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Beating out the likes of Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, Google tools are more prevalent in large, high-performing SaaS businesses. Their products, Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics and G Suite are the top 3 tools used by SaaS businesses, according to a study by Drift [PDF] of the 100 companies featured in the Forbes’s “Cloud 100”.

The adoption of these 3 tools has also increased from 2017, when Google Analytics came in tops with 64%, Google Tag Manager was at 54%, and G Suite at 46%.

The Cloud 100 are privately-owned businesses ranked using four factors: valuation (30% weighting), operating metrics (20%), people and culture (15%) and a “market leadership” assessment (35%). The judging panel consists mostly of CEOs from publicly-traded SaaS businesses. While the companies may range in size, anywhere between 60 to over 6,000 employees, they all represent SaaS businesses that have gained attention from both peers and investors.

Marketing Automation is Widespread – But Not Gated Content

Some 59% of the studied businesses are using Marketo, which is up from 48% in 2017 when it was in 3rd place. The B2B nature of these businesses likely explains why a marketing automation platform comes so highly in the rankings. Separate research from Forrester predicts that spending on marketing automation will likely reach $25.1 billion annually by 2023, indicating that these tools are likely to maintain top spots.

However, despite this growth in marketing automation spending, Drift reports that only 27% of companies are using gated content – a core application of marketing automation software. Drift argues that this is a result of the rise of conversational messaging (rising from 15% to 32% adoption in one year). It’s also worth noting that the decline in gated content usage was only 4% points (or 4 companies out of the top 100), indicating that this may not be as dramatic of a shift as reported, particularly since SaaS businesses can use product engagement as a method of lead scoring.

Video Used By The Vast Majority of SaaS Businesses

Previous research from Demand Metric illustrates the enthusiasm for video, as 7 in 10 marketers state that video converts better than any other marketing content, with 69% using the medium for product videos and 59% for demos.

Drift’s study reflects these findings, with 9 out of 10 of businesses in the Cloud 100 frequently producing video content. This also explains why 3 of the top 25 tools are video hosting platforms – YouTube (29%), Vimeo (22%) and Wistia (22%) – with each seeing year-over-year growth in adoption (from 19%, 17%, and 14%, respectively).

To read more about Drift’s findings, access the PDF report here.

About the data: The technology use analysis is based on analysis by Drift of the “Cloud 100” with data collected in Fall 2018 using ClearBit. The Cloud 100 is a list of privately-owned cloud businesses produced by Forbes, Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures based on factors including valuation and operating metrics.

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