Enterprise marketing suites are the foundation of the marketing technology stack. This is especially true during turbulent times as B2C marketers confront a range of challenges and opportunities such as changing consumer needs, data deprecation, and a post-pandemic/pre-recession economy. The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Marketing Suites, Q3 2022 is Forrester’s newest coverage of this critical martech category. Forrester defines the enterprise marketing suite (EMS), which many conveniently call a marketing cloud, as:

An integrated portfolio of marketing technology products that provide analytics, automation, and orchestration of insight-driven customer interactions to support inbound and outbound marketing.

Overall, the EMS market is taking a healthy turn because:

  • Companies have an unequivocal commitment to EMS and martech at large. Our newest data from EMS reference clients shows that 63% of EMS users anticipate that marketing technology budgets will grow in the next year and that 82% of executive leaders are supportive of marketing technology investment.
  • It’s the end of the “biggest product wins” era of EMS development. EMS landscape research earlier in 2022 established that modern EMS solutions are adapting to the changing environment and evolving marketing requirements through new platform-oriented technology approaches and focusing on specific functional capabilities to meet the needs of different buyers.
  • EMS solutions are (gradually) getting easier to buy and consume. Vendors have committed substantial resources to rethink how EMS solutions are priced and packaged, developing modern and usable user interfaces for day-to-day users and specialized functionality and configurations that appeal to a range of industries.

This is the first EMS Wave evaluation to consider a diversified EMS market, with updated evaluation criteria and an expanded selection of providers. We’ve looked at the 10 most important EMS vendors: Acoustic, Acquia, Adobe, CM Group, HCL Software, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and SAS. To address current and future requirements, marketers must consider three key factors that differentiate EMS providers in 2022:

  • Going beyond messaging campaigns. Campaign management and messaging execution is the most common starting point for EMS solutions. Solutions stand apart with advanced journey orchestration capabilities and support for customer engagement across a range of channels and touchpoints.
  • Defining customer data platform (CDP) capabilities. Data is critical for marketing insights and engagement, driving marketers’ interest in CDPs and other data-handling capabilities. EMS solutions have taken varied approaches to data management, customer profile assembly, and data syndication.
  • Maintaining a relentless focus on integration. Integration is the single most critical factor in martech success. EMS solutions differ in their breadth and depth of integration capabilities, spanning integration to third parties, internal systems, and across marketing applications.

The EMS Wave evaluation will help you understand how these 10 vendors stack up against 40 functional, strategy, and market presence criteria. Readers can also customize the Wave scorecard to reflect their own specific priorities. To learn more about our Wave findings and Forrester’s marketing technology best practices, please request a guidance session or inquiry.