One of the byproducts of consolidation in the customer intelligence space is that vendors are redefining marketing automation and marketing suites. Through each acquisition, each vendor tips its hat to its individual strategy and provides insight into what its final vision will look like.

Gartner identifies Unica, SAS, Teradata and Oracle/Siebel as the organizations with the most complete campaign management visions. Aprimo is right on the bubble of edging into the leader quadrant. But if we consider an entire marketing suite, we might come to a different conclusion.

Traditionally, marketing automation was fairly synonymous with campaign management. However, in the last few years, several other technologies became requirements in order to be considered a suite, such as:

  • Email authoring: The ability to set up and design the actual email as well as set up link tracking is mandatory.
  • Marketing resource management: Suites need support for budgeting, project planning and workflow management.
  • Reporting: Each suite needs out-of-the-box operational reporting as well as response tracking and ROI analysis. Vendors are partnering with standard business intelligence (BI) vendors and creating their own reporting and dashboard tools.

Marketing suites are now moving deeper into analytics, dialogues and cross-functional alignment. New functionality includes the following:

  • Offer optimization: Using sophisticated algorithms and statistical modeling as well as matching customers to offers and products during campaign execution.
  • Real-time offer delivery: Providing the right offer to the customer in real time.
  • Bidirectional analytics: Seamlessly moving from analytics, choosing a segment or a portion of a report, and jump-starting a campaign based on that segment.
  • Event management: Detecting trends, events or the absence of an event helps marketers identify at-risk customers or signs of increased customer performance.
  • Lead management: Bridging the gap between marketing lead generation and sales force pursuit
  • Web analytics: Understanding the profile and behavior of online customers becomes essential for ongoing marketing program development. Closing the loop for email campaigns all the way to response conversion (beyond clickthrough) is something that no vendor has completely solved yet.

Each vendor has optimized its suite to leverage their individual strengths.
Aprimo. Aprimo is right on the verge of the Gartner leadership quadrant and is the leader in marketing resource management. Aprimo has functionality in event management, lead management and marketing performance management. The market considers this extended functionality thin, but as Aprimo’s customer base continues to grow and its product continues to build out, Aprimo will become a major suite player.

SAS. SAS considers a subset of its products specific to customer relationship management (CRM). SAS leverages its analytics expertise and has packaged several analytical applications around its base SAS product, including customer retention, cross-sell, segmentation, marketing performance, profitability and Web analytics. Surrounding these products are other features like marketing (offer) optimization, digital marketing (email), interaction management and real-time decision management (real-time offers). SAS has so many offerings, it is often difficult to understand what makes up the solution. Lead management seems to be missing, and marketing resource management comes as a hosted offering.

Teradata. Teradata’s strength lies in its powerful database and emphasizes its real-time capabilities to support real-time interactions through interaction management. Teradata also contains marketing resource management, offer management and analytical applications around customer value and channel optimization. Teradata will likely remain niche technology for the users who require high-end volume and performance requirements.

Oracle/Siebel. Siebel’s CRM heritage continues after its acquisition by Oracle. Siebel has campaign management, email marketing, Web marketing (real-time interactions) and event management. Because of its Siebel Analytics product, it does not need to partner with BI vendors for enterprise capability and functionality with regards to reporting. Though Siebel has comprehensive lead management functionality in its sales force automation (SFA) product, it interoperates with other SFA tools.

Unica. Unica is the market leader for marketing suites, and in many ways dictates what should be included in a marketing suite. Unica includes eMessage (email marketing), Interact (real-time offers), Optimize (offer optimization), Detect (event management), Leads Contact (leads management), NetInsight (Web analytics) and Insight (their new reporting module with bidirectional support with campaign).

Lyris. Lyris has been making inroads as an e-marketing suite to the middle market. Though focused online, Lyris has a large customer base with email marketing, Web analytics, paid search optimization and marketing performance dashboards.

The main trend across all these vendors is a push to sell the entire suite instead of just campaign management. In support of this approach, clients are now requesting suite solutions once they have moved past basic campaign management. In the future, we’ll see new additions to the suite, including fully closed-loop email marketing, social media/networking support and the addition or consolidation of advertising servers and solutions.

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