• Design Thinking,  News,  Vendor Selection

    Democratic Research

    So – you need to automate important marketing processes in your business, and have begun researching which vendors provide the software your business will require for optimal functionality and strategy. 

    The good news? You’re not the only one who has travelled down that research path, and Research Reports can be an excellent source of information supporting your marketing automation decision. 

    The bad news? These report shouldn’t be taken at face-value, it’s important to understand the behind-the-scenes of each to determine just how big a grain of salt you are reading.

    There is a multitude of research report types so let’s categorize them at the highest level. On one end of the spectrum, you have the Analyst POV Reports with industry analyst expertise and in-depth research. On the other end, we have Crowd-Sourced Reports in which rankings are driven by the quality and quantity of user reviews. 

    Analyst POV Reports

    Pros: The research and evaluation processes here cannot be understated – the “Tier One” industry analysts who do this work are experts in their field and seriously know their stuff. They sit through strategy and product presentations/demos and some even get feedback from referenced customers. The vendors invest days of time and resources to provide the right information to the analyst. Of course, many also sign up as clients and engage with the analyst on an ongoing basis to optimize the relationship. 

    Spoiler Alert: In my time as Research Director at Forrester, I had an analyst in my team who only advised and consulted about how to execute the process of Analyst Relations (it’s part of B2B Marketing after all) – including how to get yourself placed in an optimal position in a quadrant or wave analysis.  

    Cons: The Analyst POV Report is offered to the research firm’s clients, which are usually large enterprises (that fact also influences the list of vendors included, of course). These are smaller communities than is often assumed. Usually, the readership of each report behind their paywall is perhaps in the hundreds – one vendor client told me that the latest two reports where his product was featured had 480 and just 58 views on the research website.

    That can be a little depressing to the analyst – all that work and so little attention. Of course, the brand power, and resulting product-marketing ego, of being in a “Magic Quadrant” or “Forrester Wave” means that some vendors buy reprint-licenses and offer a download of the report through their  website. And they book the analyst to make speeches/webinars about the research – a little show business that compensates for the initial disappointment perhaps. 

    Some of the vendors are just happy to be in the report, regardless of whether they are positioned well or not. Here is an example of someone who bought a license –even though Gartner had rated eight vendors higher than them in Execution capabilities. 

    Crowd-Sourced Reports

    Pros: It’s probably also helpful to seek out feedback from other users; peers who share the good, bad, and everything in between about a product. There are several such feedback websites now up and running for all types of software applications, including marketing. 

    Cons: Have you ever looked up your favorite restaurant on Yelp, noticed a few one-star reviews, and wondered how they could come to such contrasting conclusions? A single review (good or bad) shouldn’t dictate your software-buying decision, just like with any other product. Remember: User opinions have varying levels of actual marketing automation understanding–that is to say, just because someone writes a review does not make them an expert in the field.

    Additionally, report rankings are driven by the quality and quantity of user reviews. If a company has a few hundred reviews with a high rating average, and another has a few thousand reviews with above-average ratings, it is likely the latter will position better in the report due to the sheer number of reviews. This is a huge advantage for larger vendors that have been on the market for a long time, and it’s likely they have review incentive programs to boost their ranking.

    Well, What About Something In-Between ?

    We’ve created a different methodology at my business partner Research in Action. We survey 1,500 practitioners about THEIR view of a vendor’s product, service, value-for-money, and ability to innovate. The vendors who score highly enough in the survey qualify to get into the Vendor Selection Matrix™ report (usually 15 to 20 vendors). 

    Then, that curated market feedback is flavored with a touch of industry analyst expertise to provide a more well-rounded recipe for successful vendor selection. In fact, much more than the quadrant or wave reports, these reports are embellished with several pages of trends insights that inform both buyers and vendors alike about what is most important when investing in the upcoming project. 

    Democratic Research is In-Between and Open 

    When Research in Action publishes its (my) reports, they are made available to several communities, for free:

    • Survey respondents. The 1,500 marketing software decision-makers who answered the survey questions are provided with the full report as feedback
    • Survey panel. Research in Action maintains an active survey panel on a global basis with contact details and topics of interest: a current total of 90,000 Marketing Automation decision-makers. These panel members are informed of the report and can download it if desired
    • Website visitors. Any viewers of the Research-in-Action website sees a “public version” without the exact scores and matrix placements of each vendor (to save their embarrassment) but with all insights and the most important facts on each vendor.  
    • Vendor reprints. Research-in-Action does also license reprints, where a vendor can distribute a copy of the report, including their detailed profile, to interested parties. 

    As an analyst, I am proud that so many people now get to see my work. And, when I am booked to do speeches and webinars, I realize that they are booking me personally, not the brand power. 

    The Vendor Selection Matrix™ reports do fill that gap between an industry analyst report focused on large enterprise needs, and the “trip-advisor” type of review websites. They also reach and assist a broader community of software buyers. Lastly, the community reading the reports is probably a whole order of magnitude higher than the audience able to access the “Tier One” research reports.    

    Here is our latest Market Impact statistics chart.

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • Channel Marketing and Enablement,  Marketing Lead Management,  Partner Management Automation,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Wettbewerbslandschaften in 2020

    Im Laufe des letzten Jahres habe ich in Rahmen meiner Arbeit mit Research in Action viele verschiedene Anbieter-Wettbewerbslandschaften aufgedeckt – DIESE WERDEN IM FOLGENDEN AUFGELISTET. Ich habe Tausende von Marketer zur Automatisierung ihrer Geschäftsprozesse befragt und mit fast 200 Marketing-Software-Anbietern gesprochen. 2020 wurde ich von deutlich mehr Anbietern gebrieft als im Vorjahr, als ich meine Tätigkeit als unabhängiger Analyst anfing. Dies ist sehr erfreulich aber verlängert dadurch auch die jeweiligen Projekte.

    Die Marketing-Fachleute einiger Anbieter trafen häufig Aussagen oft wie: „Merkwürdig, dass Anbieter auf ihrer Liste sind, welche ich selten wahrnehme und gegen welche ich meiner Meinung nach nicht konkurriere“. Dies begründet sich darin, da ich zu Beginn des Interviews einen Marketingprozess beschreibe und die Teilnehmenden dazu befrage, mit welchen Anbietern sie bei diesem Prozess zusammenarbeiten. Ich versuche hierbei Kategorie-Begriffe zu vermeiden, welche von anderen Analysten oder Produktmanagern erfunden wurden, da Vermarkter in der Regel nicht in diesen Kategorien denken (dies ist eher eine IT-zentrische Eigenschaft). Wir befragten weltweit Unternehmen vom Mittelstand bis zum Großunternehmen, während einige Anbieter ein sehr spezifisches Zielmarktsegment haben. 

    Die Herausforderung für Software-Vermarkter bleibt jedoch bestehen: Fokussiert man sich auf hervorragende Leistung in einer Kategorie oder darauf, von Marketing Fachleuten gefunden zu werden, welche Lösungen für Fragen der Automatisierung suchen. Manchmal können sich diese Ziele und Taktiken sogar gegenseitig behindern. 

    Im Folgenden werden die Vendor Landscapes (Anbieter-Wettbewerbslandschaften) dargestellt, welche im Rahmen meiner globalen prozessorientierten Umfragen gefunden wurden. Allerdings, habe ich auch ab und zu, den deutschen Markt auch untersucht. Die Anbieter sind nach ihrem jeweiligen Ranking in der Grafik “Vendor Selection Matrix” aufgelistet.  

    Channel Marketing und Enablement (Nov 2019). “Channel” bedeutet in diesem Fall Geschäftspartner, nicht Marketingkanal. Basierend auf dieser Liste habe ich auch Berichte zu den Themen Partner Relationship Management (PRM) und Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) verfasst. Dieses Thema wird häufig auch Local Marketing gennant. Das dramatischste Feedback, welches ich für diesen Bericht erhielt war die Drohung eines Anbieters, mich zu verklagen. Dieser wehrte sich dagegen nicht auf Platz 1 gelistet zu sein und behauptete, dass er mir (oder seinen 124 Kunden) nicht die Erlaubnis gegeben habe, über ihn zu sprechen/schreiben.

    IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), BRANDMAKER ( #1 Customer Satisfaction), TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS, CHANNELEXPERTS, BRANDMUSCLE, ELATERAL, ANSIRA, SPROUTLOUD, BRIDGELINE DIGITAL, NETSERTIVE, CHANNELKONNECT 

    Marketing Lead Management (März 2020). Oft einfach als Marketing-Automation genannt, MLM Prozesse werden in Marketing- und Vertriebsabteilungen angewandt, um die Sammlung von unqualifizierten Kontakten zu unterstützen. Darüber Hinaus beschreiben Sie die Möglichkeiten von diversen Marketing Werkzeugen wie direkter Post oder Email Antwort, Datenbank Marketing Programmen, anderen mehrkanaligen Marketingkampagnen, Offline Interaktionen wie Seminare oder Messen, Kontakte aus Sozialen Medien und Web-Seiten. 

    MARKETO (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ACT-ON (#1 Price/Value), HUBSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CREATIO (#1 Price/Value), ORACLE, SAP, ADOBE, SALESFORCE, RIGHT-ON INTERACTIVE, PEGASYSTEMS, EVERGAGE, SALESFUSION, SUGARCRM, ZOHO, CRM NEXT  

    Sales Engagement Management (Mai 2020). Marketing spielt eine zunehmend aktive Rolle in der Befähigung des Vertriebspersonals, welche durch die robusten Werkzeugen einer All-in-one Plattform möglichst produktiv mit kompetenten Käufern und Kunden interagieren können.

    SEISMIC (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), CLEARSLIDE (#1 Price/Value), SHOWPAD, BRAINSHARK (#1 Price/Value), HIGHHSPOT, SALESPHERE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BIGTINCAN, SAP, , MEDIAFLY, PITCHER, SALESLOFT, APPAROUND, ZOOMIFIER, PROLIFIQ, ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES

    Digitale Marketing-Service-Provider (Aug 2020). Wir wollten befragen Marketing-Fachleute nach den Dienstleistern, mit denen sie bei ihren digitalen Marketing-Projekten zusammenarbeiten. 

    …aber wie nennen wir dieses Ungetüm? Marketing-Agentur … Marketing-Berater … Marketing-Systemintegrator (SI) … Media-Agentur … Full-Service-Agentur … Digital-Agentur … Digital Experience Agency …

    Dann erinnerte ich mich an einen Forschungsbericht, den ich im Jahr 2011 veröffentlichte mit dem Titel “The Emergence of the Digital Marketing Service Provider (DMSP) – Der Aufstieg der Digitalen Marketing Service Provider“. Dieser basiert auf einem Beratungsprojekt, welches ich gerade durchgeführt hatte. Meinen Forrester Kollegen gefiel diese Terminologie zum Teil nicht, jedoch erhielt ich daraufhin viele Anfragen und Aufträge von Marketing-Agenturen, welche mehr IT-Fertigkeiten in ihrem Angebot anstrebten und traditionellen Systemintegratoren, welche ihr kreatives Angebot erweitern wollten. Die Bezeichnung DMSP reichte für diese Befragung aus und lieferte zufriedenstellende Ergebnisse – wir lernten jedoch auch, dass diese DMSP’s wenig oder gar kein eigenes Marketing betrieben, so dass der Bericht vergleichsweise wenig Resonanz erhielt. Außerdem ist zu erwähnen, dass ich besonders erfreut war zu sehen, dass der Anbieter VALTECH, auf welchen ich den Forrester-Bericht von 2011 stützte, die Umfrageergebnisse anführt (VALTECH kenne ichseit sie in den 1990er Jahren ein HP-Hardware-Reseller waren).

    VALTECH (#1 insgesamt), R/GA, HUGE, MERKLE, 10PEARLS, CAPTECH, ICFNEXT, MPHASIS, EPAM, PROXIMITY, PUBLICIS SAPIENT, CRITICAL MASS, MULLENLOW PROFERO, PERKUTO, LEADMD, KIN & CARTER, CI&T, PEDOWITZ GROUP, THOUGHTWORKS, DIALEXA

    Übrigens – Die obige Recherche ergab: Das Selbstmarketing von DMSP’s ist noch sehr dürftig und ausbaubar.

    Digitale Marketing-Service-Provider – Deutschland (Sep 2020). Hier ist die Liste aus den deutsche Erhebung

    SINNERSCHRADER (#1 insgesamt), INTIVE, VALTECH, NAMICS, R/GA, PLAN.NET, EPAM, TWT DIGITAL, MPHASIS, PUBLICIS SAPIENT 

    Marketing Resource Management (Okt. 2020). Marketing-Führungskräfte sollten, wie alle Führungskräfte, stets den vollen Überblick über die Planung und Effektivität aller von ihnen eingesetzten Unternehmensressourcen haben. Der Marketing Ressourcen Management (MRM) Prozess verwaltet alle Marketing-Assets (Vermögenswerte) und hilft bei der Entwicklung von Plänen und Budgets für Marketinginitiativen. Da dieses Thema noch nicht vollständig ausgereift und implementiert ist, entdeckten wir eine Wettbewerbslandschaft mit einer Mischung aus verschiedensten Anbietern. Manche Anbieter verwalten einige Typen von Vermögenswerten, andere verwalten Ressourcen für bestimmte Projekte und eine dritte Gruppe von Anbietern verwaltet das gesamte Spektrum an digitalen Vermögenswerten, Talenten, Budgets und Projekten.

    BRANDMAKER (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), PERCOLATE BY SEISMIC (#1 Price/Value), APRIMO, WORKFRONT (#1 Price/Value), CONTENTSERV, ALLOCADIA, BRANDMASTER, SITECORE (#1 Sitecore), ELATERAL, WEDIA, INFOR, SAS, BIZIBLE, SAP, BRANDMUSCLE

    Kundendaten-Management (Dez. 2020). Die Wettbewerbslandschaft für Kundendaten (Customer-Data) Management (CDM) besteht aus einer bunten Mischung von Anbietern mit den unterschiedlichsten Behauptungen zum Nutzen ihrer Dienstleistungen: Datenkonsolidierung, Sammeln ganzer Clickstreams, Erstellen eines “Golden Record” durch Identitätsauflösung, Ermöglichen von intelligentem Engagement und Identitäts-Tagging. Zudem unterscheiden sich die Herausforderungen eines effektiven Kundendaten-Managements vom B2C- zum B2B-Spektrum, was in dem Bericht ausführlich analysiert und beschrieben wird. 

    TEALIUM (#1 Gesamt, #1 Preis/Wert), AQUIA (#1 Kundenzufriedenheit), EVERGAGE, SITECORE (#1 Preis/Wert), CXENSE, ACTIONIQ, ADOBE, REDPOINT GLOBAL, EULERIAN, BLUECONIC, COMMANDERS ACT, SALESFORCE, NGDATA, ORACLE

    Zögern Sie nicht mich zu kontaktieren, Feedback und Kommentare gerne an poneill@marchnata.eu

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • ABM,  DAM,  Marketing Lead Management,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Data (ABM) now drives B2B Marketing

    My work on several projects in the last months has led me to this one clear conclusion. I recently issued a report on Customer Data Management profiling the Top 15 vendors automating this process for marketers in many different types of companies, including B2B organizations. I have also done extensive surveys and practitioner interviews for B2B marketing for their Propolis community on martech, marketing operations and customer experience. And next month, I’ll publish my report on Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Heh! I’ve been so active that Onalytica now list me as a data analyst

    It is clear that technology can now “read” a marketplace and name exactly those companies that are “in market” for a certain topic (ie. have a budget and firm intent to invest). And it can produce a profile of all decision makers in each company (account), documenting exactly that person’s decision criteria and/or preferences plus, perhaps, their recent research history (what other offers are they considering, how much information do they have). 

    That does make me shudder a little – that was exactly what I did as a field marketer personality, always in contact with vendors and users alike, working for HP Germany during the 1990s.

    It now looks like data now rules the roost in B2B marketing. Success no longer depends on creative events or content, or persuasion by charismatic sales people, marketing success is now data-driven. 

    Here is what my ABM report will say……

    ABM has spread across all B2B sectors

    ABM technologies were first adopted in the software industry but are now being deployed in financial services, healthcare and now, increasingly, in the health care and manufacturing sectors. The trend towards digital marketing, tooled by technology advances in website and general data analytics, and now accelerated by the COVID-19 business environment, has motivated all these B2B businesses to collect as much behavioral and profile data about individual buying decision makers as possible, and then to:

    • Post localized contextual content marketing programs to profiled visitors
    • Send personalized/specific digital marketing content to individual prospects
    • Capture prospects who may have left the website unsatisfied by re-targeting 
    • Gather and calculate “propensity to buy” data and provide this data to sellers 
    • Aggregate digital behavior across a buying team to provide guidance to marketing and sales.

    ABM platforms help marketing to play its role in revenue success. Leading-edge CMOs now favor an ecommerce model and focus on customer experience, all of which requires an ABM approach. Even digital advertising has become fundamental for B2B marketers, and ABM software supports ad-targeting by either providing native advertising capabilities or at least enabling integrations with partner solutions.

    ABM is how B2B marketing should be

    B2B sellers work at an account level and most B2B projects involve large and complex buying centers and decision processes. So mature B2B CMOs now focus on account-based work, developing and maintaining engagement with important contacts in target accounts. Account-based marketing and selling is how B2B marketing should work, mixing digital and human communication. 

    ABM platforms could become the new marketing backbone system

    ABM continues to be the most-used promotional acronym by marketing software vendors with well over 90 software vendors claiming to provide ABM-specific functionality and it is a highly-active playing field for venture capital investors. The leading ABM platform vendors have product roadmaps to expand into a wide range of engagement channels, including direct mail and campaign personalization. Currently, most users connect ABM systems to the (older) incumbent marketing lead management (MLM) platform to cover that. But most MLMs have been slow to embrace ABM so, as martech budgets tighten, ABM urgency could drive MLM vendors out of their market. 

    The ABM nomenclature will fade out in the near-term. 

    B2B marketing will end up being 100% account-based in its digital marketing, informed and optimized by data collected about those accounts. This will remove the need for the ABM label – the new system of engagement is, essentially, the (ABM-based) B2B marketing cloud with data as the hub: an account-based go-to-market platform. 

    We plan to publish the report on April 12th. I can reveal now that the global survey of 1,500 practitioners scored these vendors as Market Leaders (a score of over 4/5 on both the Strategy and Execution axis): 6SENSE, DEMANDBASE, KWANZOO, JABMO, MADISON LOGIC, MRP, TECHTARGET, and TERMINUS.

    Contact me if you’d like to hear more about this ABM research, including the other ABM vendors selected and scored in our global survey of 1,500 practitioners.  

    Always keeping you informed !  Peter

  • ABM,  DAM,  News,  Vendor Selection,  Web Experience Management

    Propensity to Switch DAM, DX and ABM Vendors

    I have collected several new Recommendation Index (RI) values from my recent Vendor Selection MatrixTMreports on Digital Asset Management, Digital Experience Management and ABM. Remember, a few months ago I suggested that this is a significant leading-indicator of long-term customer satisfaction but also, more importantly, of the propensity to switch vendors.

    (picture source: iStock.com/PrettyVectors

    The RI (the simple percentage of respondents who answer “yes, I would recommend this vendor to my peers in this market”) encapsulates a longer- term, more strategic element of customer satisfaction – essentially it is a measurement of customer loyalty. It is for that reason that we have included the points earned through the RI score in our Strategy axis on the matrix and give it a significant 25% weighting.

    The data below shows that the vendors listed in our Digital Asset Management (DAM) landscape include several that should feel threatened by a propensity to switch. Our survey also showed that 51% of the respondents were planning to consolidate their many and disparate DAM vendors – always a moment of truth for a supplier if your client is not really satisfied with their overall experience. 

    Next week we will publish our report on the top Digital Experience Management (DXM) vendors as rated by our global survey of 1,500 practitioners. There is, indeed, already a lot of churn in this market as businesses race to replace their older web content management platforms with a more capable and holistic DXM solution. The large enterprise application software vendors may have provided “good-enough” platforms till now, but most businesses driving and accelerating their digital transformation are more likely to turn to specialist providers in the future. 

    Here is a sneak preview of my next report, on Account-Based Marketing which is coming out later this quarter. The table shows an impressive scoring of all Recommendation Index values in the 90s but four are below the 95% number that I would set as an alert.  

    Vendors. I think that any RI 95% or over is satisfactory but an RI between 90-94% should raise some alarm signals about your customers’ emerging propensity to switch, while below 90% is already a state of alarm.

    Buyers. There is nothing stopping you interpreting the numbers in a similar manner. 

    If you want to see further tables, The first blog last year had data for Marketing Lead Management, Sales Engagement Management, and Marketing Resource Management vendors. The second post shows data on Customer Data Management vendors.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • DAM,  News,  Vendor Selection

    I am an Influencer

    One of the challenges working as an independent analyst is explaining what I do now – especially in a private environment. When you work for a company, people associate your work easily with whatever that firm is famous for. Now I need to much more explaining about the potential outcome of my work. 

    I actually considered adopting the persona of a “B2B Marketing Influencer” when I started out … but got nervous of people seeing me as some sort of blogger testing perfumes, clothes or something else.  

    But that role is, slowly but surely, becoming important in our business world. When I hear myself describe the “market impact” of our Vendor Selection MatrixTM reports to software vendors (“We work with a panel of 100,000 marketing decision-makers”; “Our reports get 15,000 clicks on average”), perhaps that is the role that I fulfilling now. These reports are “influential” because we combine real feedback from 1,500 practitioners and with a seasoned Analyst’s point of view and experience. 

    The software vendor Onalytica offers an influencer marketing software platform that connects brands with topical influencer communities and helps them to scale and structure influencer programs globally. Many of the brands working with this software are B2B vendors and providers. This is what they have to say in their 2019 The Complete Guide to Industry and B2B Influencer Marketing :

    Influencer Marketing is now at a point where we no longer feel the need to explain why it is important, it  has become an integral strategy for Industry and B2B Marketing. Influencer Marketing was voted the 2nd

    most important trend for B2B Marketing according to research released by Raconteur in July 2019 interviewing 214 senior B2B Marketers across North America and Europe.

    Add to this that WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) has been around for as long as humans have. When we have a positive or negative experience with a brand, we are inclined to share that with our peers.

    WOMM results in 5x more sales than paid media and people are 90% more likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s recommendation. Influencer Marketing is no longer the “nice to have”, but rather the “must have” strategy.  

    Onalytica cleverly beats their own drum by periodically publishing a Who is Who report for a certain topic where they discover the most influential experts using Onalytica’s 4 Rs methodology (Reach, Resonance, Relevance and Reference) based upon quantitative data pulled through LinkedIn, Twitter, Personal Blogs, YouTube, Podcast, and Forbes channels, plus qualitative data pulled by their insights and analytics team to  capture offline influence. All these influential experts are categorised by influencer persona, the sector they work in, their role within that sector, and more from a curated database of 1m+ influencers.

    That sounds like powerful stuff. Which is why I was so pleased to be included in their latest report on Data Management. My Vendor Selection MatrixTM on Customer Data Management came out in December and I seem to have hit on a hot topic at exactly the right time. As well as the more harmless self-publicity thrusts I make via Twitter, LinkedIn, and the Research in Action and marchnata websites, there is a hive of dialogue going on with both vendors and buyers, which their tools picked up. I also published a report on Digital Asset Management in January which is having a similar impact. Somehow, that got me into the Analysts category of the top Influencers for the topic. I am listed there among illustrious full-time experts (remember, I cover various topics within marketing process automation during the year) working for the giants of my industry. 

    I have never briefed Onalytica, not even talked to them. When they published the report, they could not even email me but had to send out a Twitter post. 

    Here below is the page where I feature. The full report (free but gated) is available here

    The Who’s Who in Data Management page which includes me

    Always Keeping You Informed !  Peter

  • News,  Vendor Selection

    Propensity to Switch CDM Vendors

    A few months ago, I had collected together all the Recommendation Index (RI) values from my 2020 Vendor Selection MatrixTM reports on various marketing process automation topics. I had proposed that I see this becoming a significant leading indicator of long-term customer satisfaction but also, more importantly, of the propensity to switch indicated by customers. It is for that reason that we have included the points earned through the RI score in our Strategy axis on the matrix and give it a significant 25% weighting. 

    in our surveys, we actually ask about two items directly related to customer retention: the current satisfaction, and the “would you recommend this vendor?” question. Customer satisfaction is defined as a measurement that determines how happy customers are right now with the solution being evaluated and flows into the Execution axis of the matrix. 

    The RI (the simple percentage of respondents who answer “yes”) encapsulates a longer- term, more strategic element of customer satisfaction – essentially it is a measurement of customer loyalty.

    Vendors. I think that any RI 95% or over is satisfactory, an RI between 90-94% should raise some alarm signals about your customers’ emerging propensity to switch, while below 90% is already a state of alarm.

    Buyers. There is nothing stopping you interpreting the numbers in a similar manner. 

    The first blog had the data for Marketing Lead Management, Sales Engagement Management, and 

    Marketing Resource Management vendors. Here is the data from my latest report on Customer Data Management. The table shows quite a range of Recommendation Index values — but all in the 90s. However, as this is a relatively new area of investment and quite a few companies (users) are still creating, developing and/or tuning their CDM strategy, there is likely to be some churn in this market segment over the next years.    

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • News,  Vendor Selection

    Managing Your Customer Data

    Providing an optimal customer experience is impossible without having a unified Customer Data Management (CDM) process in place. The CDM process is the consolidation and aggregation of all data that is being collected in separate systems across the company about a customer, down to the individual level. This is not an IT-centric data warehouse or data lakes approach — ideally it should be a Marketing-led CDM initiative, helping to ensure the data unification project is focused directly on marketing requirements. But that is not always the case, as I hear from many of my marketing executive clients. 

    So, “who leads the CDM project” was one of the questions I asked in my latest global survey and the results of that and other questions are written up in my new Vendor Selection Matrix report on Customer Data Management, to be published later in the week. As always, this report is based upon feedback from 1,500 businesses globally plus my view of the each vendor’s strategy and viability. I report that:

    • Nearly 80% of CDM initiatives are marketing-led projects and over two-thirds of the projects are top-down projects that serve the complete enterprise.  
    • In depth interviews reveal that Consent Management becomes a critical driver for CDM investments. Legislation like the CCPA and GDPR require marketers to be completely transparent on how they use customer data. But, in addition to compliance pressure, another driver of transparency for the marketers is establishing brand trust. I expect data ethics processes to become routine in the deployment of many marketing technologies.
    • Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will drives CDM adoption in B2B. Even large enterprises with ABM projects admit that their biggest success inhibitor is “lack of deep customer insights”.  Often, they rely on tactical predictive analytics vendors instead of addressing the fundamental CDM challenge. Capable CDM vendors can win more B2B customers with effective thought leadership programs on this topic.

    Now, depending on how much you believe the claims, there are between 120 and 150 vendors with CDM solutions, often calling their software Customer Data Platforms (CDP). We also asked the respondents to give us their feedback about those CDM vendors they know enough about. The resulting vendor landscape for CDM is a broad mix of vendors with a wide variety of claims: data consolidation, collecting entire clickstreams, creating a “golden record” through identity resolution, enabling intelligent engagement, and identity tagging. The CDM challenge varies across the B2C and B2B spectrum and also differs by company size, which we describe in detail in the report.

    Who came out on top? Well, these are the Top 15 vendors as selected by the 1,500 surveyed based upon their rating of product, company and service quality (listed alphabetically):

    Acquia, ActionIQ, Adobe, BlueConic, Commanders Act, CXSense, Eulerian, Evergage, NGData, Oracle, Quaero, Redpoint Global, Salesforce, Sitecore, Tealium.

    Although CXSense and Evergage have since been acquired by Piano and Salesforce respectively, I have left their scores in the matrix for completeness. Time will tell whether the brand prevails or becomes absorbed into the larger corporate identity. 

    Remember, our research discovers a “vendor landscape” – those vendors most highly regarded by users for automation of the process (or family of processes) we discuss in the survey. Due to geographical, segmentation and functional differences, it is not always a list of direct competitors. In fact, some respondents deploy two or more vendors to cover their needs.

    If you would like to see more of the report, such as the individual vendor profile sheets and full scoring schema, please contact me.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • Marketing Lead Management,  News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Messung der Tendenz zum Anbieter-Wechsel

    Der digitale Marketing Service Provider Accenture Interactive hat vergangenes Jahr interessante Forschung zum Thema SERVICE IS THE NEW SALES veröffentlicht. Sie weist darauf hin, dass 44% der B2B Käufer in den letzten 12 Monaten den Vendor (Anbieter) gewechselt haben und stellt fest, dass die stärksten und differenziertesten B2B Beziehungen durch Erfahrungen gekennzeichnet sind, welche Mensch und digitale Mittel verbinden und dadurch ein tiefere und personalisiertere Art von Dienstleistung erschaffen. 

    Die Forschung identifizierte einen Bruch zwischen Käufer-Erwartungen und durchschnittlichen Käufer-Erfahrungen, welcher den Trend zum Vendor-Wechsel untermauert. Diese Entkopplung bedeutet auch, dass Käufer häufig Wege finden bestehende Vendor-Beziehungen einzusparen und neue Beziehungen zu eröffnen, welche ihre Bedürfnisse effizienter abdecken. Die Hauptgründe für Wechsel waren: nicht wettbewerbsfähige Preispolitik, lange Vorlaufzeiten für Lieferung und Erfüllung des Auftrags, verpasste Liefertermine, Mangel an Integration zwischen Vertriebs-Kanälen und notdürftige Commerce-Funktionalität. 

    Die globale Accenture Studie deckte verschiedene B2B Kategorien ab, allerdings höre ich häufig auch sehr ähnlichen Erkenntnissen in meinen Diskussionen mit Marketing Fachleuten zu ihren Software Vendors. 

    Ich habe über die letzten 18 Monate hinweg in Kooperation mit meinem Geschäftspartner von Research in Action einige Vendor-Wettbewerbslandschaften im Rahmen von Vendor Selection Matrix Berichten aufgedeckt. In diesen Projekten interviewten wir tausende Marketing-Fachleute zu ihrer Optimierung von Geschäftsprozessen und, seit Beginn diesen Jahres, ob sie die verwendeten Vendor weiterempfehlen würden – ganz einfach: ja oder nein. Wir nennen den daraus resultierenden Indikator: Der Research in Action Recommendation Index (RI). 

    Im Laufe der Zeit beobachten wir, wie unser Recommendation Index ein bedeutender Indikator für die Kundenzufriedenheit und der Tendenz zum Vendor-Wechsel darstellt. Ich werde die aktuellen RI Werte für die genannten Vendors der letzten 6 Monate auflisten und regelmäßig aktualisieren. 

    Anbieter. Ich denke dass ein RI von 95% oder mehr zufriedenstellend ist, bei einem RI zwischen 90-94% sollten Alarmglocken läuten, da Kunden eventuell zu einem Vendor-Wechsel tendieren und ein RI von unter 90% deutet klar auf einen Alarmzustand hin. 

    Käufer. Nichts hält sie auf, die Daten in einer ähnlichen Art und Weise zu interpretieren. 

    Die nachfolgenden Daten zeigen deutlich, dass klassische Marketing-Automatisierungs-Vendor in unserer Marketing-Lead-Management Wettbewerbslandschaft meistens durch eine Tendenz zum Vendor-Wechsel bedroht werden, mit Ausnahme der Firma Marketo. Diese Vendors werden durch neue innovative Anbieter gefährdet, welche von CX, Kunden Engagement oder sogar ABM sprechen und die MLM Funktionalität mit Routineuntersuchungen absichern.

    Viele der Vertriebs-Engagement-Management-Vendor (Sales Engagement Management) haben zudem kaum langfristige Kunden. Tatsächlich lassen sich eine Vielzahl von Wechseln zu geeigneteren SEM-Lösungen beobachten. Lediglich Brainshark, Clearslide, Seismic und Showpad besitzen eine treue Gefolgschaft an Kunden.

    Hier ist der Auszug aus meinem aktuellen Bericht zum Thema Marketing-Ressourcen-Managment. Die Tabelle zeigt nur eindrucksvollen Scores der Recommendation Index Werte in den 90ern.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • Brand Content Management,  DAM,  News,  Vendor Selection

    Managing All Marketing Resources

    Here it is – my Vendor Selection Matrix report on Marketing Resources Management. Modern CMOs or Marketing Directors are now responsible for a more extensive operation, some are even measured on revenue contribution. So, as with any business executive, they should have full responsibility for the planning and effectiveness of their business resources. For a marketing, those resources fall into these categories: money or costs, people or talent (internal and external talent), content assets and brand. 

    Enter  “Marketing Resource Management” (MRM). MRM is still in its adoption infancy — If you google MRM, you’ll be informed about Magnetic Resonance in Medicine or guided to the marketing agency MRM/McCann. Capterra does have 28 MRM Software offerings in its directory though. And my esteemed ex-colleagues at Forrester produced a Forrester Wave on MRM in 2019 that focused on the needs of enterprise B2C organizations above $1 billion in revenue and identified eight vendors with more than 25 such installations.  Although MRM is infant, the vendors are mostly experienced and established providers – their Recommendation Index and, indeed, overall scores are outstanding compared to my other marketing automation

    As always, this report is based upon feedback from 1,500 businesses globally plus my view of the each vendor’s strategy and viability. Here are the report highlights:

    • MRM is used to help to define marketing plans, collect and share marketing assets, execute on campaigns, and track marketing assets across print and digital channels. It also manages marketing budgets, tracks actual costs and supports the campaign planning process. It provides a single unified system for all marketing material, which in turn ensures consistency of branding and messaging. It also enables marketers to create workflows and processes to streamline marketing operations. 
    • The resulting vendor landscape for MRM is a mix of vendors managing some asset types, ones that manage mainly project resources, plus those vendors who do manage the full range of digital assets, talent, budgets and projects.  
    • There is a clear gradient of project maturity across the landscape. Many marketing departments are still only managing content and digital assets and operating as a cost center. Over time, some organizations mature into fully accounted-for revenue centers where the CMO needs visibility into all project work and all types of resources deployed. This maturity model is reflected within the maturity S-Curve shown in this report: moving from PIM and DAM projects to a more “universal content management” system; then adding costs and talent to achieve MRM; before progressing further with a Customer Data Management project and, ultimately, being able to do full Marketing Performance Management. 
    • There are generally three broad types of MRM projects: asset and people management , spend management, and workflow management; with four categories of resources managed: cost, talent, content, and brand.  The relative importance of each resource category in a planned MRM project will often determine which solution fits best, so our report lists the resources managed by each vendor profiled.
    • Who came out on top? The top five vendors rated by the users for MRM in 2020 are (listed alphabetically) Aprimo , BrandMakerContentservPercolate by Seismic, and Workfront.
    • The vendors Allocadia, Bizible (Adobe), BrandMaster, BrandMuscle, Elateral, Infor, SAS, SAP, Sitecore, and Wedia complete the list of vendors who were named by the 1500 business professionals.

    Remember, our research discovers a “vendor landscape” – those vendors most highly regarded by users for automation of the process (or family of processes) we discuss in the survey. Due to geographical, segmentation and functional differences, it is not always a list of direct competitors. In fact, some respondents deploy at least two to cover their needs.

    If you would like to see more of the report, such as the individual vendor profile sheets and full scoring schema, please contact me.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • Marketing Lead Management,  News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Measuring The Propensity to Switch Vendors

    The Digital Marketing Service Provider, Accenture Interactive, published some interesting research last year entitled SERVICE IS THE NEW SALES. It points out that 44% of B2B buyers have switched sellers in the past 12 months and suggest that the strongest, most differentiated B2B relationships are driven by experiences that connect human and digital means to provide a deeper, more personalized level of service.

    The research identified a rift between buyers’ expectations and average seller experiences, underpinning the cited and unprecedented seller-switching trend. This disconnect means buyers are often finding ways of obsoleting existing vendor relationships and welcoming new disruptors in order to best serve their needs. The major reasons for switching were: uncompetitive pricing, long lead times for delivery and fulfilment, missed delivery dates, lack of integration between sales channels, and even poor commerce functionality. 

    The Accenture survey was global and, while their survey was across many different B2B categories, I also hear many of these comments from marketers when talking about their software vendors. 

    Over the past 18 months, I’ve discovered many separate vendor landscapes in my own Vendor Selection Matrix reports with my business partner Research in Action. In these projects, I’ve interviewed thousands of marketers on their business processes automation and, since earlier this year, we have been asking the marketers whether or not they would recommend the vendor they have provided feedback about to their peers. We call the resulting indicator: the Research in Action Recommendation Index (RI).   

    Over time, we see our Recommendation Index becoming a significant leading indicator of customer satisfaction and also propensity to switch. So I thought I would list out the current RI values for vendors mentioned in the last 6 months and provide an update on a regular basis in the future. 

    Vendors. I think that any RI 95% or over is satisfactory, an RI between 90-94% should raise some alarm signals about your customers’ emerging propensity to switch, while below 90% is a state of alarm.

    Buyers. There is nothing stopping you interpreting the numbers in a similar manner. 

    The data below shows clearly that the classical Marketing Automation vendors listed in our Marketing Lead Management landscape are mostly threatened by a propensity to switch, with perhaps the exception of Marketo. These vendors are being threatened by new innovative vendors who talk about CX, customer engagement or even ABM and cover the MLM functionality as a routine orchestration component.  

    Many of the Sales Engagement Management vendors also have a precarious customer standing. There is, indeed, a lot of churn in this market as businesses replace their initial investment with a more suitable SEM solution. But Brainshark, Clearslide, Seismic and Showpad have a more loyal following.

    Here is even a sneak preview of my next report, on Marketing Resource Management which is coming out later this month. The table shows an impressive scoring of all Recommendation Index values in the 90s.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter