• News,  Vendor Selection

    Who is a Digital Marketing Service Provider ?

    I’m having fun with my latest vendor selection matrix where I asked marketing practitioners about the service providers they work with on their digital marketing automation projects. The first challenge when designing the survey was: what do we call this beast? 

    Marketing Agency … Marketing Consultant …. Marketing Systems Integrator (SI)  …Media Agency …. Full Service Agency ….. Digital Agency …. Digital Experience Agency …..

    Then I remembered a project I did way back in 2011 (at Forrester) for a company I’d known for 15 years already, initially as a boring old HP Value-Ad-Reseller. They’d noted they were doing more and more marketing software projects; decided to review their overall strategy/positioning with my help; and subsequently relaunched successfully as a “global digital agency focused on business transformation”. 

    And I used that work (with permission) to publish a research report called “The Emergence of the Digital Marketing Service Provider (DMSP)”. My Forrester colleagues didn’t like the term but I had lots of calls and engagement afterwards with both marketing agencies, who wanted to add more IT skills to their offering, and traditional SIs wanting to expand their creative offerings. 

    So, that is the moniker I used in my survey. I showed this definition to 1500 marketing practitioners around the world and asked them to name and rate those DMSPs they have experience with. We got a high volume of data back because 33% of them stated they work with over 4 or more DMSPs.  

    A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

    The second phase of the project is to contact the “vendors” named and organise a briefing. This is proving very difficult – these companies have little/no experience of working with industry analysts like me. Most have basically no understanding of what I do, even after an initial call where we discussed the project. This is perhaps no surprise because they do not really market themselves (just look at their websites! Full of multi-media ego trips instead of any engagement marketing). This is confirmed by a report published by my other business partner, B2B Marketing, where a survey of marketing agencies returned this priority list to the question “Where does your new business commonly come from?”:

    1. Direct referral                                                  
    2. Referral from an external individual (not client)  
    3. Request for Proposal process                            
    4. Pitch                                                                
    5. Paid/unpaid media exposure                               
    6. Advertising                                                      
    7. Specialist referral agency                                  

    But I will continue anyway, because the data I have collected is so compelling and I have never had so many ratings from a survey. Here is the list of the DMSPs named (alphabetically as usual at this stage).

    10PEARLS, CAPTECH, CARTA, CI&T, CRITICAL MASS, DIALEXA, EPAM, HUGE, ICF NEXT, LEADMD, MERKLE, MPHASIS, MULLENLOW PROFERO, PERCUTO, PROXIMITY, PUBLICIS SAPIENT, R/GA, PEDOWITZ GROUP, THOUGHTWORKS, VALTECH

    Watch out for the final report to come out in August. As I like to say, our research discovers a “vendor landscape” – those vendors who are the most highly regarded by users for, in this case, services around digital marketing projects. Due to geographical, segmentation and functional differences, it is not always a list of direct competitors. In fact, as I said above, here most respondents work with several DMSPs to cover their needs.

    If you would like to discuss this topic already, feel free to contact me.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter.

    peter@teamoneill.de , poneill@researchinaction.de ,  peter-oneill@b2bmarketing.net

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    B2B Vertrieb im Wandel

    Hier ist er – mein Report: Vendor Selection Matrix zum Thema Sales Engagement Management. Dieser Report basiert auf Feedback von 1500 Unternehmen weltweit und meiner Expertise zu den jeweiligen Strategien und Machbarkeiten. Hier sind die Highlights des Berichts:

    • Sales Engagement Management (SEM) Automatisierung war in unserer Studie im ersten Quartal 2020 bereits ein Investmentbereich mit hoher Priorität – 48% der Organisationen sagten, sie würden ihr ersten Investment in SEM Software einleiten. Nun da sich Kaufprozesse im Lichte der aktuellen Gesundheits- und Wirtschaftskrise radikal verändern und diese Veränderung nach der Krise wahrscheinlich langfristig bleibt – explodiert dieser Trend! (Übrigens: McKinsey hat soeben diese Studie veröffentlicht, welche die Empfehlung enthält: „Verkaufsberater sollten die Käufer über Telefon, Videokonferenz, oder Webchat unterstützen, wann immer Sie dies benötigen. Eine 24/7 oder 24/5 Live Präsenz kann besonders sinnvoll sein, wenn eine entfernte Interaktion die einzige Option ist“)
    • Ob im Feld oder Vertriebsinnendienst, moderne Vertriebsspezialisten müssen Inhalte (Content) in unterschiedlichsten Formen verwalten und freigeben, mit ihren Kunden via E-Mail, Telefon, Messaging und Video kommunizieren und Engagement via hochentwickelten Content Analytics verstehen. Während manche Verkäufer ihre eigenen Tools finden, weist eine organisationsübergreifende SEM Plattform wünschenswerte Vorteile in Bezug auf die Sicherheit, Compliance und einer einheitlicheren Markendarstellung auf. 
    • Unser Bericht zeigt, dass die Gewinner von SEM Projekten diejenigen sein werden, welche die beste Käufer Erfahrung unterstützen. Die Studie nannte die größte Hürde zum Erfolg „Adoption durch die Käufer“. Also werden jene SEM Lösungen erfolgreich sein, welche den Fokus auf die optimale Käufer Erfahrung durch überlegene Integration, eine empathische Nutzer-Bedienoberfläche, Anpassungsfähigkeit und Flexibilität bezogen auf die Unterstützung verschiedener Endgeräte der Nutzer.
    • Darüber Hinaus zeigen wir, dass SEM Analytik und Anleitung zunehmend erfolgskritisch werden. Eine negative Käufer Erfahrung geschieht, wenn die Verkäufer einen falschen Kontakt, zu einer schlechten Zeit, mit nicht dienlichen Informationen anruft. Organisationen werden erwarten, dass SEM Systeme dieses Szenario vermeiden können und solche Systeme bevorzugen, welche proaktiv eine optimale Erfahrung für beide Parteien erzeugt.
    • Wer schaffte es an die Spitze? Die Top 5 Anbieter, bewertet durch SEM Nutzer in 2020, sind:
    • Seismic
    • Clearslide
    • Showpad
    • Brainshark
    • Highspot
    • Die Anbieter Accent Technologies, Apparound, Bigtincan, Mediafly, Pitcher, Prolifiq, SalesLoft, SalesSphere, SAP und Zoomifier vervollständigen die Liste der Anbieter, welche von den 1500 befragten Fachleuten genannt wurden.

    Es ist interessant zu beobachten, wie der deutsche Anbieter SaleSphere an Boden gewinnt in dieser globalen Landschaft – direkt in die führende Kategorie der Matrix. Dies liegt an der beschleunigten Adoption durch europäische Organisationen, welche sich von der Integration von SEM in benachbarte Geschäftsprozesse wie eCommerce und Dienstleistungen beeindruckt zeigen. Außerdem wird ihre vorhandene Kompetenz in Sachen Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO) sehr geschätzt.

    Trotz dessen fällt es SaleSphere schwer sich im Markt Gehör zu verschaffen und sich für weitere Erfolge und Wachstum zu bewerben, so wie vielen deutschen Technologie-Unternehmen. Einige Anbieter in diesem Bericht haben Marketing-programme erschaffen, um die Ergebnisse wirksam einzusetzen – ich selbst bin für zahlreiche Webinars (mit vier verschiedenen Anbieter) in den nächsten Monaten gebucht. SalesSphere scheint jedoch nur geringes Verständnis für diesen Marketingprozess zu besitzen.  

    Erinnern Sie sich daran, dass unsere Forschung eine „Anbieter Wettbewerbslandschaft“ aufdeckt – Wir diskutieren in dieser Studie jene Anbieter, welche von den Nutzern für die Automatisierung eines Prozesses (oder Familie von Prozessen) am meisten geschätzt werden. Ich erfragte Berichte und Erfahrungen zum Prozess „Verkäufern helfen auf ihre Kunden einzugehen“. Aufgrund von geografischen und funktionalen Divergenzen, sowie Unterschieden in der Segmentierung ist dies nicht ausschließlich eine Liste von direkten Wettbewerbern. In der Tat setzen die meisten Befragten mindestens zwei solcher Lösungen ein, um ihre Bedürfnisse abzudecken. 

    Wenn Sie mehr von dem Bericht sehen möchten, wie beispielsweise die einzelnen Anbieter-Profilblätter und das gesamte Bewertungsschema, zögern Sie nicht mich zu kontaktieren. 

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Help Sales to Engage

    Here it is – my Vendor Selection Matrix report on Sales Engagement Management. Last year, I issued this just after Gartner/Forrester had output their quadrant/wave on a similar topic: so interest/budgets were already spent and I had a reduced response compared to all my other reports.  But .. they provide an analyst POV only: one written for large enterprises primarily in N. America. My report is based upon feedback from 1,500 businesses globally plus my view of each vendor’s strategy and viability. 

    Sales Engagement Management (SEM) automation was already a high-priority investment in Q1 2020, when we did the survey – 48% of businesses said they’ll be initiating their first investment in SEM software. Now, as the current health and economic crisis changes the buying process radically, probably for ever – this is now a trend exploding ! (BTW – McKinsey have just released this study that includes this recommendation: “Have your sales reps on call to support buyers by phone, videoconference, or webchat, whenever they need it; a 24/7 or 24/5 live presence can be especially meaningful when remote interactions are the only options.)

    Whether in the field or inside-sales, the modern sales professional must manage and share content in a multitude of forms; communicate with customers via email, phone, messaging, and video; and understand engagement via advanced content analytics. While some sellers can find their own tools to do this, a company-wide SEM platform is preferable for security, compliance and brand-consistency reasons. 

    Our report shows that the SEM project winners will be those that support the best seller experience. The survey named the greatest barrier to success as “adoption by the sellers”. So successful SEM solutions will be those who focus on providing the optimal selling experience through superior integrations, an empathetic user interface, adaptability and device-flexibility.

    We also show that SEM analytics and guidance will become mission-critical. A bad customer experience happens when sellers call on the wrong contacts at a bad time with unhelpful information. Companies will not only expect SEM system to avoid that scenario, they will prefer solutions that proactively generate an optimal experience for both parties.  

    Who came out on top? The top five vendors rated by the users for SEM in 2020 are: 

    1. Seismic
    2. Clearslide
    3. Showpad
    4. Brainshark
    5. Highspot

    The vendors Accent Technologies, Apparound, Bigtincan, Mediafly, Pitcher, Prolifiq, SalesLoft, SalesSphere, SAP, and Zoomifier complete the list of vendors who were named by the 1,500 business professionals.

    It is interesting to see the German vendor SaleSphere gaining a lot of ground into this global landscape – right into the Leader catagory on the matrix. This is due to accelerated adoption by European businesses impressed with their clever integrations of SEM to adjacent business processes like eCommerce and service, as well as their competence around GPDR.   

    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. The process I asked about was “helping sellers to engage their customers”. Due to geographical, segmentation and functional differences, it is not always a list of direct competitors. In fact, most respondents deploy at least two to cover their needs.

    Several of these firms will be working with me over the next months to discuss the research in more detail as they realize that this is now not the time to be pitching product (even if there is great interest) but to be providing useful and compelling content and some thought leadership. 

    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

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Die Seller Experience

    Mein nächster Report zum Thema Sales Engagement Management ist bald abgeschlossen. Ich hatte sehr viel Freude dabei die Nutzerdaten von insgesamt 1500 Nutzern und Evaluationen der Anbieter unserer Studie zu analysieren und diese mit den untersuchten Anbietern in Meetings zu diskutieren. 

    Bereits im Jahr 2010 habe ich mit Forrester Research Kollegen gemeinsam den Begriff Sales Enablement kreiert und definiert. Ich erinnere mich noch gut an 2015, als ich in meiner Funktion als Research Director und Konferenz Gastgeber das jährliche Sales Enablement Forum mit den Worten „Don’t just help sales — See all buyer touchpoints!“ abschloss. Außerdem co-präsentierte ich in diesem Forum den Forschungsbericht mit dem Titel „Death of th B2B Salesman“. 

    Ich bin weiterhin ein gefragter Gesprächspartner für diese Thematik, wie auf Podcasts (Sales EnablementPRO and Evolvers) und bei Konferenzen. Darüber Hinaus freue mich, auf Basis meiner langjährigen Forschung und den dadurch gewonnen Erkenntnissen, Empfehlungen für die Automatisierung des Sales Engagement Prozesses von Unternehmen zur Verfügung zu stellen. Die Untersuchungen zeigen, dass 48 % der Unternehmen in diesem Bereich erstmalig investieren. Dies spricht dafür, dass sich der Automatisierungsmarkt eventuell dem Ende der „Early-Adopter“-Phase nähert und sich eine Marktreife stetig etabliert, verbreitet und konsolidiert. Die Anbieter müssen nun zunehmend einen gewisse Thought Leadership (Vordenker) Position und entsprechende Bildungsinhalte entwickeln, anstatt sich mit den einfachsten „low-hanging fruits“ Projekten in dieser Thematik zu beschäftigen. 

    Wie ich zu sagen pflege, erforscht unsere Studie die „Vendor Landscape“ (Anbieter Wettbewerbslandschaft). Es werden Anbieter untersucht und diskutiert, welche für die Automatisierung eines Prozesses (oder Familie von Prozessen) von Nutzern am meisten genutzt und geschätzt werden. Aufgrund geografischer und funktionaler Differenzen, sowie Unterschieden in der Segmentierung ergibt sich nicht immer eine Liste von direkten Konkurrenten. Tatsächlich setzen die meisten Teilnehmenden mehrere Anbieter ein, um alle ihre Bedürfnisse effizient abzudecken. 

    Die Teilnehmenden der Studie berichteten, dass ihre größte Befürchtung das Ausbleiben einer Adoption des Systems im Vertrieb darstellt, also ob die Kollegen das System überhaupt nutzen. Außerdem wird die Quantifizierung und Evaluation dieser Investition hinsichtlich des Return-on-Investment (ROI) als bedeutende Aufgabe angesehen.

    Bezüglich der Befürchtungen zur Adoption des Systems, empfehle ich den erfolgreichsten SEM Lösungen ihren Fokus zunehmend auf eine optimale „selling experience“ (Kauferfahrung) zu richten. Dies kann durch  erfolgreiche Integration in benachbarte Prozesse, eine empathische Benutzeroberfläche, Anpassungsfähigkeit und vor allem durch umfangreiche Unterstützung derjenigen Geräte geschehen, welche die Verkäufer bevorzugen. 

    Die 15 Anbieter, welche in dem Forschungsbericht porträtiert werden: ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN. BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE, CUSTOMSHOW, HIGHSPOT, MEDIAFLY, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ, SALESLOFT, SALESPHERE, SAP, SEISMIC, SHOWPAD

    Der deutsche Anbieter SalesSphere hat es sogar in die Top 10 geschafft. Die SaaS SEM Plattform gewinnt durch ihren Fokus auf Europäische Sicherheit- und Datenschutzstandards zunehmend mehr Kunden. 

    Falls sie weitere nützliche Erkenntnisse des Forschungsberichts erfahren möchten, wie beispielsweise die individuellen Profilbögen der Anbieter und eine vollständige Darstellung des Scoringverfahrens, stehe ich Ihnen gern zur Verfügung.

    Always keeping you informed! 

    Peter

  • ABM,  Brand Content Management,  Channel Marketing and Enablement,  DAM,  Marketing Lead Management,  Partner Management Automation,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection,  Web Experience Management

    2019 Wettbewerbslandschaften

    In meiner Forschung zur Vendor Selection Matrix von 2019 habe ich viele Wettbewerbslandschaften von verschiedenen Anbietern entdeckt, welche im folgenden beschrieben wird.  (Blog auf Englisch)

    Während diesen Projekten habe ich tausende Marketing Fachleute zur Automatisierung ihres Marketing-Prozesses befragt und mich mit etwa 120 Marketing Software Anbietern unterhalten, meist über deren Analyst Relations und Produkt Marketing Manager, wie in diesem Blog erläutert wird.  

    Die Anbieter-Marketer trafen häufig Aussagen wie z. B. : „Merkwürdig, dass Anbieter auf ihrer Liste sind, welche ich selten wahrnehme und gegen welche ich meiner Meinung nach nicht konkurriere“.  Das liegt daran, da ich zu Beginn der Befragungen immer einen bestimmten Marketingprozess beschreibe und die Teilnehmer dazu befrage, mit welchen Anbietern Sie in diesem Prozess zusammenarbeiten. Ich versuche hierbei Kategorie-Begriffe zu vermeiden, welche von anderen Analysten oder Produkt Manager erfunden wurden, da Marketing Fachleute in der Regel nicht in diesen Kategorien denken (dies ist eher ein IT-zentrisches Merkmal). 

    Mein erster Bericht in 2020 ist bereits fertig, zum Thema Marketing Lead Management (MLM). Die Studie ergab eine neue Anbieter Landschaft mit einer interessanten Mischung aus Email Service Providern, Marketing Automatisierung Anbietern und sogar einigen selbstbezeichneten Customer Data Platform Anbietern. In einigen Unternehmen ist vermehrt ein Wechsel vom MLM Prozess zu einem Customer Engagement Prozess zu beobachten, welcher die diverse Zusammensetzung der Anbieter Landschaft erklärt. 

    Dadurch ergibt sich folgende Herausforderung für die Anbieter: Fokussiert man sich auf hervorragende Leistung in lediglich einer Kategorie oder darauf, von Marketing Fachleuten gefunden zu werden, welche Lösungen für Fragen der Automatisierung suchen.

    Im Folgenden werden die 2019 Vendor Landscapes (Anbieter Wettbewerbslandschaften) dargestellt, welche im Rahmen meiner globalen prozessorientierten Studien gefunden wurden.

    Marketing Lead Management (Nov 2018). 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 Post oder Email Antwort, Datenbank Marketing Programme, anderen mehrkanalige Marketingkampagnen, Offline Interaktionen wie Seminare oder Messen, Kontakt aus Sozialen Medien und Web-Seiten.

    ACT-ON (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ADESTRA, ADOBE, APRIMO, BPM’ONLINE (#1 Price/Value), CRMNEXT, ENGAGIO, HUBSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), IBM, IMPARTNER, MARKETO, ORACLE, PEGASYSTEMS, RIGHTON INTERACTIVE, SALESFORCE, SAP, SALESFUSION, SUGARCRM, WEBMECANIK, ZOHO

    Brand Content Management (Dec 2018). BCM beschreibt das Management aller digitalen Inhalte, um die Markenkommunikation auf allen Ebenen des Unternehmens zu regulieren, von Unternehmensmarken bis hin zur individuellen Kommunikation eines Produkts. Unternehmen, welche in einem weit verteiltem Marketing Umfeld agieren, wenden BCM Prozesse an, um Inhalte über alle interne Organisationen, Tochtergesellschaften und/oder allen Geschäftspartnern hinweg zu steuern und abzustimmen. 

    ADOBE, ANSIRA, BRANDMAKER (#1 Overall), BRANDMUSCLE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BRANDSYSTEMS (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BYNDER, CAPITAL ID, CELUM, CENSHARE (#1 Price/Value), CODE WORLDWIDE, EPISERVER, IBM, MARCOM CENTRAL (#1 Price/Value), NORTHPLAINS, OPENTEXT, PICA9, SAS INSTITUTE, VYA, WEDIA  

    Sales Engagement Management (Mar 2019). Marketing spielt eine zunehmend aktive Rolle in der Befähigung des Vertriebspersonals, welches sich durch die robusten Werkzeugen einer all-in-one Plattform möglichst produktiv mit kompetenten Käufern und Kunden beschäftigen kann. 

    ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN, BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CLIENT POINT, CUSTOMSHOW, DOCSEND, FILEBOARD, HIGHSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), INSITE SOFTWARE, JOURNEY SALES, OCTIV, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ,  SALESLOFT, SAP, SEISMIC (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), SHOWPAD, MEDIAFLY 

    Web Experience Management (May 2019). WEM ist eine integrierte Reihe von Geschäftsprozessen für die Erstellung, Verwaltung, Lieferung und Optimierung von konzeptualisierten digitalen Erfahrungen auf Webseiten. Software, welche diese Prozesse automatisiert, muss sich mit der zunehmend komplexen, umfangreichen und stets vernetzten Technologielandschaft auseinandersetzen.

    ACQUIA (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ADOBE, AMPLIENCE, BLOOMREACH, CONTENTFUL, CROWNPEAK, COREMEDIA, EPISERVER (#1 Price/Value), E_SPIRIT, EZ SYSTEMS, IBM, KENTICO SOFTWARE, MAGNOLIA, OPENTEXT, ORACLE, PROGRESS, SDL, SITECORE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), SQUIZ  

    Digital Asset Management (July 2019). Der DAM Prozess beschreibt das Speichern und Verwalten von digitalen Dateien, insbesondere digitalen Medien wie Grafiken, Videos, Sound und Textkomponenten, welche für die digitale Produktion von Inhalten benötigt werden. DAM katalogisiert die digitalen Inhalte für verschiedene Nutzer, welche beispielsweise im Marketing, Produkt Management, Verkauf, Service, Design oder in Produktionsabteilungen einer Organisation tätig sind. 

    ADOBE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), APRIMO, BYNDER, CANTO, CENSHARE, CLOUDINARY, COGNIZANT, CELUM (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CUMULUS, DIGIZUITE, EXTENSIS, MEDIA VALET, MEDIABEACON, NORTHPLAINS, NUXEO (#1 Customer Satisfaction), OPENTEXT, PICTUREPARK, SITECORE (#1 Customer Satisfaction, #1 Price/Value), WEDIA, WIDEN

    Digital Asset Management in Deutschland (August 2019).

    ADOBE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), APRIMO, BYNDER, CANTO, CAVOK (PEAK-14), ELUM, CENSHARE, CONTENTSERV, COREMEDIA, EIKONA-MEDIA, EYEBASE, NUXEO, OPENTEXT, SITECORE (#1 Customer Satisfaction, #1 Price/Value)

    Account Based Marketing (Oct 2019). Der ABM Prozess stellt eine bereits etablierte Marketing/Verkaufs-Methode für Unternehmensdienstleistungen dar, bei denen Erfolg sehr von persönlicher Empathie und Beziehungen abhängt. Das Aufkommen von digitalem Marketing, welches von technologischem Fortschritt in Webseiten- und Datenanalytik geprägt ist, erlaubt allen B2B Unternehmen einen ABM Prozess aufzubauen, welcher es ermöglicht die gesammelten behavioralen- und Profildaten von Unternehmen und deren Kauf-Entscheidern gewinnbringend zu nutzen. 

    6SENSE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), AGENT3, D&B DATAVISION, DEMANDBASE, ENGAGIO (#1 Overall), KWANZOO, INSIDEVIEW, JABMO (#1 Price/Value), LATTICE ENGINE, LINKEDIN, MADISON LOGIC, MARKETO, MRP (#1 Customer Satisfaction), RADIUS, ROLLWORKS, TECHTARGET, TERMINUS, TRIBLIO, TRUE INFLUENCE, ZOOMINFO

    Channel Marketing and Enablement (Nov 2019). Channel Marketing und Enablement Prozesse umschreiben die Aufgaben, welche ein Herstellers ausführt, um Produkte und Dienstleistungen durch eine Partnerorganisation über einen indirekten Kanal zu vertreiben. Nur wenige Anbieter können bisher den Marketing Fachleuten helfen, beide dieser Prozesse effizient zu automatisieren. 

    ANSIRA, CHANNELXPERTS, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Through-Channel Marketing Automation (Nov 2019). Als Teil des Channel Marketing Prozesses eines Herstellers, welcher Produkte und Dienstleistungen durch Partnerorganisationen über einen indirekten Kanal vertreibt, ist TCMA für die Marke und das Content Asset Management dort relevant, wo Programme und Promotionen in beiden Richtungen des Kanals verwaltet werden. TCMA wird auch als regional Marketing oder Vertriebsmarketing beschrieben.

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

    Partner Relationship Management (Nov 2019). Als Teil des Channel Marketing Prozesses eines Herstellers, welcher Produkte Produkte und Dienstleistungen durch Partnerorganisationen über einen indirekten Kanal vertreibt, stellt PRM eine Reihe an Prozessen dar, welche sich auf die Beziehung zum Geschäftspartner selbst fokussieren und sich durch folgende Elemente auszeichnet: Rekrutierung, Registrierung, Klassifikation, vertragliche Details, Informationsaustausch u. v. m..

    ANSIRA, CHANNELXPERTS, CHANNELTIVITY (#1 Price/Value), CHANNELKONNECT, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), MAGENTRIX, ORACLE, SALESFORCE, TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), WEBINFINITY, ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Feedback, sowie Fragen und Anregungen sind jederzeit Willkommen, hier oder direkt an poneill@researchinaction.de

    Always keeping you informed! 

    Peter O’Neill 

  • Design Thinking,  News,  Vendor Selection

    The Martech Strategy Process

    This week, I co-presented the keynote at the GetStacked conference, hosted by the B2B Marketing organization on a virtual platform for the first time. My brief was to present the highlights from our new “How is Marketing’s Technology Stacking Up?” research report  We had surveyed over 300 B2B marketers about Martech investment and development plans and we interviewed several marketing executives for in-depth background and insights. The resulting report, available from B2B Marketing, reveals some industry secrets, plenty of statistics and peer-to-peer review – though it’s main aim is to ignite a conversation by providing actionable advice

    Our survey collected some quite startling statistics. For example, the respondents could self-assess the state of their Martech stack and the response was extremely thought-provoking: only 13% of them could confirm that their Martech stack was performing well for current and future needs. Nearly one third even consider their stack as poor and in dire need of expansion. The rest reported that their stack was currently adequate but needs developing for future needs, which sounds comforting … but only at first. 

    So ….. How can we explain this feedback?

    Well, rampant digital transformation in the general business world has raised two distinct patterns of change for us B2B marketers. Firstly, we’ve had adjust to communicating to market through many, new digital channels; and secondly, we ourselves have had to adopt a realm of new technologies to support our new business processes. I suspect that the pace of change in both areas has overwhelmed us somewhat.  

    Marketing organizations have reacted to these challenges in different ways. 

    • Some quickly adopted marketing automation platforms, sometimes with processes pre-defined by the software they selected. But often they were bought and installed without process change management and employees were left unprepared. 
    • Others eagerly drew up, or had it drawn for them by consultants, an idealistic target Martech “stack” (a sort of architecture) and embarked on a buying binge of software subscription after software subscription to fill out their stack. The result is mostly a collection of disparate, uncoordinated systems which is a headache to operate and manage. 
    • A further set of businesses ended up with the same result, not through a stack approach, but because all marketers in the organization were empowered to license their own tools as an operating expense. I have seen many times in my engagements, that a SaaS-Apps audit across the marketing departments invariably shows much more technology being used than originally assumed or planned.    

    In summary, a sense of urgency around digital marketing created a sort of arms race where much technology was being acquired tactically and often in response to brash promises made by marketing software vendors.

    Our survey also shows that there is no great satisfaction from anybody in marketing with the installed technologies or platform types. Highest of this diss-satisfaction was CRM – it is the most-hated system for marketers in general. It scored most negatively in the satisfaction question. For most marketers, the CRM is an external system: installed before they were doing digital marketing and built for the needs of Sales not Marketing. 

    The most major Martech challenge or success inhibitor was

    “Lack of time/resources to use effectively”

    Evidently, companies buy and set up software without considering whether they have the resources to take advantage of it. 

    So, a sorry state of affairs. A combination of short-term thinking, ego buying, and uncontrolled vendor behavior has created a martech jungle for most B2B organisations. At this point, please allow me to provoke some thought into the discussion and suggest what is really missing in this story. You see, there was another question we posed in the survey – one that I often ask in my engagements as well – when helping marketers select the right technology vendor for a project: “Do you have an agreed and documented martech strategy ?”

    I am always curious to see the current document on my client’s overall martech strategy. And my experience is similar to the survey result –  only one out of five can even give me such a document to review. Now, 57% did say they are currently working on it, but we also asked what timeframe these plans were being laid out for – and a full quarter of the 57% responded that their strategy plan is for 6 or even just 3 months. Well, any strategy timeframe under a year is not a strategy at all – after all, any major Martech acquisition project will typically take 6-9 months from initial specification to vendor selection and that time period is followed by a similar block for project implementation.

    I would expect a Martech Strategy to include several elements of planning, guidelines and frameworks. As the title implies, it includes the Technology Plan itself with a description of the current status (backed up by a recent technology audit) and a list and calendar of technology projects for the coming period (broken down into investment areas, make or buy decisions, status of technology acquisition, and an integrations project plan). It should also have a Process Re-Engineering Plan, discussing how it is planned to adopt the new digital marketing methods with the associated change management projects addressing migration and skills acquisition. And a Resources Plan (documenting staffing, recruitment, external assistance, and training).  

    Marketing has become primarily digital and requires technology to operate effectively and a suitable Martech infrastructure is required by every marketing department to achieve that goal. But equally, digital marketing also requires the appropriate organization and framework of business processes to be effective in operating and leveraging that infrastructure. A clear, strategic approach to the Martech stack is now critical to ensure that, ultimately, spending across the whole marketing budget is optimally invested.  

    The CMO or Marketing Director must assign this responsibility to a senior member of the marketing staff – a sort of Chief Marketing Technology officer perhaps. In larger organisations, a separate group for Marketing Operations is created to manage the technology – the leader of that group could be the owner of the Martech Strategy.    

    A Martech Strategy is needed as a framework for all marketing staff, and IT staff, who are involved with the technology. Digital means that there are many categories of marketing staff now involved internally and externally (at Digital Marketing Service Providers): 

    • marketing application end-users
    • marketing operations staff
    • executives who need reports and dashboards
    • citizen developers of digital experiences or external marketing apps
    • all those potential rogue buyers of marketing software (such as analytics) for individual use.

    In a democratic modern business environment, there is no way to stop the individual investments, but establishing a framework for all will limit any potential damage that is caused (integration, security, non-compliance, privacy breaches).    

    The true value of a Martech Strategy is not that it is documented and placed on a booked shelf. It is in the meetings, communications and negotiations that are need to develop the plan. That continuous dialogue helps everybody to understand the importance of planning and then aligning to that plan and will probably limit resource and integration issues in the future. A Martech Strategy should be a continuous work-in-progress and openly accessible to all of the marketing staff as listed above. 

    It’s the Process That Counts!

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    The Seller Experience

    I’m coming to the end of my next report, on Sales Engagement Management. I’ve enjoyed working through the data and vendor evaluations from our survey of 1500 practitioners – and I’ve certainly enjoyed the meetings I’ve had with most of the vendors who were mentioned in the survey. 

    It took me back to 2010 when I helped Forrester Research invent and define the term Sales Enablement. And I remember well in 2015 when, as research director and conference host, I closed that year’s Sales Enablement Forum with the advice “Don’t help just Sales – see all buyer touchpoints”. Of course, the other thing I did at that conference was co-present our new report at the time called “Death of the B2B Salesman”. 

    I still get to speak on the topic now … on podcasts (Sales EnablementPRO and Evolvers) and at conferences, so I am looking forward to providing a research “call” on how companies are automating their Sales Engagement Management process, as I now prefer to call it. The data shows that 48% of companies are investing here for the first time – here is an automation market perhaps coming to the end of its “early-adopter” phase and about to mature, aggregate and consolidate. The vendors will need to develop thought leadership and educational content, as opposed to picking low-hanging fruit projects.  

    As I like to say, our research discovers a “vendor landscape” – those vendors who are the 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, most respondents deploy at least two to cover their needs.

    The survey respondents told us that their most overriding concern is seller adoption – will they use the system after it has been set up for them. Quantifying the investment in terms of business value is also rated highly as a challenge. 

    Concerning adoption, I think that the most successful SEM solutions will need to focus on providing the optimal selling experience. This will achieved by offering through superior integrations to adjacent systems; having an empathetic user interface; being adaptable; and, perhaps most-important, supporting those devices that sellers prefer.

    The 15 vendors profiled in the report will be:

    ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN. BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE, CUSTOMSHOW, HIGHSPOT, MEDIAFLY, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ, SALESLOFT, SALESPHERE, SAP, SEISMIC, SHOWPAD

    with honourable mentions (named in the survey but not enough data):

    CIRRUS INSIGHT, CLIENTPOINT, DOCSEND, GROOVE, JOURNEYSALES, OCTIV, OUTREACH, PREDICTIVE PLAYBOOKS (by XANT), VANILLASOFT, YESWARE

    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,  Vendor Selection

    MLM Report is Out

    I’ve now published the new Marketing Lead Management (MLM) vendor selection matrix via my business partner Research in Action. Our global survey of 1500 business decision makers found that 72% of business will  be investing in new MLM software – over half for their first time. This area of marketing automation is a critical backbone for most marketing organizations but I also know from my recent research with another partner, B2B Marketing, that only 60% of existing users are satisfied with their current solution, citing issues like lack of time/resources to use it effectively and integration – that report comes out in a few days for B2B marketing premium subscribers.

    That is probably why the report has discovered a vendor landscape for MLM which is an interesting mix of Email Service Providers, Marketing Automation vendors and even some Customer Data Platform vendors, showing the range of MLM project maturity across organizations (see my MLM S-Curve Maturity Model). 

    Congratulations to Marketo, who were named and rated the highest of all under that brandname, even though the company was acquired and absorbed by Adobe several years ago. In contrast, the other early market leader and innovator, Eloqua, has somewhat disappeared under the Oracle brand; though it’s customer satisfaction scores have improved greatly since last year’s survey. An interesting brand highly-rated for MLM process automation continues to be Creatio (previously known as bpm’online). Act-On and Hubspot also appear in the Top 5 as rated by the survey respondents.  

    As well as the ratings, we now also ask respondents whether they would recommend the vendor to their peers, the percent of affirmatives is documented as the Research In Action Recommendation Index; it ranges in this landscape from 83% to 96%.

    Our survey also returned that organizational issues are the most significant success inhibitors – 20% cited  executive buy-in is a serious barrier and, evidently, some CMOs still struggle to even get a role in the lead management process and must argue with sales about “turf“.

    The report states that functions provided by lead management systems are also of increasing importance to other departments and programs in a business: internal communications, customer satisfaction initiatives, customer service or support, and channel management. That increases the installed footprint for MLM providers but also expands the user profiles that they sell to and work with.

    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,  Vendor Selection

    The MLM Maturity S-Curve

    Marketing Lead Management (MLM) automation continues to be a priority investment – in our new global survey of 1500 business decision makers, 72% said they’ll invest in new MLM software – over half for their first time. The report is available here and it shows a vendor landscape for MLM, as voted by the business decision makers, which is an interesting mix of Email Service Providers, Marketing Automation vendors and even some, such as Evergage, who I’ve written about last month, described often as Customer Data Platform vendors 

    This is due to the range of project maturity across the landscape and I think that, over time, the prevalent transactional prospect/lead process in MLM will mature to a lifecycle-based customer engagement process in both B2C and B2B. 

    Our surveys and consulting work enables us to continually assess the maturity of marketing organizations (combination of organization, process and technology). We have identified five maturity phases for MLM and associated processes: 

    • Chaotic. Lead management neophytes commonly first focus on eMail campaigning to purchased or built-up lists. The goal is to distribute content to qualified contacts and provide rudimentary leads to Sales.
    • Reactive. Initial fulfillment creative matures to a content marketing program earning an audience and new contacts from inbound lead capture. Marketing-qualified leads are generated and passed on.
    • Stable. An operational MLM system shares content and run digital campaigns, nurturing and progressing leads through all digital channels, including indirect business channels such as subsidiaries, distributors, resellers (TCMA).   
    • Proactive. Marketing’s role matures from supporting sales transactions to ensuring a customer experience. The necessary functionality is found in more mature MLM solutions or from additional products. Sellers are  supported as a vital experience channel and marketing at the account level becomes mission-critical.
    • Predictive. Over time, the prospect/lead process changes to a more holistic Customer Engagement Management process. Every industry is morphing to an “as-a-service” business model and digital channels will increasingly be used to engage with customers throughout their lifecycle: from initial research through to product use or service consumption. 

    The various processes can be mapped against this model on what we call an S-Curve Maturity Model. 

    Whether you are trying to win over consumers to be active in communities and social media, or if you are trying to recruit a business buyer to be a loyal user and advocate, the classical lead generation paradigm for all marketers is going to be replaced by new relationship-based metrics of customer success.

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • Marketing Lead Management,  News,  Vendor Selection

    Evergage Joins the MLM Vendor Landscape and gets Acquired

    Marketing Lead Management (MLM) automation continues to be a priority investment – in our new global survey of 1500 business decision makers, 72% said they’ll invest in new MLM software – over half for their first time. 

    My new MLM Vendor Selection Matrix report, with the 2020 MLM vendor landscape as selected by those 1500 respondents, will come out later this month. But, due to this week’s news, I’ll point out NOW, that it is an interesting mix of Email Service Providers, Marketing Automation vendors and even some specialist vendors, such as the vendor Evergage. 

    Variously described as a Personalization Engine, Customer Data Platform, and other categories that analysts like to invent, Evergage is an exciting newbie on the MLM block. Regardless of category (and marketing professionals do not buy in categories), Evergage earned its place in this survey because it has been found and deployed by marketing professionals who searched for more functionality to optimize their ongoing engagements with buyers and customers.  

    My interviews showed that many firms are deploying it together with their established MLM platform to improve the customer engagement process. In the context of MLM, it is mostly bought by experienced users of Marketo, Eloqua and Salesforce Pardot seeking a 1-to-1 customer engagement: personalized  email campaigns, website or mobile app renditions, and other lead generation activities.

    Earlier this week, Salesforce acquired Evergage. It is unlikely that Salesforce wants Evergage as its CDP, though it may well leverage some of its IP and people, as that product roadmap is already well underway. No, I think Salesforce bought the vendor to enhance its own MLM offering for all the reasons described above. 

    For those of you needing some background, here is the already-completed Evergage vendor scorecard for my upcoming VSM report. This is what I write up for each vendor in the report and it is sent to all survey respondents and to our research clients.

    Always keeping you informed! Peter