HomeBlog Emerging Marketing Technology Suites

Emerging Marketing Technology Suites

March 13, 2014|Jill Stanek

Marketing technology suites provide useful options for organizations seeking integrated end-to-end marketing solutions. Through our research and interactions with clients, we’ve seen a number of benefits and drawbacks that these solutions can present for digital marketers. It’s important to evaluate whether an organization is better suited toward one solution or another, and to remember that it will be an ongoing and evolutionary process.

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:

  • Visibility: Tighter integration between applications improves the visibility of marketing practices, data quality and trends. Marketing technology suites share a single database and offer a consolidated view that avoids duplication and improves reporting capabilities.
  •  

    • Adoption: Organizations already familiar with a vendor’s offerings will experience a diminished learning curve when adopting a new technology from the same suite. Users familiar with the vendor’s products will be more efficient and quicker in fully utilizing the solution.
    •  

      • Pricing: Organizations that have existing vendor relationships and already utilize a vendor’s products may be able to negotiate a better price.
      •  

        • Stability: Moving to a marketing technology suite may lower the risk of the vendor being acquired. Furthermore, as organizations acquire new marketing technologies, existing resources can be leveraged (e.g. partner network, customer base).
        •  

          Potential Disadvantages of marketing technology suites include:

          • Disjointed Functionality: Marketing technology suites are frequently formed through acquisitions. Acquired functionality often lacks the coherent structure and seamless user experience found in a natively built platform.
          •  

            • Depth of Functionality: Marketing technology suites offer a breadth of products and functionality. However, compared to “best of breed” applications they may lack the depth of functionality that some organizations require.
            •  

              • Cost: For first-time buyers looking to invest in a marketing technology suite, the entry cost could be high and/or prohibitive. Organizations with no established vendor relationship may find they have very little negotiating power. Organizations that don’t purchase the full functionality of the suite will also lose negotiating leverage and often realize less value from their investment.
              •  

                • Internal Ownership: Because of the varying capabilities that the suite offers, many organizations struggle with where costs and ownership will reside. Ownership of the suite will have to be determined among various internal stakeholder groups (e.g. marketing operations, corporate marketing, IT).
                •  

                  Though still in a state of transformation, marketing technology suites provide useful options for organizations seeking integrated end-to-end marketing solutions. Companies with an existing infrastructure reliant on a single vendor may choose to standardize on that vendor, while other organizations looking for “best of breed” technologies may prefer standalone applications. But in the continually changing technology market, even today’s “best of breed” applications, may be acquired by others tomorrow. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate whether an organization is better suited toward one solution or another, and to remember that it will be an ongoing and evolutionary process.

                  Jill Stanek

                  Jill Stanek is an Analyst in the Technology and Services practice at SiriusDecisions. She brings 15-plus years of experience in information technology, software and research advisory services, including business development, account management, sales, sales operations, pre-sales engineering and systems specialist roles. Follow Jill on Twitter @jschneid18.

                  Join Us at #SDSummit