’s powerful tools to promote my business and also market my clients’ businesses. I can use it on their behalf or give them a user account and train them to use the tools themselves. SharpSpring also offers me agency pricing and allows me to white label their interface and decide for myself what to charge them to use it.”

Greg Dungan | Owner | Two Creative Design Group, LLC


Hatchbuck has 36 ratings and reviews on TrustRadius, with 75% contributed by users at small businesses. It’s an all-in-one sales and marketing automation platform that includes CRM and email marketing tools. Hatchbuck users praise the software’s ease of use and say it’s a great option for companies on a budget who are just getting started with marketing automation.

“Our team uses Hatchbuck in a variety of ways to support our sales, marketing, and customer service team members. We use their forms, automated campaigns, and tasks to follow up and nurture sales leads. Additionally, we use the automated campaigns, email templates, and their drag and drop email builder as tools to onboard new customers and follow up with existing customers. We also use Hatchbuck as a CRM to track and record details on our users and send targeted emails and campaigns to them. As a small business with limited staff and resources, Hatchbuck helps us ensure each of our customers gets the attention they need.”

Kaitlin Rawley | Director of Marketing | Flocknote

In addition to overall top rated awards, we also recognize tools that are top rated in a specific market segment. Company size is one way to help buyers identify the right solutions for their use case. To qualify for these lists, at least 15% of the product’s reviews and ratings must come from that market segment.

Top Rated by Enterprises

Top Rated by Mid-Size Companies

Top Rated by Small Businesses

Congratulations to the winners of the Top Rated Marketing Automation Software Award!

Top Rated Criteria

Products included in the Top Rated Marketing Automation Software for 2018 list must have been in the top tier of their category TrustMap on Jan. 26, 2018, to earn a Top Rated badge. To qualify for the Marketing Automation Software TrustMap, products must have at least 30 or more ratings on TrustRadius. Every reviewer is verified and every review is vetted before publication. Products are plotted on the map based on end-user data, including users’ likelihood to recommend scores as well as buyer research patterns. To learn more about TrustMaps and Top Rated methodology, check out this page.

About the Author

Megan Headley
Megan Headley
Megan leads Research at TrustRadius, whose mission is to ensure TrustRadius delivers high quality, useful and, above all, trustworthy user feedback to help prospective software buyers make more informed decisions. Before joining TrustRadius, Megan was Director of Sales and Marketing at Stratfor, where she was in charge of growing the company’s B2C revenue stream through email marketing and other channels. She enjoys traveling, reading, and hiking.

Sign up to receive more buyer resources and tips.