I enjoyed working with Steve Kimish, Propolis Hive expert, Execution & Campaigns, while the interviews were with senior executives in/around the B2B marketing event industry, to collect an appropriately deep insight into the topic.
Here is my final chapter entitled simply; “Recommendations”.
“Planning a marketing event calendar for fiscal or calendar 2023 is probably going to be one of the more strategic programmes for many B2B CMOs and marketing directors over the next months. Many in marketing used to see events as nice-to-have vanity driven exercises of corporate PR. In future, it will be an integral part of an overall customer engagement strategy.
Future marketing plans will include both physical and digital events as standard in customer engagement programs; to collect market/customer insights at scale and to maintain a buyer/customer relationship over a longer period than just a buying cycle. A B2B CMO I’ve met recently talked about plans as more of a ‘media strategy’ than a marketing strategy.
I know of several large tech vendors that already have concrete plans into 2024 for large scale, multi-media, highly branded events accommodating thousands of delegates and providing an outstanding conference, networking and banqueting experience for business partners and customers alike.
Virtual marketing events will become part of a new marketing channel, scheduled, and atomised across the whole calendar and much more numerous, impactful, and measurable than before.
The interviews documented in the body of this report contain a series of recommendations for you to take note of, but I would like to add a couple more strategic thoughts as a recommendation. You may not need to do it this year, or even next, but I suggest that you should be at least considering the following initiatives over the next two to five years:
- Recruiting media talent. The largest B2B companies will be creating their own ‘Netflix’ websites with full presentations and atomised videos of the speakers who have featured in recent marketing events, plus further thought leadership and educational content. Over time, the expectation among all B2B buyers will be to enjoy the same type of experience. So, when further recruiting content marketing staff, you should be looking for people with video management and editing skills or providing training for these capabilities.
- Configure event data into your customer data management strategy. As you extend your customer data management (CDM) processes and strategy, ensure that the CDM team can collect and collate event engagement data as well. This requires process design and ensuring that the selection criteria for new event platform software include this requirement.
- Don’t neglect the content expectations of your ecosystem members. While the intent to provide an entertainment and memorable experience in future marketing events is understandable, savvy marketing executives will also continue to generate content that provides deeper information to technical buyers and product or service user/consumer-personas.
The report will publish to B2B Marketing Propolis clients next month and a shortened version to the non-premium members later in the year. Contact me if you would like to get more details.
Always keeping you informed! Peter
You may have noticed: when I do market research on software vendors and products, I always approach my topics from the business point of view – not 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 buy software because they are collectors, they want to make their processes more efficient and expect an automation project will help.
Over the years, their list of processes to be automated has become longer but also more business centric. Way back when, marketing was only about sales support, lead generation and literature. Now, 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 have full responsibility for the planning and effectiveness of all 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).
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 – especially the financials.
Content and brand resources are already marketing-specific and many CMS and Brand Content Management systems include resource management for those resource types. Digital assets are managed in DAM and PIM systems. But using the corporate ERP software to manage people resources is not good enough as a typical CMO-led organization increasingly includes external contributors (agencies, freelancers, analysts), all to be accounted for as an ongoing marketing-people resource. Lastly, the spending of marketing budgets is now so dynamic and digital that executives can no longer rely on monthly or quarterly batched financial reports with historical data – if anything, they need a dashboard that forecasts, predicts and recommends.
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.
MRM is still in its adoption infancy. Capterra has some 50 MRM Software offerings in its directory. And my esteemed ex-colleagues at Forrester produced a NowTech report on MRM in Q1 this year that focused on the needs of enterprise B2C organizations above $1 billion in revenue and identified 28 vendors.
But what is the market saying?
Well, I have now fielded my 2022 global survey of marketers’ experience with MRM solutions and am talking to the vendors to complete my research. This is the list of the Top 15 vendors from the survey (in alphabetical order).
ALLOCADIA, APRIMO, BRANDMAKER, BRANDMASTER, BRANDSYSTEMS, CONTENTSERV, ELATERAL, INFOR, LYTHO, MARMIND, PERCOLATE, SITECORE, WEDIA, WELCOME, WORKFRONT
Curiously, a significant number of vendors who marketers cite as their MRM solution are telling me that they do not want to “position the offering as MRM”. Who says that the customer is always right?
Always keeping you informed! Peter O’Neill
Many years ago, working at HP, I quickly learned to schedule my vacations according to the marketplace. Common practice was, when customers (well, prospects) went on their vacation, they first dumped some work on my colleagues and myself, sending us a thick envelope (no Email in those days) containing a “Request for Proposal” or even worse (sounds so uncommitted!) a “Request for Information” — long, detailed documents laying out a series of specifications and functions that they wanted to see in our product.
We’d be expected to process/answer many detailed questions and submit a response when they came back from vacation. Most RFPs were issued, especially here in Germany, during the summer and just before Christmas.
I got the impression that creating these RFP documents, and then processing the vendor replies, was the main event for many buyers. It wasn’t necessarily about picking the right solution. The later stages (presentation, demo, negotiation, sales) seemed to happen very quickly afterwards.
Further work experience also taught me that the famous adage that “70% of IT projects fail” is very true and continues to be so. I would suggest that one reason for this is the above process. Many companies assume that the most important component of any process automation project is the Vendor Selection Process (VSP). Once that’s done, it is easy sailing – just install it, configure it, (perhaps) train the users and run the system.
Well, I’ve now assisted many a client through their VSP and sat in on their meetings with potential suppliers to provide my input as “an outsider”. I trust that my assessment of the vendors’ offerings and potential to fit into their planned technical architecture was useful. But still, I’ve often left the meetings with the feeling that the client wasn’t really prepared for the full project. I would notice that many aspects of the project were not yet thought through. There were often:
- No sample business workflows (much of which is outside the software they’ll buy)
- No profile of their potential users (devices, competencies, preferences)
- No sample reports or dashboards designed
- No prioritization in their list of requirements – all was equally important.
Process automation projects fail because of a bad fit between project solution and requirements. And when I say “project” I mean much more than the software product. The solution must cover the complete business scenario to be improved, which is usually only partly through technology – process and organization always needs to be tuned as well.
I suggest that it is now time to reconsider the role of the VSP – it should not be “the means to an end” – better to turn it into the kick-off for a process transformation project.
In 2009, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford came up with the concept of “design thinking” which has been adopted by many IT organizations and software vendors as the basis for their development projects. The associated meeting/communications method, SCRUM, has now even been adopted by modern marketing departments. The Stanford School process proposes these steps in a project:
Empathize – Define – Ideate – Prototype – Test.
So here is what I envisage in a modern marketing process automation project:
Empathize. Collect and describe the requirements based not on technical specifications but by describing real business scenarios – improved workflows that marketers care about. Include persona profiles and the desired “usage tone” (marketing- or IT-centric, advanced or casual user, terminology known or not, device preferred, location of task, reporting requirements, millennials!). A scenario documentation should resemble the briefings given to marketing agencies – not an RFP spreadsheet.
Define. Based on the make-up of the user-team and other requirements such as integrations and services, you should be able to easily segment the vendors and arrive at a shortlist. Provide the scenario documentation to those vendors and gather their responses as a first selection phase. Allow them to be creative – they may even be able to propose process improvements that you had not yet identified.
Ideate. Invest time here to engage with three to five vendors to explore how they would help you to automate the scenarios. If you want to restrict this phase, limit how many scenarios each vendor works on – one will probably suffice for you to form an impression of the vendor’s suitability as a business partner.
Prototype. The people at Stanford would love you to be putting Post-It notes on the wall in this phase, but you should probably expect your vendors to be able to demonstrate how they would support your scenarios with their software. You should now be down to one or perhaps two vendors. As well as checking whether they have realistic expectations, also use this phase to observe how the project members will work together – vendor people with your colleagues but perhaps you are also bringing together colleagues who are strange to each other. Create a conflict situation by changing a scenario and see how all players react.
Test. After selecting your technology provider, you now move into the project roll-out phase, which is usually focused on just one team, location, or business area to generate success and then a more expansive roll-out. Continue to expect the vendor to treat you as a business partner and working to ensure your success.
The test phase should never end. Wise project managers will maintain a running, live doc of the business requirements, because they’ll change over time. Display it in a flexible and editable spot to allow you to constantly re-check what you need, and the costs associated with it. Also, ask yourself periodically what can you cut? Or what hasn’t been used in months? Who is now using the software – is that different than initially assumed?
Something to think about the next time you plan an automation project.
Always keeping you informed! Peter O’Neill
If you are reading this, then I assume that you’ve looked at a couple of my Vendor Selection Matrixtm reports and are thinking … they look like magic quadrants or waves but they seem to be different… Well, they certainly are – in more ways than one !
I do this work with my business partner Research In Action and mine are written for marketing software buyers who need to automate one or more important marketing processes and are researching which vendors COULD provide the software their business will require for optimal functionality and strategy.
They’re likely to be calling the project something close to the process(es) being automated and improved, but there is no guarantee that the vendors will be using that terminology when describing their products.
I design my projects around the process name I think Marketers would use and survey businesses on their experience. Often, that collects a landscape of vendors using different technology labels but that is the reality.
All in all, there is a multitude of vendor report types out there. On one end of the spectrum, you have the Analyst 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.
Pros: The “Tier One” industry analysts doing 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. Vendors must 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 consulted specifically on 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 Report is written for the research firm’s clients, usually large enterprises – which influences the list of vendors include, of course. These are smaller audiences 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 not only for the vendor but also for 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.
Pros: It’s always helpful to seek out feedback from other users; peers who share the good, bad, and the ugly 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 favourite 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 – 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.
Research In Action Reports Have Both Perspectives
The methodology at Research In Action is that we first survey 1,500 practitioners about THEIR view of automating the process(es) in questions. And then we ask them to name one or two vendors they associate with the project and give us feedback on the vendor’s product, service, value-for-money, and ability to innovate. The vendors who score highly enough in the survey get into the Vendor Selection Matrixtm report in the first place (usually 15 to 20 vendors).
Then, that curated market feedback is seasoned with a touch of industry analyst’s (that’s me) 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.
Research In Action Reports are Widely Read
When Research In Action publishes its reports, they are made available to several communities:
- 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 125,000 IT Automation decision-makers and 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, with their detailed profile, to interested parties.
On average, each report gets tens of thousands of clicks on our website. Personally, I am quite proud that so many people now get to see my work. And, when I am booked to do speeches and webinars, I know they are booking me personally, not the brand power.
Our work really does 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
I am almost finished with my next Vendor Selection Matrixtm on Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP) – the draft is with the vendors for fact checking. Here are some highlights that will, hopefully, make you more curious about the full report.
Our method of asking business managers to name software vendor(s) they associate with a certain topic collects the list of all vendors that are currently top of mind on the practitioner side. In this case we provided a definition and asked about their “Marketing Automation Platform” and the vendor landscape discovered will surprise some people and vendor staff will see new competitors they had not yet considered. Perception is reality. Most vendors were also scored highly, a sign of a mature market, but the survey results also
make it clear that expectations from marketing executives of MAP vendors have now changed dramatically.
More and more companies are now focusing on digital marketing programs as society and business reacts to the COVID-19 crisis. In parallel, the focus of digital marketing itself is moving from the simple realization of new business leads to a more engaging and relationship model, raising questions on MAP functions now needed, questions such as: is lead management or engagement management the main function required now?
Nearly three quarters of companies are using the MAP more than previously with over half of those companies are leveraging it for more products and services than before and/or for greater market coverage. The crisis has accelerated the inevitable and the increased dependency on digital marketing has exposed weaknesses in many MAP installations. So, it is no surprise that our survey found that 83% of the companies who have a MAP are actively reassessing the suitability of their current installation. 11% are already replacing their MAP. Another 24% of the respondents know they must migrate to something new and 50% know this will be the case for them soon.
63% claim that they are not getting the promised return from their MAP (46% citing that as a BIG problem). 91% have issues integrating the MAP to other systems with, again, the share citing that issue as a BIG challenge is well over 40%.
The re-assessment wave varies across the key regions of the world with North American enterprises already well into the replacement phase. Although there are 12 market leaders, ONLY 13% of companies are satisfied with their current MAP functionality – or just 10% in North America and in Europe.
Two thirds of companies lack the time/resources to use their MAP effectively while a similar proportion complain about lack of support, or over-promising, from the vendors (40% call this is a BIG challenge).
So, watch this space at the end of this month for more data and insights.
Always keeping you informed! Peter
Here are the 2020 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 or Distributed Marketing.
IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), BRANDMAKER ( #1 Customer Satisfaction), TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS, CHANNELEXPERTS, BRANDMUSCLE, ELATERAL, ANSIRA, SPROUTLOUD, BRIDGELINE DIGITAL, NETSERTIVE, CHANNELKONNECT
Marketing Lead Management (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 2020). 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.
SEISMIC (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), CLEARSLIDE (#1 Price/Value), SHOWPAD, BRAINSHARK (#1 Price/Value), HIGHSPOT, SALESPHERE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BIGTINCAN, SAP, , MEDIAFLY, PITCHER, SALESLOFT, APPAROUND, ZOOMIFIER, PROLIFIQ, ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES
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.
VALTECH (#1 Overall), R/GA, HUGE, MERKLE, 10PEARLS, CAPTECH, ICFNEXT, MPHASIS, EPAM, PROXIMITY, PUBLICIS SAPIENT, CRITICAL MASS, MULLENLOW PROFERO, PERKUTO, LEADMD, KIN & CARTER, CI&T, PEDOWITZ GROUP, THOUGHTWORKS, DIALEXA
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.
BRANDMAKER (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), PERCOLATE BY SEISMIC (#1 Price/Value), APRIMO, WORKFRONT (#1 Price/Value), CONTENTSERV, ALLOCADIA, BRANDMASTER, SITECORE (#1 Sitecore), ELATERAL, WEDIA, INFOR, SAS, BIZIBLE, SAP, BRANDMUSCLE
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.
TEALIUM (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), AQUIA (#1 Customer Satisfaction), EVERGAGE, SITECORE (#1 Price/Value), CXENSE, ACTIONIQ, ADOBE, REDPOINT GLOBAL, EULERIAN, BLUECONIC, COMMANDERS ACT, SALESFORCE, NGDATA, ORACLE
Always keeping you informed! Peter
Through 2021 in my work with Research in Action, I 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 well over 200 marketing software vendors – as discussed in this blog.
The vendor-marketers often respond with 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). Also, many vendors are very specific about their target market segment and we survey companies from mid-market to enterprise and across the globe and across all industries.
Here are the vendor landscapes discovered in those global process-oriented surveys. I have taken the liberty of listing the vendors in order of their ranking in the Vendor Selection Matrix graphic.
Marketing Event Management (Dec 2021). Selecting a Marketing Event Management (MEM) platform will probably be one of the more strategic decisions for CMOs in 2022. When many companies ran virtual events during the COVID-19 crisis, their immediate goal was to cover an already-planned live event with an online alternative as a work-around. Many executives made short-term decisions about the platform — optimization wasn’t yet part of their strategy, just getting it done.
ON24 (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ZOOM (#1 Price/Value, #1 Customer Satisfaction), MEETYOO (#1 Customer Satisfaction), 6CONNEX (#1 Price/Value), VFAIRS, NOTIFIED, CERTAIN, BIZZABO, ACCELEVENTS, KALTURA, AIRMEET, RAINFOCUS, CVENT, SPOTME, CADMIUMCD, SPLASH, HOPIN, CIRCA, MICROSOFT
Partner Management Automation (Oct 2021). This is my new label for what I (and many vendors) have traditionally called Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA). The digital world has now dramatically changed these processes and made the need for a broader technology platform (PMA) inevitable as companies deal with increasing volumes and types of partners.
IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value, #1 Customer Satisfaction), IMPACT.COM (#1 Price/Value, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS, MAGENTRIX (#1 Price/Value), WEBINFINITY (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CHANNEL MECHANICS, SALESFORCE, CHANNELEXPERTS (#1 Price/Value), CHANNELTIVITY (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BRANDMAKER, COMPUTER MARKET RESEARCH, SPROUTLOUD, ORACLE
Brand Content Management (August 2021). This vendor landscape is a broad mix of vendors with a wide variety of claims: brand governance, brand portal, digital asset management, content management hubs, even marketing resource management. Hardly any vendor can cover all process within BCM, so companies are deploying software from more than one of the vendors appearing in this landscape – 76% of the respondents have more than one vendor and 24% have six or more systems installed.
CENSHARE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), BRANDMAKER (#1 Customer Satisfaction), WEDIA (#1 Price/Value), BRANDMUSCLE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BYNDER (#1 Price/Value), BRANDMASTER, CELUM, OPTIMIZELY, SITECORE, ANSIRA, ADOBE, OPENTEXT, CAPITAL ID, ACOUSTIC, MARCOMCENTRAL
Product Information Management (May 2021). The recent acceleration of digital marketing and eCommerce investments has increased the need for marketers to be involved with this. So many companies must now incorporate eCommerce into their sales strategy much more than previously, and their marketers usually discover a mix of eCommerce channels: direct on their own websites, plus third parties such as marketplaces and distributors. The only way they can optimize the customer experience through all those channels is to pay much more attention to the PIM process, previously scoped only by IT and product management.
CONTENTSERV (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value, #1 Customer Satisfaction), RIVERSAND, INFORMATICA, STIBO SYSTEMS, SEMARCHY (#1 Customer Satisfaction), VIAMEDICI (#1 Price/Value, #1 Customer Satisfaction), PROFISEE (#1 Price/Value), TIBCO (#1 Customer Satisfaction), AKENEO, ATACCAMA, SAP, RELTIO, IBM, WINSHUTTLE, INRIVER
Account-Based Marketing (Apr 2021). ABM is a purely B2B imperative – many people would even say B2B marketing is ABM. But others would promote Account-Based Marketing and Selling. The resulting vendor landscape is a broad mix of vendors with a wide variety of claims: data collection and analytics, targeted advertising, marketing campaign orchestration, enabling intelligent engagement, and even sales enablement.
DEMANDBASE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), MRP (#1 Price/Value), 6SENSE (#1 Price/Value), JABMO, TECHTARGET (#1 Price/Value), KWANZOO, MADISON LOGIC, TERMINUS, ROLLWORKS, TRIBLIO, DUN & BRADSTREET, LEADSPACE, MINTIGO, METADATA.IO, UBERFLIP
Digital Experience Management (Feb 2021). This vendor landscape contains vendors with a wide variety of claims: web content management, content management systems, digital experience, through to digital commerce. The major enterprise application software vendors also offer their own DXM platform – the market feedback in report shows that their solutions are not appreciated though. The suitability of a DXM platform varies according to whether you are a medium-sized company or a large international enterprise.
ACQUIA (#1 Overall), E-SPIRIT, CROWNPEAK (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BLOOMREACH (#1 Customer Satisfaction), OPTIMIZELY (#1 Price/Value), COREMEDIA (#1 Price/Value), SITECORE, SQUIZ, ADOBE, IBEXA, CONTENTFUL, OPENTEXT, MAGNOLIA, SALESFORCE, ORACLE, SAP
Digital Asset Management (Jan 2021). Our surveys and consulting work enables us to continually assess the maturity of marketing organizations (combination of organization, process and technology) – DAM projects mostly occur early in the maturity progression, but many companies then replace and/or consolidate their DAM projects at a later stage. The vendors listed here include some on the asset management function while others are more about the business processes around that.
SITECORE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), CENSHARE (#1 Price/Value), CLOUDINARY (#1 Price/Value), ADOBE, BRANDMAKER (#1 Customer Satisfaction), APRIMO, CELUM, NUXEO, WIDEN, PICTUREPARK, CANTO, BYNDER, OPENTEXT, IMAGE RELAY, BRANDMASTER
Always keeping you informed! Peter
Aufgrund des Produktionszyklus meiner Forschungsberichte arbeite ich an vielen Projekten gleichzeitig. Also, momentan liefere ich weiterhin ……
… Aber ich sehe auch mir bereits die Daten einer neuen Umfrage zu Marketing Automatisierungsplattformen (MAP) an. Außerdem plane ich aktuell mit den jeweiligen Anbietern Briefings, sodass der Bericht im Februar 2022 veröffentlicht werden kann.
Der MAP-Bericht ist als Update meiner früheren Berichten über Marketing Lead Management (MLM) zu verstehen. Ich beobachte, wie sich viele Marketing-Organisationen von einem Leads-Lieferanten für den Vertrieb zu einem strategischeren Orchestrator für den gesamten Lebenszyklus des Kundenengagements entwickeln. Daher denke ich, dass MLM als Arbeitstitel für diese Studie nicht mehr geeignet ist. “MAP” war schon immer der alternative Begriff für MLM, obwohl er traditionell nur in Nordamerika und der Technologiebranche verwendet wurde (Bei Forrester haben wir den Begriff “Lead-to-Revenue-Management” verwendet).
Aber, was versteh man heutzutage unter einer MAP?
Es mag Sie vielleicht überraschen, dass ich in der Umfrage den Begriff “MAP” verwende, denn ich betone stets bei meiner Untersuchungen, dass es darum geht, wie Unternehmen einen Marketingprozess oder eine Familie von Prozessen automatisieren – im Gegensatz zu einer Produktkategorie. In meinen zahlreichen Interviews sprechen Marketingfachleute häufig von ihren “Marketingplattformen”. Ich habe jedoch festgestellt, dass sie damit oft unterschiedliche Dinge meinen, was die Technologie und die Prozesse angeht. Daher war ich neugierig zu erfahren, was Marketingfachleute unter MAP verstehen und welche Anbieter in der Anbieterlandschaft unserer weltweiten Umfrage mit 1.500 gewerblichen Käufern auftauchen. Hier ist die Liste der Anbieter, die von den Umfrageteilnehmern (ungefragt) mit MAP in Verbindung gebracht wurden:
- ACT-ON SOFTWARE, ADOBE, CREATIO, DEMANDBASE, EMARSYS (SAP), HUBSPOT, INFOR, MARKETO, ORACLE, PEGASYSTEMS, RIGHT ON INTERACTIVE, SALESFORCE, SAS INSTITUTE, SELLIGENT, und SUGAR MARKET
- Der Vollständigkeit halber sei erwähnt, dass auch folgende Unternehmen in der Umfrage erwähnt wurden, jedoch nicht in dem Bericht enthalten sind: ACTITO, ACTIVECAMPAIGN, ADESTRA, KEA, MAILCHIMP, UPLAND SOFTWARE und ZOHO
Es tauchen also die üblichen Verdächtigen auf, aber auch eine Vielzahl von Produktkategorien, wie der klassische Branchenanalyst sagen würde: Traditionelles MAP plus MRM, ABM, Low-Code Generation und sogar einige “Marketing Cloud”-Anbieter (was auch immer das sein soll).
Aber HIER IST DAS WICHTIGSTE ERGEBNIS…
Die Erwartungen an MAP haben sich in den letzten 18 Monaten geändert. Sehen Sie sich diese Highlights aus den Umfrageergebnissen an:
- 87 % der Befragten gaben an, dass sie ihr derzeitiges MAP neu bewerten würden
- Einer der wichtigsten Treiber für MAP-Investitionen war die “Messung des Marketing-ROI und der Leistung”
- 46 % der Befragten nannten die Tatsache, dass ihr MAP nicht den versprochenen Nutzen bringt, als eine große Herausforderung
Es gibt noch viel mehr Daten dieser Art, über die ich in den nächsten Wochen nachdenken werde. Die Befragten bewerteten die ihnen bekannten Anbieter anhand verschiedener Kriterien zu Produkt, Zufriedenheit, Innovation, Vision usw. Nach den Briefings werde ich meinen Standpunkt zu einigen Kriterien darlegen und anschließend ein Profil der Anbieter im Hinblick auf die Erfüllung der Anforderungen eines MAP-Projekts erstellen.
Ich freue mich auf die Briefings mit allen Anbietern in den nächsten Monaten. Wenn Sie mehr über diese Untersuchung erfahren möchten, können Sie mich wie immer gerne kontaktieren. Der abschließende Bericht wird im Februar 2022 erscheinen.
Always keeping you informed! Peter
Glücklicherweise werde ich als Branchenanalyst immer noch häufig als Redner für Webinars und Konferenzen gebucht. Einige Vorträge waren Standard-Webinars mit etwa hundert Teilnehmern, jeweils mit einer Handvoll Rednern oder einer Podiumsdiskussion. Andere Vorträge fanden im Rahmen von Großveranstaltungen oder Konferenzen mit Tausenden Teilnehmern, Dutzenden Sponsoren/Ausstellern und einer Vielzahl von Rednern statt. In den letzten 18 Monaten wurden all diese Veranstaltungen aufgrund der eingeschränkten Reisefreiheit virtuell organisiert und durchgeführt.
Da jede Plattform ein wenig anders zu bedienen ist, habe ich gelernt, flexibel zu sein. An einem Tag befinde ich mich beispielsweise als Avatar in einem 3D-simulierten Konferenzzentrum (Ich habe immer noch Zugriff auf einen virtuellen Konferenzraum dieser Website). An einem anderen Tag sitze ich in einer Microsoft Teams Videokonferenz und werde dann von den Organisatoren live in eine große Konferenz “gebeamt” (Das war ein ziemlich großer Aufwand, denn ich brauchte drei Geräte: Desktop/Laptop, um in Teams zu sein; ein Tablet, um zu verfolgen, wie die Show live gestreamt wurde; und schließlich mein Smartphone, welches als Clicker eingerichtet war, um die Präsentationsfolien zu steuern).
Eine der wichtigsten Herausforderungen für CMOs bei der Planung der Budgets für 2022 liegt darin, zu antizipieren, wie ihr Veranstaltungskalender für das kommende Jahr aussehen sollte oder könnte. Mit Live-Veranstaltungen? Aber wie? Als hybrides Event? Und was ist das genau? Plus: Welche Marketing Event Management (MEM)-Plattform(en) wird (werden) im bevorstehenden Jahr 2022 am besten für sie geeignet sein.
Meine ersten Gedanken zu dieser Thematik habe ich bereits hier in diesem (in englischer Sprache) Blog niedergeschrieben. Der Bericht ist nun vollständig und hier sind einige der Highlights…
- Die aktuelle Corona-Pandemie hat das Unvermeidliche beschleunigt. Große virtuelle Veranstaltungen gehören mittlerweile zum Normalbetrieb und viele Unternehmen planen sie nun routinemäßig in ihre Marketing-Kalender ein. Auch Webinare sind in den meisten Branchen und Regionen bereits zu einem bewährten Marketinginstrument geworden.
- Fast ein Drittel der Unternehmen sorgt sich um die Skalierbarkeit. Die nächstgrößere Herausforderung für Unternehmen liegt im Kosten- und Ressourcenmanagement.
- Mehr als die Hälfte der Unternehmen nutzte dieses Jahr zwischen sechs und zehn Anbieter. Die meisten verfolgten hierfür keine zentrale Beschaffungsstrategie, was sich im Jahr 2022 voraussichtlich ändern wird.
- Beinahe 75% der Unternehmen haben ernsthafte Schwierigkeiten bei der effizienten Monetarisierung ihrer Veranstaltungen. Mehr als die Hälfte berichtet von Problemen mit dem Support von internationalem Publikum, bei der Verwaltung von Präsentationsinhalten, der Registrierung und dem Ticketing.
Der Bericht enthält mehrere Seiten mit weiteren Erkenntnissen, welche auf Interviews mit Anwendern und Anbietern basieren. Unsere weltweite Befragung von 1.500 Fachleuten für Geschäftsveranstaltungen konnte folgende Wettbewerbslandschaft der Top MEM-Anbieter aufdecken. Die Market Leaders (Strategie und Execution Bewertung mehr als 4 von 5 Punkte) waren:
- 6CONNEX, ACCELEVENTS, AIRMEET, BIZZABO, CERTAIN, CVENT, KALTURA, MEETYOO, NOTIFIED , ON24, RAINFOCUS, SPOTME, VFAIRS, und ZOOM.
Es ist gut, einen deutsche Anbieter, MEETYOO, in diesen Liste zu finden. Gratuliere nach Berlin.
Always keeping you informed! Peter
One of the most important questions marketing executives are asking is about how their events calendar should, or could, develop for the next planning phase. Are live events totally dead now, or will they return? What is a hybrid event and how do they choose which format to offer?
Plus, which Marketing Event Management (MEM) platform(s) will be the most suitable for them going forward. Through 2021, many MEM providers released new, dedicated software to better support virtual events of all sizes, accelerated, of course, by massive injections of venture capital. The classical webinar vendors now all support larger events, while existing virtual event providers added functionality for webinars and meetings to their portfolio.
Here is our report on MEM which is based upon a global survey of 1,500 business decision-makers about their MEM experiences in 2021 and plans for 2022, which discovered the software vendors that are most known, as well as what the businesspeople think about those products and services. Over half of the 1,500 companies used between six and ten different MEM vendors this year and most did not have a centralized procurement strategy for this topic. We expect this to change for 2022 and going forward.Here are the survey highlights and my insights from the many conversations I had on the topic:
- Partner COVID accelerated an already-inevitable move to virtual. Virtual is part of a new marketing paradigm where events will be more numerous, impactful, and measurable than before. Expect all digital marketing plans to include events as standard in customer engagement programs; to collect market/customer insights at scale and to maintain a buyer/customer relationship over a longer period than just a buying cycle. Marketers used to see events as nice-to-have vanity-driven exercises of corporate PR. No longer
- Hybrid event strategies will prevail, but the definition changes. Marketers see “hybrid” as more than just mobile apps for on-site attendees. It is a mix of on-site with virtual attendance, with all attendees treated equally; a program of on-site and virtual events within a hub and spoke engagement strategy; plus, importantly, the ability to switch to virtual at short notice if necessary.
- To immerse or not to immerse, that is the question. Many virtual event vendors have 3D, CGI-like, avatar-driven, conference environments. But a good share of marketers will opt for a more pragmatic experience – something like a Netflix interface, with a content hub/streaming platform where recordings can be leveraged in campaigns or even just be discovered through good SEO.
- Virtual events encourage further globalization. Most virtual events attract and discover new attendance from international audiences. This raises new challenges for event organizers (and the platform they select) around localization, supporting synchronous and asynchronous presentations and meetings, as well as compliance issues such as using attendee and engagement data.
- The MEM vendor landscape bewilders, vendors must tell better stories. The over-100 MEM vendors out there have a variety of roots. Some have just repackaged traditional offerings through new product positioning. Others are meeting platforms good for meetings, but not necessarily larger events, or vice-versa. Most are challenged, however, to communicate the benefits of their technologies to business-oriented marketers.
- Who came out on top? As most businesses were experimenting, the general level of satisfaction with the vendors is higher than usual, so there is an unusually long list of Market Leaders (having both a Strategy and an Execution score of over 4 out of 5) in the Vendor Selection Matrix™ – Marketing Event Management 2021 as scored by the survey and myself (listed alphabetically):
6CONNEX, ACCELEVENTS, AIRMEET, BIZZABO, CERTAIN, CVENT, KALTURA, MEETYOO, NOTIFIED, ON24, RAINFOCUS, SPOTME, VFAIRS, and ZOOM
Time will tell if that list remains so strong. The full list of vendors in the Top 19 vendors scored in the survey is completed by: CADMIUMCD, CIRCA, HOPIN, SPLASH, and MICROSOFT.
Contact me if you’d like to hear more about this research.
Always keeping you informed! Peter