The digital marketing technology world moves quickly. To keep up with the changes, we have just released a major update to our Digital Marketing Technology vendor evaluations.
Version 2.0 of this report finds Adobe, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce cobbling together broad digital marketing capabilities via acquisitions. The research also evaluates key independent players, like Act-On, Marketo, SDL, SilverPop, Sysomos, and more.
We will look at some key themes in future blog posts, but for today, I'll share a bit about our updated methodology.
In this major overhaul to the Digital Marketing Technology evaluation research, we had two goals:
- Many of the large vendors have acquired smaller, stand-alone vendors to create “digital marketing suites”. We wanted to examine if the resulting packages are really "suites" and just how well are these big players adapting to rapidly evolving customer needs?
- To significantly update and revise the evaluation criteria, based on current trends in digital marketing technology marketplace -- social marketing in particular.
For point (1), you will need to review the in-depth critiques for each of those vendors. For now though, here is an overview of the changed structure.
We have always believed that while Marketing Automation and Social Media Analytics are separate technologies, they are part of the broader digital marketing marketplace. There’s a lot of overlap in these two areas and more importantly, the buyer of these two technologies tends to be the same: your CMO, or Marketing Department. More recently, some large vendors have acquired smaller companies in both these areas and have started offering platforms that have functionality for both. Consequently, we now have updated categories of vendors we cover. These are:
- Digital Marketing Platforms: These are very different vendors that share a vision of integrated digital marketing, but come to this space from four very different directions
- Marketing Automation Suites: These are vendors focused on Marketing Automation
- Social Media Analytics (SMA) Platforms: These vendors focus on social media monitoring, intelligence and marketing
To simplify our summaries further and to bring consistency across different vendors, we evaluate all of them on the following Functional Services:
Marketing Automation Services
- Lead Management & Nurturing
- Campaign Management
- Landing Pages
Social Media Analysis Services
- Data Collection & Processing
- Analysis & Presentation
Social Media Marketing Services
- Social Media Site Management
- Social Campaigns
- Influencer Cultivation
- Social Customer Support
As always, we review them in detail as well as provide summary ratings using Harvey Balls. For example, the following table shows ratings for one of the vendors: