Digital Market Hubs
Gartner’s recently released research, Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs, recognizes the big four marketing cloud vendors as leaders, but also points to many challengers. Adobe, Marketo, Oracle, and Salesforce inhabit the leader’s block of the Magic Quadrant, reflecting both their growing capabilities as well as marketing technology platform scopes. Gartner believes that challengers IBM, Epsilon (Conversant), and Experian Marketing Services are equipped with similar abilities as the top four, and considers RocketFuel, DataXu, Neustar, and MediaMath a few of the visionaries not yet able to deliver at the same scale. Gartner’s final quarter points to niche players and includes Nielsen (eXelate), Sizmek, Marin Software, and Teradata.
The Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs research suggests that digital marketing hubs offer consistent access to content, audience profile data, messaging, workflow elements, analytics functions, and data collection, manually and programmatically, both online and offline. The various platforms were analyzed according to their ability to cover four areas of capability, including:
- Mastering audience profiling using a combination of first, second and third-party data sources;
- Workflow and collaboration tools for end-to-end marketing program management;
- Intelligent composition for multi-channel marketing activities and automation;
- Unified measurement and optimization.
The Big Four
While Adobe’s Marketing Cloud platform stands out for its vision, broad range of creative and analytical tools for marketers, cloud-based software delivery, financial strength, and dedication to marketing solutions innovation, the company lost points for its high prices, ongoing integration, and complexity and support around their modular-based Marketing Cloud.
Marketo, meanwhile, was recognized for its extensive set of capabilities for both multi-channel journey mapping and direct marketing use cases, as well as for partner ecosystem and audience management. Ad tech integration, dissatisfaction around pricing and support, and native search engine marketing tools, however, pull the company up short of a perfect product.
Oracle’s broad scope of capabilities was also recognized by Gartner, from acquisitions to product integration, big data architecture to workflow. But Oracle’s reliance on acquisition for development was considered a weakness, as well as gaps in their offering which include DSP functions and native multi-touch attribution analytics. Poor customer satisfaction regarding pricing and after sales engagement was Gartner’s final caution to Oracle.
With strengths ranging from intuitive user experiences to cross-cloud forays into sales and service due to its Journey Build features, Salesforce Marketing Cloud rounds off the big four digital marketing platforms well. Gartner highlighted their strong email marketing capabilities, due primarily to their acquisition of ExactTarget, as well as constant investment in product innovation, but inconsistencies in hub adoption, immature data analytics, and concerns regarding declining support quality and pricing suggest room for growth and improvement.
The Digital Marketing Cloud
As digital adoption soars, customer behavior changes, and businesses have to redesign their customer’s journey. Digital marketing platforms are increasingly helping organizations identify, create, manage, and measure these customer journeys, and with the information and insights of big data, the digital marketing cloud is changing how businesses operate as well as how they interact with their customers. Though Gartner recognizes the above mentioned big four as leaders in digital marketing, the challengers, visionaries, niche players, and even novice market entrants are improving the digital marketing landscape and bettering existing business models.
By Jennifer Klostermann