Category Archives: Technology

SiriusView: Web Content Management

SiriusDecisions’ recently published SiriusView: Web Content Management evaluates and scores 10 vendors serving the Web content management (WCM) needs of today’s b-to-b marketing professionals. In this post, we provide a snapshot of when you should consider each vendor.

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SiriusDecisions: 2014 Marketing Automation Report

How much can a market really change in 12 months? In the marketing automation market, quite a lot! Over the past year, Salesforce.com and Adobe entered the market through acquisitions (ExactTarget/Pardot and Neolane, respectively), the percentage of b-to-b companies using marketing automation platforms increased, and marketing automation capabilities expanded beyond emails and registration forms. All of this means that when we drafted the 2014 version of our SiriusView: Marketing Automation Platforms, it involved more time, more effort and more spirited analyst debate than last year. Last year, we surveyed 11 marketing automation platforms. This year, we surveyed 17 vendors and scored them across six categories. Below, I have listed each of the vendors we included and SiriusDecisions’ take on when they should be considered.

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The SiriusDecisions Startup Naming Process

With nearly ubiquitous high-speed broadband and fiber optics saturating every corner of the known world, creating a tech startup has never been any easier. But coming up with a witty name for a new company continues to be the thorn in every entrepreneur’s side. Fortunately, SiriusDecisions has the answer. After studying hundreds of best-in-class startup names, then running them through proprietary linguistic algorithms, we came up with a simple, seven-step process to guide budding entrepreneurs, marketers and salespeople in creating the best company name possible. By adhering to most, some or even just one of these steps, you can take advantage of our foolproof process to name the startup of your dreams – even if you don’t have a product, service or dream quite yet.

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Emerging Marketing Technology Suites

In our recent blog post, Eight 2014 Predictions for Marketing Automation, we briefly mentioned the expanding footprint of marketing technology suites. Through acquisition or organic growth, vendors are building collaborative marketing suites that offer marketers a broader marketing platform to provide solutions for marketing automation, analytics, social media, web content management and marketing resource management. Players include: Oracle Marketing Cloud, IBM Enterprise Marketing Management solution, Teradata Integrated Marketing Management solution, SiteCore’s Customer Engagement Platform and Adobe’s Marketing Cloud. Through our research and interactions with clients, we’ve seen a number of benefits and drawbacks that these solutions can present for digital marketers. Acquisitions are forcing companies to decide whether to standardize on a unified suite of applications or to continue a “best of breed” approach. In either case, the market landscape and competitive dynamics between vendors are rapidly changing. Potential benefits of a marketing technology stack include:

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A SiriusView on Marketing Resource Management

As the complexity of marketing activities increases and the amount of data associated with those activities rises, b-to-b marketing leaders must rely more heavily on marketing resource management (MRM) technology to gain insight into the impact and ROI of their marketing operations. Yesterday SiriusDecisions announced the publication of our first ever SiriusView for MRM. The SiriusView covers nine vendors relevant to b-to-b marketers: Allocadia, BrandMaker, IBM (formerly Unica,) Infor (formerly Orbis Global), Microsoft (formerly MarketingPilot), PTI (MarcomCentral), Saepio (MarketPort), SAS (formerly Assetlink) and Teradata (formerly Aprimo). Vendors were scored based on their depth of functionality, essential elements (services/support) and vendor strength.

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Driving Digital Demand: Four Obstacles

During a recent webcast, Matt Papertsian and Jen Horton of SiriusDecisions’ Demand Creation Strategies service demonstrated our Web Conversion Optimization (WCO) Framework for leveraging Web properties to drive demand. Before creating a WCO strategy, noted Matt, the first step for marketers is to detect and eliminate typical obstacles to digital readiness, including:

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How Marketing Automation Has Evolved in 2013

How much can a market really change in 12 months? If you’re talking about marketing automation, the answer is significantly! Over the last two months, I‘ve attended several dozen marketing automation vendor briefings with my colleagues Jason Hekl, Jen Horton, Jill Stanek and Jonathan Block in preparation for this year’s SiriusView – SiriusDecisions’ report on the marketing automation platform market. Through these briefings, plus inquiries with our client base, marketing conferences, client interviews and benchmark surveys, we’ve identified several ways the marketing automation space has evolved. These changes include: Salesforce.com and Adobe entered the marketing automation market through acquisitions (ExactTarget/Pardot and Neolane); the percentage of b-to-b companies using marketing automation increased; and marketing automation capabilities proliferated (beyond emails and registration forms). In this post, I discuss changes of special note – three in the marketplace and three marketing automation platform features we consider most impactful:

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Marketo Acquires Insightera

Today, Marketo announced the acquisition of Insightera, a dynamic-content-based personalization platform vendor based in San Mateo, CA. Insightera will bring the following features to Marketo’s platform:

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SiriusView: Marketing Resource Management Vendor Evaluations

In the research brief The Sirius View: A New Way to Look at Technology Vendors, we detailed our rigorous technology vendor assessment methodology. The model scores vendors and focuses on the differentiators between them and the challenges they face. Over the last several months, my colleagues and I have interviewed and evaluated vendors offering marketing resource management (MRM) solutions. We define MRM solutions as those that include four components vital to b-to-b marketers: budgeting, project management, asset management and communications.

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CRM or SFA? Let’s Set the Record Straight

Enter the search term “sales force automation” or its acronym “SFA” and what do you get? Inevitably, a response that contains the term “customer relationship management” or “CRM.” So what, really, is the difference between CRM and SFA? Obviously, this is not a new topic; however, with Dreamforce 2013 just around the corner, I thought it deserved a revisit. Although the terms CRM and SFA have been around for nearly 15 years, many people still seem to be struggling with the question of how to utilize them properly. We often hear vendors use the two terms interchangeably. Is CRM a platform, a strategy or a technology, and where does SFA fit in? In the late 1990s, Thomas Siebel coined the phrase "customer relationship management," defined as a strategy designed to understand and predict the needs of not only existing customers but also potential customers. Using data warehouses, companies could capture customer-related data and feedback, enabling them to optimize their customers’ experience. It was recognized that customer-related data could be used to improve individual customer satisfaction, but could also be valuable in new product development. CRM strategies incorporate a customer-centric philosophy that ultimately focuses on organizations’ most important relationships. That said, many SFA platforms claim the same capabilities. Some even call themselves CRM systems, causing confusion. Here are the defining characteristics of an SFA system, as SiriusDecisions sees it:

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