Companies today are focusing more heavily on marketing as a critical component of customer relationship management (CRM), creating the need for new approaches to market directly to consumers and businesses. To help companies select the right vendors to help them optimize customer interactions and manage cross-channel marketing campaigns, Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) today introduces Marketing Automation Application TechRankings, the sixth category in Forrester’s eBusiness TechRankings.

TechRankings evaluates enterprise software products through rigorous laboratory-based product testing, in-depth research and user interviews, and objective analysis of global vendor offerings. Since every marketing automation scenario is unique, TechRankings lets clients use the online tools to customize the research — and the rankings — to focus on the most important criteria and vendors for their projects.

“Along with sales and service, marketing automation is the third essential component of an effective CRM strategy,” said Eric Schmitt, senior analyst at Forrester and principal researcher for this TechRankings category. “Marketers are responsible for the overall relationship with customers and prospects and need software that helps them target the best opportunities, craft intelligent marketing campaigns across every communications channel, and analyze the results.”

For this TechRankings category, Forrester focuses on marketing automation applications — software products that help companies deliver the right message to the right prospect or customer at the right time.* These applications perform two key functions: campaign management and customer data analysis. Vendors from three backgrounds currently offer these types of applications — campaign management veterans, analytical marketing hybrids, and CRM suite sellers — although none covers all marketing functions well.

As of July 2001, Forrester and its partner, Doculabs, Inc. (, evaluated offerings from four top vendors for this initial research release: Chordiant’s Marketing Optimizer, E.piphany’s E.5 System, Protagona’s Ensemble, and Unica’s Affinium. Six other vendors have committed to participate in the research later this year: Annuncio, MarketFirst, NCR, SAS, Siebel, and Xchange. These vendors have a standing invitation from Forrester to be evaluated for future updates to this category.

Since the eBusiness TechRankings launch in October 2000, Forrester has released six TechRankings categories: Marketing Automation Application, Integration Server, Customer Service Application, Application Server, Content Management, and Commerce Platform. Future TechRankings categories will be announced later in 2001, while existing ones will be updated monthly with new information, new vendors, and new releases.

Forrester’s eBusiness TechRankings methodology is open, rigorous, and unbiased. Forrester invites all important vendors based on their product fit, momentum, and financial strength to participate. TechRankings research combines the results of hands-on laboratory evaluations, strategic market analysis, and in-depth research into the needs of technology users. Forrester does not charge vendors in any way to participate in TechRankings, and it tests and analyzes all products with Doculabs in a given category on more than 600 criteria. Forrester extensively checks and verifies results and updates the research, vendors, and rankings monthly. Any vendor wishing to be ranked may apply by contacting Forrester’s TechRankings research team at To learn more about TechRankings, visit