Despite their transparent hunger for the chief marketing officer’s growing technology budget, not one of the IT mega vendors has an end-to-end digital marketing platform to sell, according to analyst company Ovum.
According to analyst Gerry Brown, businesses have built up a rag-tag collection of digital marketing tools over the years, and are looking for unified systems to tie data and processes together.
“In the past, people have had a myriad of different vendors providing different marketing solutions, which presents many problems with the unification of interfaces, scalability and integration,” he says. “This has made it difficult to move forwards in terms of providing a complete marketing platform.
“But marketing people are looking at the total solution to improve efficiency, effectiveness and ability to deliver return on investment back to the organisation.”
For a new report entitled “Evaluating Mega-Vendors’ Digital Marketing Platforms and Strategies”, Ovum analyst Gerry Brown evaluated the digital marketing propositions of six vendors vying to capture that market: Adobe, IBM, Oracle, SAS, Teradata and Salesforce.com.
He found that while these vendors are all trying to become a “one stop shop” for digital marketing technology, they are still generally weak when it comes to the ability to quickly deliver integrated marketing solutions.
“Vendors’ views of their own strengths are not necessarily shared by marketers, who often prefer to work with creative marketing agencies rather than IT vendors,” says Brown.
There is no dominant vendor yet, Brown found, although IBM has achieved something of a “head start” over the others by establishing strong relationships with specialist digital marketing agencies SapientNitro and Razorfish.
Oracle and Salesforce.com are beginning to catch in this regard, however, while SAS and Teradata are focused on building on their data management and analytics legacy within digital marketing.
Salesforce is a relative newcomer to the digital marketing arena, and needs to improve its product integration and go-to-market strategies in order to secure its place in the market, Brown says.
However its acquisitions of cloud-based social media marketing firm Buddy Media and social analytics media and analytics specialist Radian6 are likely to be an advantage in terms of its experience building relationships with creative agencies.
One company that is likely to disrupt the market in the near future is web giant Google, says Brown, having established its dominance in the online advertising market. Its penchant for freemium business models is likely to present a significant threat to rivals.
In order to evaluate the best digital marketing proposition for their needs, enterprises should reduce shift their focus from individual products to the entire digital marketing ecosystem and how it fits together, Brown advises.