LeadPages Wants Its New “Center” Product To Conduct Your Marketing Orchestra
The Minneapolis-based company is moving beyond its focus on capturing leads, to providing a tracking-and-segmenting hub for the leads from your best-of-breed marketing solutions.
LeadPages, whose purpose in life has been to capture leads at “points of signup” like opt-in forms or landing pages, is now reorienting itself toward a new goal: becoming the “command center” of marketing tools.
The Minneapolis-based company released on Tuesday a new product, Center, that is intended to act as the manager of leads.
Until midnight on New Year’s Eve, LeadPages is accepting early adopters of Center at a lifetime, half-off discounted price of $399 annually. After that, the product will be sold at full price when it is made available in late February.
Center merges and tracks leads across such solutions as email service providers, CRMs or webinar providers, so that rules on how and when to engage those leads can be set. For instance, when this lead (tracked across several tools via email address) abandons a shopping cart purchase, send this email.
The actual actions, like sending an email or a text message, are directed by Center but conducted by the external tool. The company said it intends to add statistically-based lead scoring before the end of next year.
Nearly two dozen marketing tools or systems will be integrated with Center at launch, enabling either data-only or some functional interaction. LeadPages says it will have about a hundred integrations within the first 12 months.
Currently, these integrations include single-point solutions like email marketing platforms SendGrid and Constant Contact, webinar provider GoToWebinar, customer service platform Zendesk, sales and marketing platform InfusionSoft, and business video hosting site Wistia. And, even though Center sees itself as providing an alternative to all-in-one platforms, it also integrates with such marketing clouds as Salesforce, Marketo and HubSpot.
The segmentation of leads is oriented around email addresses, without the kind of behavioral, location or other probabilistic matching that other platforms try to accomplish.
Although cookies are occasionally used by Center for tracking — such as tracking which website pages are viewed by someone who fills out a form on a page — Center knows that the person who attended a webinar, filled out a form or signed up for a newsletter are all the same person because they have the same email.
Some marketers, and marketing platform vendors, tout their ability to create a “single point of truth,” a customer relationship management (CRM) system or other centralized database where all the behavioral, demographic and related info about a lead, prospect or customer is maintained for an entire marketing system. Email addresses, cookies, mobile device identifiers and “fingerprints,” user behavior, location and other characteristics can be used to determine if two different users are the same person and deserve to be housed in the same record.
But LeadPages CEO and founder Clay Collins told me Center maintains its own database of these segmented users in a kind of federated data strategy.
Center’s segmentation does not significantly change the lead/customer records in the individual marketing tools, he said, because an email tool, a webinar provider and a landing page creator all have different needs and requirements. And a CRM, he said, is mostly useful for companies that have a dedicated and significant salesforce.
In the federation envisioned by LeadPages, Center is the hub to all those spokes — and LeadPages’ lead capture tool is one of the spokes.
Collins’ company, which was founded in 2013 and currently boasts over 40,000 paying customers, is not the only tool provider that sees an opportunity to become the conductor of marketers’ growing orchestra of “best of breed” solutions.
Germany-based startup Cockpit CampaignChain, for instance, launched earlier this month a new product it described as the “cockpit for digital marketing,” which is designed to similarly become a central campaign coordinator of other marketing tools.
In November, another startup called Databox unveiled its mobile product to provide alerts and mini-dashboards so you could watch over your marketing tools from your phone. A variety of bargain-priced marketing automation platforms similarly provide centralized targeting and control capabilities that are augmented by their integration with external tools.
And most major marketing clouds tout their level of functional and data integration with specialty tools. Oracle’s Marketing Cloud, for instance, recently announced an integration with Boomtrain so it could provide machine learning-based personalization for its email marketing. Salesforce’s and Adobe’s Marketing Clouds have integrated with Livefyre so they could offer more user-generated content capabilities.
The key question for Center, as with CampaignChain and others of this kind, is whether marketers find that this additional tool — even one that wants to make your life simpler — is just another dashboard to maintain. After all, don’t you still have to use those other tools, at least occasionally?
Arguably, LeadPages’ Center is making a play to become its own “single point of truth” as it relates to users identified by their email address. Ultimately, their success in that approach may come down to each marketers’ preference for workstyle and pricing.
The pricing is toward the lower end of the market. And, for those marketers who prefer well-honed, task-specific tools instead of all-in-one platforms, a Center-piece might fit right in.
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