Early Digital Intelligence Platform Players Deliver Great Value – Yet Have Many Opportunities For Improvement

As digital disruption continues its unstoppable march, digital engagement is rapidly evolving and customers’ expectations that they will get what they want during moments of digital interaction continue to grow. Now more than ever, firms need to understand their customers during and across these moments — and use this understanding to surprise, delight, and personalize. To do this, firms and their insights pros need to cultivate digital intelligence (DI), which Forrester defines as:

The practice of developing a holistic understanding of customers across digital touchpoints for the purpose of optimizing and perfecting the experiences delivered and decisions made by brands during moments of engagement.

To build a holistic understanding — and synchronize engagement optimization — across a growing digital customer engagement edge, firms have procured a plethora of DI tech to deliver capabilities such as web analytics, mobile analytics, behavioral targeting (personalization) capabilities, and more. Initially, the tech was procured in isolation by various relevant teams, including those for web, digital, marketing, mobile, and products. But leading practices have reached a tipping point; they are starting to mature their DI strategies to the point of coordinating the adoption and integration of this tech. The result is that the last 18 months have shown a growth in interest and adoption of platformsthat deliver multiple DI capabilities.

So I’m excited to announce, after six months of intensive research, the publication of a brand-new Forrester Wave report comparing the top DI platform technology providers. In this report, we identified the 10 most significant players in the DI space — Adobe, Cxense, Evergage, Google, IBM, Localytics, Mixpanel, Optimizely, SAS, and Webtrekk — and evaluated them against 26 criteria. This research will help functions across the enterprise — including (but not limited to) digital marketers, eCommerce, customer support professionals, product teams, and customer insights professionals — define a shortlist of vendor partners.

Some key findings:

  • Firms are looking for a platform to optimize all digital engagements. The DI platform marketing is growing because enterprises increasingly trust the platform providers to act as strategic partners, bringing together digital data, analytics, and customer engagement optimization technologies to enhance experience across and within all digital touchpoints. But enterprises need to know that these early platforms will not meet all of the DI needs of a mature practice.
  • Vendors offer compelling platforms with significant opportunities for growth. Forrester’s research uncovered a market with one Leader, three Stronger Performers, five Contenders, and one Challenger. All evaluated vendors have significant gaps in their platform that they are racing to fill.
  • Optimization capabilities differentiate the evaluated vendors. We see vendor differentiation in the level of support for services, market size, and digital data management and analytics capabilities. However, the biggest differentiation is in digital engagement optimization capabilities for behavioral targeting and online testing.

To learn more about the scope of this evaluation, read the full report here. For further research and advice on building a DI practice, check out Forrester’s digital intelligence playbook. Our playbook consists of 12 reports that set the groundwork for the strategy, technologies, and best practices for building a DI practice.

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