Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Salesforce Retires Adwords: What Happened and What to do Next

As of May 1, 2013, Salesforce for Google Adwords has been retired. The exact reason behind the retirement is vague at best, which has led to plenty of speculation from marketers and business owners. The following statement was released to the public by Salesforce:

“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 Salesforce for Google AdWords. Our AppExchange partners will provide similar offerings with additional capabilities so you can continue to realize success with Google AdWords.”
This has a lot of people guessing what the logic was behind the split. While it’s hard to say for sure, it’s likely that the reason boils down to two possibilities. The first would be the low volume of businesses that actually used Adwords with Salesforce. Although Adwords was the only default app on Salesforce, only one percent or so of customers actively used it. With this low volume, it’s likely that it simply wasn’t worth the effort to keep integrating Adwords with Salesforce.
The second possibility would be internal strife between the two companies. According to State of Search, Salesforce put a significant emphasis on integrating their platform with Google Apps back in 2008, but their relationship had faltered since then. It’s possible that conflict and a general lack of agreement was the catalyst for the Adwords retirement.
Regardless of the specific reason for this change, it puts the small percentage of businesses that did integrate Salesforce and Adwords in a difficult and potentially stressful position. They will need a suitable replacement that provides adequate data to keep their Adwords campaign running smoothly. Fortunately, this split won’t immediately affect existing data on Salesforce because users’ dashboards and reports will remain intact for the time being. Along with this, lead activities and custom objects are currently unaffected. However, if the AppExchange package is uninstalled, it’s likely that historical data will be lost.
The bottom line is that a large number of business owners are in need of an alternative. If you fall into this category, here are some options worth considering:
#1. Bizible
This is one of the more popular replacements for Salesforce for Adwords. It’s fairly comprehensive and automatically attaches Adwords data to leads and opportunities so business owners will know exactly what’s bringing in their top customers. If you have several years of data on your Salesforce for Adwords app, this is a solid option because the data will move to Bizible Marketing Analytics at no added cost. Everything will remain intact and you can make a relatively seamless transition with minimal hassle. If you’re worried about suffering setbacks, Bizible should provide you with peace of mind and keep operations running.
You are charged monthly and the pricing breaks down as follows:
  • $69 for up to 100 leads
  • $99 for up to 200 leads
  • $149 for up to 500 leads
  • $199 for up to 1,000 leads + $50 for every additional 1,000 leads
This is another popular platform that prides itself as being a complete replacement for Salesforce for Adwords. According to Daddy Analytics, the entire integration process can be completed in less than an hour and they help you with website configuration. To ensure that everything goes through without a hitch, they set up your lead page layout and submit a few dummy leads. It’s free to integrate and a company representative will utilize screen sharing to make the process as easy to understand as possible.
Once the integration process is complete, you can take advantage of close loop analytics to follow leads through the sales funnel until they ultimately convert. This begins with tracking a lead from a marketing channel or SEO to your website. It then walks you through the pages a person visits while exploring your website. This is followed by a web form when a person becomes a lead and finally the actual conversion. Consequently, you can get a good idea of the path that people are taking until they become paying customers.
Daddy Analytics also offers a free trial period until you decide whether it’s the right fit for your business or not. If you decide to make a purchase, you pay $99 per month which includes four Daddy Analytics Super Users. In the event that you want to bring more users on board to track data, licenses are an additional $25 per month. 
#3. Pardot
Adwords users that want to quickly and conveniently integrate Adwords through the Google AdwordsAPI tend to like this platform. All that’s required is that you add Pardot’s tracking code to your website and it’s connected. It offers enhanced reporting and allows you to sync Salesforce for Adwords with this platform. Pardot places a big emphasis on ROI, so you can learn information like cost per opportunity and cost per sale to determine how well your PPC campaign is going. Like Daddy Analytics, Pardot also offers a free trial period. It’s also highly customizable and should meet the needs of nearly any business regardless of the size.
There are three types of plans to choose from and the base price covers up to 30,000 contacts. If you exceed more than 30,000, each plan charges an additional $300 per month for blocks of 30,000 contacts up to 500,000. In the event that you need even more contacts, it’s $200 per month for blocks of 30,000 contacts over 500,000. The three plans include:
  • Professional for $1,000 per month
  • Enterprise for $2,000 per month
  • Ultimate for $3,000 per month
#4. HubSpot
Finally, HubSpot is a trusted analytics tool for more than 8,000 businesses in 56 countries. Known for their progressive culture, this company has earned a positive reputation for providing a plethora of marketing solutions. One of the main areas that HubSpot prides itself in is their ability to offer an all in one toolset for a streamlined experience.
Rather than trying to simply be a replacement for Salesforce for Adwords, they offer significantly more with a marketing automation system. They also place a major emphasis on ROI and cover everything from landing page optimization tools, to lead management, to comprehensive analytics. Consequently, HubSpot tends to be a good choice if you’re looking to take your campaign beyond what you initially had with Salesforce. Although the sheer number of features is too long to list, here are some notable ones:
  • Integrated multi-channel view
  • Full-funnel analytics
  • Goals and predictive tools
  • Deliver, open, click and churn data for emails you send
  • A/B tests for CTAs
  • Page performance analytics
They encourage people to use their free trial version to get a feel for the platform and see if it’s right for their business. If you decide to purchase HubSpot’s marketing software, there are three options to choose from:
  • Basic for $200 per month (typically sufficient for small hosted businesses)
  • Professional for $600 per month (fully integrated software for professional marketers)
  • Enterprise for $1,000 per month (most advanced for marketing teams)

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