I’m excited to announce the publication of The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q1 2018. In our 40-criteria evaluation, we identified the 7 most significant vendors – Adobe, IBM, Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and SAS – and researched, analyzed, and scored them.

Forrester defines EMSS as: An integrated portfolio of marketing technology products that provide analytics, orchestration, and execution of insight-driven customer interactions to support inbound and outbound marketing. Due to the relentless evolution of consumer marketing and brands’ growing dependence on marketing technology, the EMSS category has reached critical mass and constitutes a growing and vibrant technology category. Through the continued convergence of advertising technology (adtech) and marketing technology (martech), access to more data than ever before, the extension of measurement and insights, and a broader palette of customer engagement options, it’s no surprise that EMSS solutions are compelling assets to the majority of enterprise marketers.

To reflect the needs of modern marketers, we’ve made significant updates to the Wave model criteria and scoring, and through the evaluation process we learned that:

  1. B2C Marketing Pros Are Looking For Cross-Channel Customer Engagement. The EMSS market is growing because more B2C marketing professionals must assemble a martech stack that helps them engage with customers across channels, devices, and interactions. This market growth is in large part due to the fact that B2C marketing pros increasingly trust EMSS providers to act as strategic partners, advising them on critical martech decisions.
  2. The EMSS market approaches maturity. To keep pace with escalating requirements from marketers, EMSS vendors are investing heavily to maintain market presence and aggressively grow their capabilities. The arms race isn’t for everyone; multiple vendors have left the EMSS market and legitimate new players are hard to find. The existing cadre of EMSS vendors are creating significant momentum and barriers to entry with their products and resources.
  3. Customer Data Management, Integration, And Artificial Intelligence Are Key Differentiators. As established marketing technologies become commoditized, the ability to handle customer data; integrate data, content, and functionality; and innovate marketing technology with artificial intelligence (AI) will dictate which providers will lead the pack. Vendors that can provide customer data management, integration, and AI-powered capabilities position themselves to successfully deliver solutions that support modern B2C marketing.

This is the time to consider how EMSS forms the cornerstone of your martech stack. If you want to benchmark your current capabilities against the providers in our Wave or are in the market for a new or expanded solution, this Forrester Wave is the best starting point for you. Your solution criteria or starting point may differ, so we recommend you go beyond the Forrester Wave graphic and:

  • Download the Excel sheet associated with the graphic (Figure 2 in the report).
  • View the detailed evaluations in the scoring guide.
  • Adapt the criteria weightings to fit your needs, so you can see customized rankings of the providers.

If you’re interested in EMSS, I’m guessing you’re also interested in Cross-Channel Campaign Management. My colleague Rusty Warner just published The Forrester Wave: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q1 2018. It’s a great tool to help you do a deep dive on this critical EMSS component.

Should you have questions, feel free to send me an email or set up an inquiry to discuss EMSS further.