At RSG we've just updated some major vendor evaluations in version 3.1 of our Digital Marketing Technology research. Since last year, we've been using the moniker Campaign and Lead Management (CLM) Technology to better hone in on the focus of what we cover: outbound digital marketing.
Version 3.1 Updates
- Updated evaluation chapters
- IBM Silverpop (aka IBM Marketing Cloud)
- You'll also find deep-dive on ten strategic considerations that impact your technology selection choices.
Adobe: Adobe has been making steady progress in integrating the various components of their offering and lay claim to being the "first among equals" when it comes to digital marketing platforms. Some customers consider it to be a pricey offering with potentially limited use-cases.
IBM: IBM sells multiple products. IBM Marketing Cloud (IMC) is the re-branded Silverpop offering. We categorize this not as a platform supporting a plethora of use cases, but more of a suite approach.
Marketo: Marketo has undergone a lot of change itself - it went from being a public company to getting acquired by a private equity company. On the product side, they are clearing off some technical debt (see below for more on Technical Modernity in general) through re-architecting the product and technology infrastructure.
When you decide to go with a particular technology, you don't pick the product based on its functionality alone. You are actually saying yes to the combination of vendor, product, and ecosystem. To help you go beyond the feature-functionality and obtain a more holistic understanding required for your procurement decisions, we also look at ten strategic considerations, grouped into vendor, product, and ecosystem.
Roadmap: Executives intuitively grasp the importance of roadmaps. Here, we assess the vendor's track record on implementing the roadmap and the potential value-add to you as a customer. We also assess whether the roadmap just represents a catch-up with the rest of the industry.
Technical Modernity: This is often overlooked by customers. Particularly in this segment — many products are really acquired products that have been rebranded with a bit of refactoring of the underlying codebase — so, "technical debt" can accumulate really fast. Think of this assessment criteria as warning you against tech lemons.
Value for Money: This evaluates the functional opportunity available vis-a'-vis the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Figure: Strategic Considerations related to a vendor's product. Source: RSG
Taken together, the strategic considerations help you better understand the implicit and explicit trade-offs involved in your procurement decisions. Make sure your technology selection teams are consciously including them in their decisions.