• 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.


    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.


    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).


    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


    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.


    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. 


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

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • ABM,  BCM Research,  Brand Content Management,  Channel Marketing and Enablement,  DAM,  Marketing Lead Management,  News,  Sales Enablement Management

    2020 Vendor Landscapes

    Through the last year in my work with Research in Action, I have discovered many separate vendor landscapes – ALL LISTED BELOW FOR EVERYBODY TO READ. I interviewed thousands of marketers on their business processes automation and talked to nearly 200 marketing software vendors – as discussed in this blog. I was briefed by many more vendors in 2020 than in 2019, when starting out as an independent analyst, which was gratifying but also made the projects longer. 

    The vendor-marketers often remark something like: “strange, there are vendors on your list that I do not see in deals or think I compete with”. Well, that’s because I first describe a marketing process in my interviews and ask respondents which vendors they work with on that process. I try to avoid category terms invented by other analysts or product managers because the chances are: marketing people don’t think in categories (that’s more of an IT-centric trait). We also survey companies from mid-market to enterprise and across the globe, while many vendors are very specific about their target market segment. 

    But the challenge for marketing software marketing professionals remains: Do you focus on shining in a category; or do you ensure you are found by marketing professionals when they seek an answer to their automation challenges. Sometimes, these objectives and tactics may even be mutually exclusive. 

    Here are the vendor landscapes discovered in my global process-oriented surveys. I have taken the liberty of listing the vendors in order of their ranking in the Vendor Selection Matrix graphic.  

    Channel Marketing and Enablement (Nov 2019). ”Channel” being business partners not marketing channel. I also wrote reports focused on Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) based on this list. This topic is often also called Local Marketing. The most dramatic feedback I had for this report was a threat to be sued by one vendor who, firstly objected to being lower than #1 and, secondly, claimed that they had not given me (nor their 124 customers) permission to talk/write about them.


    Marketing Lead Management (Mar 2020). MLM processes are deployed in marketing and/or sales operations departments to support the collection of unqualified contacts and opportunities from various sources such as: Direct mail or email responses; Database marketing programs; Other multichannel marketing campaigns; Offline interactions such as seminars and tradeshows; Social media contacts; and web pages.

    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 (May 2019). Marketing plays an increasingly active role in enabling the sales team, collaborating with their colleagues in Sales Operations with a robust set of sophisticated tools in an all-in-one platform in order to engage productively with knowledgeable buyers and customers.


    Digital Marketing Service Providers (Aug 2020). We wanted to ask marketing practitioners about the service providers they work with on their digital marketing projects. But 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 posting a research report back in 2011 called “The Emergence of the Digital Marketing Service Provider (DMSP)” based on a consulting project I had just done. My Forrester colleagues didn’t like the term, but it led to many new engagements with both creative marketing agencies, who wanted to add more IT skills to their offering, and traditional IT-centric SIs wanting to expand their creative offerings. It worked for the survey and produced great results – but we also learned that these companies do little or no marketing about themselves, so the report had little traction. I was particularly pleased to see the provider that I based that 2011 Forrester report upon (I’ve known Valtech since they were a HP hardware reseller back in the 1990s) topping the survey results. 


    BTW – the above research revealed this: DMSP are absolutely awful at marketing themselves (“cobblers children”).

    Marketing Resource Management (Oct 2020). Marketing executives, as with any business executive, should have full visibility for the planning and effectiveness of all the business resources they deploy. The Marketing Resource Management (MRM) process manages all marketing assets and supports plans and budgets for marketing initiatives. As the topic is not fully deployed, we found a vendor landscape with a mix of vendors managing some asset types, those that manage projects resources, plus those vendors who do manage the full range of digital assets, talent, budgets and projects.


    Customer Data Management (Dec 2020). The vendor landscape for Customer Data Management (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 is different across the B2C and B2B spectrum, which we analyzed in the report at length. 


    Feedback and comments to poneill@marchnata.eu please.  

    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

  • Uncategorized

    Dies ist kein lokalisiertes Marketing!

    Ich arbeite seid nunmehr fast 10 Jahren mit dem Marketing Lead Management Anbieter Marketo zusammen. Zu meiner Forrester Zeit, hatte ich die Gründer Phil Fernandez und Jon Miller regelmäßig in ihrem Büro in San Mateo getroffen, immer am Ende meinen Geschäftsreisen dort, bevor ich am Abend von San Francisco aus nach Hause flog. 

    Es freute mich daher sehr zu berichten, dass Marketo in meiner 2020 Vendor Selection Matrix report zu MLM, der am besten bewertete Markennamen war, trotz der Übernahme und Absorption durch Adobe vor einigen Jahren. Heutzutage ist eine starke Marke auch im B2B-Bereich zunehmend relevant.

    Eine interessante Thematik, welche ich häufig mit der Marketo Geschäftsführung diskutieren musste, war ihre Europa-Strategie. Sie haben viele Jahre lang eine Handvoll Mitarbeiter (inklusive deutsch- und französischsprachigen) in Dublin, Irland stationiert, um von dort aus in anderen europäischen Ländern zu agieren. Ich bin überzeugt davon, dass dies ein Grund dafür war, dass Marketo Schwierigkeiten hatte im deutschen Markt Fuss zu fassen — wobei ich viele weitere Gründe dafür aufzählen könnte. 

    Mit der Übernahme durch Adobe, welche eine bedeutende Präsenz in Deutschland besitzt, ergaben sich für Marketo vielversprechende Möglichkeiten auf diesem Markt. Ich erhalte nun bereits seit einiger Zeit deutschsprachige E-Mails von “Marketo-Germany” und vernehme zunehmend Hinweis dafür, dass Marketo mehr beachtliche Verkäufe und Beratungsressourcen auf dem deutschen Markt verzeichnet.

    Diese Woche weckte eine E-Mail von onlinemarketing.de mein Interesse, welche “Team Marketo Engage, Adobe” in der Signatur enthielt. Die Mail empfahl ein eBook, dass beschreibt wie erfolgreiche Unternehmen ihr Wachstum mit Hilfe von Marketo befeuern — präsentiert und in Aussicht gestellt in deutscher Sprache. Also habe ich es heruntergeladen und einen Blick hinein gewagt. 

    Welch Affront für interessierte deutsche B2B Marketer! 

    Das eBook ist ein Bericht, voll von amerikanischen Fallstudien, welche Wachstumszahlen zwischen 2014 und 2015 anführen — offensichtlich etwas veraltet. Ich fand sogar das englischsprachige Original, welches auf 2016 datiert ist — Sie haben also lediglich ein altes (unter Umständen obsoletes) eBook übersetzt, inklusive des Copyright-Statements auf der Rückseite …  “© 2016 Marketo, Inc. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.”

    Nun, vielleicht war es absichtlich so geplannt. Team Marketo Engage, Adobe (wer auch immer das genau ist) denkt womöglich, deutschen Marketern fehle die Reife ihrer US-amerikanischen Gegenstücke und zeigt ihnen deshalb Beispiele, welche 4-6 Jahre zurück liegen und deshalb für den heutigen deutschen Markt geeignet seien. Wie ich in den letzten Jahren wiederholt in Forschungsberichten und Blogs dargelegt habe, ist dieser Schluss schlichtweg nicht wahr: deutsches BSB Marketing ist nicht unterentwickelt, es ist anders.

    Ich denke, dass dies lediglich ein fauler Marketingbeitrag von jemanden ist, der den deutschen Markt nicht kennt, Budget für Übersetzungen auszugeben hatte und die “quick and dirty”-Variante für das Projekt wählte. Die Ironie der Geschichte verzeichnet sich auch dadurch, dass man mit Adobe Experience Manager leser-spezifische Informationen “automatisch” auf einer Website wiedergeben kann. Team Marketo Engage (Adobe) sollte sich schämen, da Sie nicht in der Lage sind ihre eigenen Tools zu verwenden.

    … wenn Adobe nur wüsste, was Adobe so weiß.

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • Uncategorized

    This is not Marketing Localization

    I’ve been working with the Marketing Lead Management vendor Marketo for close to 10 years now. In my Forrester days, I would regularly stop off at their office in San Mateo and meet up with founders Phil Fernandez and Jon Millar before flying home in the evening from San Francisco. 

    So I was pleased to report that Marketo were named and rated the highest of all under that brandname in my 2020 Vendor Selection Matrix on MLM, regardless of the company being acquired and absorbed by Adobe several years ago. Brand counts for something in B2B these days.

    One interesting discussion I always had with the Marketo executives was their strategy in Europe. For many years, they just parked some people (including German and French speakers) in Dublin, Ireland and marketed to European countries from there. I am convinced that this is one reason that Marketo struggled to sell well in Germany – though I could cite many others as well.

    But the acquisition by Adobe, who do have a substantial presence in Germany, promised that this could change. I’ve been receiving German-language mailings from “Marketo Germany” for quite a while now and I do hear signals in the market that there are more substantial sales and consulting resources working with German companies.

    So I was curious this week when I got an email, from onlinemarketing.de but signed off by “Team Marketo Engage, Adobe”, offering me an eBook describing how successful companies fuel their growth with Marketo – all presented and promised in German language. So I downloaded it and took a look. 

    What an insult to German B2B marketers. The eBook is a report full of American case studies citing growth numbers between 2014 and 2015 – so obviously old. I even found the English-language original which is dated 2016 – they just translated an old (ie. obsolete) eBook including translating the final copyright statement on the back page … “© 2016 Marketo, Inc. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.”

    Now this could be a considered fulfilment piece. Team Marketo Engage, Adobe (whoever that is) may be thinking that German marketers are much less mature than their American counterparts and therefore showing examples that are 4-6 years back in time may be perfect for them here. But, as I have repeatedly written up in research reports and blogs over the last years, that conclusion is just not true: German B2B marketing is not underdeveloped, it is different.

    But I think that this is just some lazy piece of marketing by someone who does not know the German market, had budget to spend on content translation and did a “quick and dirty” project. The irony is … with Adobe Experience Manager, you can render reader-specific information “automatically” on a website. Shame on you, Team Marketo Engage, Adobe, for not eating your own dog food !

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • Design Thinking,  News

    Der Martech Strategie Prozess

    Diese Monat co-moderierte ich die Keynote der GetStacked Konferenz, welche von der B2B Marketing Organisation erstmalig auf einer virtuellen Plattform ausgerichtet wurde. Ich war damit beauftragt die Highlights unseres neuen Forschungsberichts mit dem Titel „How is Marketing’s Technology Stacking Up?“ zu präsentierenWir haben über 300 B2B Marketing Spezialisten zu Martech Investments und Einsatzplänen befragt und zusätzlich einige Marketing Manager interviewt, um tiergehender Hintergründe und Erkenntnisse zu erfahren. Der entstandene Bericht, verfügbar bei B2B Marketing, enthüllt manches Betriebsgeheimnis, eine Fülle an Statistik und peer-to-peer Begutachtungen — wobei das Hauptziel des Berichts bleibt, eine Konversation durch die Bereitstellung von umsetzbaren Ratschlägen zu entflammen.

    Die Studie brachte einige ziemlich verblüffende Statistiken hervor. Beispielsweise konnten die Teilnehmenden mit Hilfe einer Selbstauskunft den Zustand ihres Martech Bestands angeben – Die Beantwortung war denkwürdig: Lediglich 13% konnten bestätigen, dass ihr Martech Bestand aktuelle und zukünftige Bedürfnisse zufriedenstellend abdecken kann. Fast ein Drittel betrachten ihren Martech Bestand als unzureichend und sehen akuten Bedarf einer Erweiterung. Der Rest gab an, ihr Bestand sei aktuell adäquat zu ihrem Bedarf, brauche jedoch für zukünftige Bedürfnisse weitere Erweiterungen. Dies wirkt tröstlich … jedoch nur auf den ersten Blick.

    Also ….. Wie kann man dieses Feedback erklären?

    Nun hat die ungezügelte digitale Transformation in der allgemeinen Geschäftswelt zwei klare Veränderungsmuster für uns B2B-Marketer hervorgebracht. Zuerst mussten wir uns daran anpassen, dass wir nun durch viele neue digitale Channels mit dem Markt kommunizieren. Darüber Hinaus mussten wir eine Reihe von neuen Technologien adaptieren, welche unsere neuen Geschäftsprozesse unterstützten. Ich vermute die Geschwindigkeit der Veränderung hat uns in beiden Bereichen etwas überwältigt. 

    Marketing Organisationen haben unterschiedlich auf diese Herausforderungen reagiert.

    • Einige haben rasch Marketing-Automatisierungs Plattformen adaptiert, teilweise mit vordefinierten Prozessen, welche die ausgewählte Software bereitstellt. Jedoch wurde häufig kein Veränderungsmanagement bei der Installation des Prozesses angewandt. Dadurch wurden die Mitarbeitenden oft nicht angemessen vorbereitet.
    • Andere haben eifrig selbst, oder mit Hilfe von Beratern, ein idealisierten Zielbestand (Stack) von Martech erarbeitet (Eine Art Architektur), um daraufhin verschiedenste Software Abonnements abzuschließen bis ihr Bestand aufgefüllt ist. Das Ergebnis ist meist eine Sammlung von abweichenden und unkoordinierten Systemen, welche nur schwer zu handhaben sind. 
    • Eine weitere Gruppe von Unternehmen erreichte das gleiche Resultat dadurch, dass sie alle Vermarkter in ihrer Organisation befähigen, ihre eigenen Tools auszuwählen und als Betriebsaufwand zu lizenzieren. In meiner Tätigkeit habe ich bereits einige Male beobachtet, dass sich die verwendeten SaaS-Programme über Marketing Abteilungen hinweg divers gestaltet. Dies zeigt, dass viel mehr Technologie angewandt wird wie ursprünglich angenommen oder geplant. 

    Insgesamt hat der Handlungsdruck im Bereich des digitalen Marketings eine Art Aufrüstung hervorgebracht, bei der viel Technologie taktisch angeschafft wird, oft als Reaktion auf die teils dreisten Versprechungen der Marketing Software Anbieter. 

    Unsere Studie zeigt außerdem, dass meist keine großartige Zufriedenheit mit den installierten Technologien oder Plattformen besteht. Die niedrigste Zufriedenheit in der Studie wurde bei CRM festgestellt, welches als unbeliebtestes System für Marketer gilt. Für die meisten Marketer ist CRM ein externes System: installiert bevor Sie digitalen Marketing betrieben und gebaut für die Bedürfnisse von Vertrieb nicht Marketing.  

    Die größte Martech Herausforderung oder Erfolgshemmer war

    “Zeitknappheit und Mangel an Ressourcen, welche effektiv genutzt werden können.”

    Offensichtlich kaufen und nutzen viele Unternehmen Software ohne eine Erwägung der erforderlichen Ressourcen, um von dieser Software zu profitieren. 

    Also, ein bedauerlicher Stand der Dinge. Eine Kombination aus kurzfristigem Denken, Ego-Käufen und unkontrollierten Anbieter Verhalten hat einen Martech Jungle für die meisten B2B Organisationen erschaffen. Erlauben Sie mir an dieser Stelle einen Gedanken hinzuzufügen, um eine Diskussion anzuregen. Wir haben eine weitere Frage in der Studie gestellt, eine welche ich häufig im Rahmen meiner Verpflichtungen stelle: “Haben sie eine Martech Strategie vereinbart und dokumentiert?”

    Ich bin fortlaufend daran interessiert, das aktuelle Dokument zur gesamten Martech Strategie meines Klienten zu sehen. Meine Erfahrungen weisen Ähnlichkeiten zu den Studienergebnissen auf, lediglich einer von fünf ist in der Lage mir ein solches Dokument zur Bewertung bereitzustellen. Immerhin 57% gaben an, aktuell daran zu arbeiten. Wir fragten auch nach dem erstrebten Zeitrahmen und ein Viertel der 57% erklärten, die Strategie sei für 6 oder auch 3 Monate vorgesehen. Nun ist jeder Zeitrahmen unter einem Jahr für eine Strategie unzureichend – schließlich dauert jedes große Martech Beschaffungsprojekt typischerweise 6-9 Monate von der ersten Festlegung bis zur Anbieterauswahl, mit einer darauffolgenden ähnlich großen Periode für die Implementierung.

    Ich erwarte von einer Martech Strategie, dass sie einige Elemente der Planung, Richtlinien und Rahmenbedingungen enthält. Wie der Titel impliziert, schließt dies den Technologieplan mit einer Beschreibung des aktuellen Zustands mit ein (gestützt von einer kürzlich stattgefunden Technologie-Audit) und eine Liste/Kalender der Technologieprojekte für die bevorstehende Period (aufgeteilt nach Investment-Bereichen, Make-or-buy-Entscheidungen, Status des Technologieerwerbs und einem integrierten Projektplan). Es sollte außerdem ein Prozess-Überarbeitungsplan enthalten, welcher diskutiert wie eine neue digitale Marketing Methode mit adäquatem Veränderungsmanagement adoptiert werden kann. Darüber hinaus ist ein Ressourcenplan mit Dokumentierung von Personalbestand, Rekrutierung, Externer Assistenz und Trainings unverzichtbar. 

    Marketing wird zunehmend digital und erfordert Technologie und eine geeignete Martech Infrastruktur von jeder Marketing Abteilung, um effektiv zu agieren. Gleichermaßen benötigt digitales Marketing entsprechende Organisation und Rahmenbedingungen, um effektiv in der Anwendung zu sein und die Infrastruktur wirksam einzusetzen. Eine klare strategische Herangehensweise an den Martech Bestand ist nun essentiell um sicherzustellen, dass die Ausgaben im gesamten Marketing Budget optimal investiert sind.

    Der CMO oder Marketing Direktor muss die Verantwortung eventuell an einen erfahrenen Vermarkter übertragen, eine Art Chief Marketing Technology Officer. In größeren Organisationen kann eine separate Gruppe für Marketing Betriebsabläufe gegründet werden, um die Technologie zu verwalten – die Führungskraft dieser Gruppe könne der Verantwortliche für die Martech Strategie sein.

    Eine Martech Strategie wird als Rahmenbedingung für alle Marketing Mitarbeitenden und die beteiligten IT Fachleute benötigt. Digital bedeutet, dass es viele Kategorien von Marketing Fachleuten gibt, welche intern und extern involviert sind (Als Digitale Marketing Dienstleistungserbringer): 

    • Marketing Programm End-Nutzer 
    • Marketing-Aktivitäten Staff
    • Vorstände, welche Berichte benötigen 
    • Entwickler von digitalen Erfahrungen oder externen Marketing Programmen 
    • All die potentiell Anwender-Käufern von Marketingsoftware für individuellen Nutzen (z. B.: Analytics)

    In einem modernen demokratischen Geschäftsumfeld gibt es keine Möglichkeit individuelle Investments zu verhindern. Man kann jedoch Rahmenbedingungen für alle schaffen, welche potentielle Schaden begrenzen (Integration, Sicherheit, Non-Compliance, Datenschutzverstöße).

    Der wahre Wert einer Martech Strategie liegt nicht im dokumentieren und archivieren. Es geht vielmehr um die Meetings, Kommunikation und Verhandlungen, welche für die Entwicklung des Strategie unabdinglich sind. Der fortlaufende Dialog hilft allen die Wichtigkeit der Planung zu verstehen, sich an diese Strategie anzupassen und Ressourcen- sowie Integrationsprobleme rechtzeitig zu erkennen und anzugehen. Eine Martech Strategie sollte kontinuierlich weiterentwickelt werden und für alle Marketing Fachleute zugänglich sein.

    It’s the Process That Counts!

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • BCM Research,  Brand Content Management,  DAM,  News

    MRM is Coming

    Marketing Resources Need To Be Managed As A Business

    As some of you may know, I do market research on software vendors and products through  interviews with marketing practitioners. I always approach my topics from the business point of view – instead of a technology category/label only familiar to product managers in software companies, or analysts at Gartner or Forrester, I name a business process (or family of processes) that I know marketers are thinking about. After all, marketing executives don’t sign cheques for software because they are collectors, they want to make their processes more efficient and expect an automation project will help. 

    So one of my more general ice-breaker questions has always been a flippant “So, what do you manage these days as a marketing manager?”. And the ice is usually broken by the marketer listing things like “leads”, “spending”, “agencies”, “people”, “digital assets” (they used to say “literature” way back), and, of course, “The brand”. 

    Over the years, their list has become longer but also more business-centric. Way back when, marketing was only about sales support, lead generation and literature. Thankfully, modern CMOs or Marketing Directors are now responsible for a more extensive operation, some of them even measured on revenue contribution. And so, as with any business executive, they should have full responsibility for the planning and effectiveness of their business resources.

    For a marketing executive, those resources fall into these categories: money, people, content assets and brand. And the process to manage these resources is therefore being called “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.   

    I would propose that now the time has come for many more CMOs and Marketing Directors to acquire their own “ERP system” and implement a serious MRM project, taking full control over what can make a marketing organization successful. 

    Clearly, content and brand resources are already marketing-specific and many CMS and Brand Content Management systems include resource management for those resource types. But using the corporate ERP software to manage people resources is no longer sufficient for a CMO because team managed increasingly includes external contributors (agencies, freelancers, analysts). These cannot be counted as a project but must be seen as ongoing marketing people resources. Lastly, the spending of marketing budgets is now so dynamic and digital that marketing executives can no longer rely on monthly or quarterly financial reports with historical data – if anything, they need a dashboard.  

    By definition, the MRM system should be marketing-centric – one that has the right language or terminology, reporting structure and cadence. Marketers think in terms of campaigns, not financial quarters, and they need a planning calendar. It should provide marketing professionals at all levels in the hierarchy with an ideal experience and support decisions about marketing investments. For that reason, the ideal solution would often be one that is grown out of an existing management system used within marketing. 

    But a relevant MRM must be more than just a planning/budgeting system: database plus reporting. It needs to able to be state of the art in that it can:

    • Take inputs from all players in the marketing ecosystem – for many companies this can include geographic entities or subsidiaries and even business partners
    • Collect live data in real-time to support decision-making
    • Provide recommendations and insights based on AI.

    I am currently fielding a global survey of marketers and their experience with MRM solutions, so watch this space.

    Always keeping you informed!  Peter 

  • 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

  • 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