Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) introduces its Consumer Marketing Platforms TechRankings™ software assessment. Forrester reviewed enterprise software that allows marketers to plan, target, deliver, and measure direct-to-consumer marketing communications, across both online and offline channels.
Forrester invited both marketing automation specialists and leading customer relationship management (CRM) suite vendors to participate in this latest TechRankings, an objective, scenario-based product testing and evaluation process. Six vendors have participated to date:
- DoubleClick with its Ensemble 6.5 product
- E.piphany with its E.piphany E.6 product
- SAS with its Marketing Automation 3.2 product
- Siebel with its Siebel 7.5.3 product
- Teradata with its Teradata CRM 5.0 product
- Unica with its Affinium product
Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP chose not to participate in the evaluation process.
Consumer Marketers Have Specialized Software Needs
Consumer marketing platforms, an outgrowth of CRM software, are used strategically by firms in the retail/catalog, financial services, travel, and telecom industries.
Forrester’s TechRankings analysis found that most marketers want two things from consumer marketing software: 1) help collecting, analyzing, and segmenting customer data, and 2) tools to help them act on that data through the design, execution, and measurement of marketing programs. Both of these capabilities must function in a multichannel environment and increasingly must support requirements like deep call center and Web integration, support for field marketing teams, and real-time decision-making.
Each of the products Forrester evaluated has substantially different strengths and weaknesses in areas like segmentation, integrated analytics, architecture, and user interface.
“Consumer marketers know the benefits of these applications, but they question how to cut through the noise and find the product best suited to their business and technical needs,” said Eric Schmitt, senior analyst at Forrester. “Within each vertical industry, marketers have a wide range of requirements that software providers from CRM veterans to up-and-comers — are working to address. The trick is finding the best match.”
In related research conducted by Giga Information Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrester Research, while there is often internal pressure for companies to select the marketing piece from their CRM vendor, high-end business-to-consumer (B2C) companies running sophisticated marketing campaigns find that CRM applications fall short on the capabilities they need, according to the September 12, 2003 Giga Planning Assumption “Market Overview 2003: Marketing Automation — Still Room for the Specialists.”
“Process, not segmentation, is the sweet spot for most CRM vendors,” said Elana Anderson, senior industry analyst at Forrester. “The CRM vendors are becoming increasingly competitive in meeting the marketing needs of their B2B constituents while they continue to lag behind in serving the needs of B2C marketers.”
Launched in October 2000, TechRankings evaluates more than 70 enterprise software products through rigorous hands-on scenario-based product testing, in-depth research, and objective analysis of global vendor offerings. TechRankings allows Forrester clients to use online tools to customize the research — and product evaluation rankings — to focus on the most important criteria and vendors. Forrester invites all important vendors, based on their product fit and momentum, to participate in each TechRankings evaluation. Forrester does not charge vendors in any way to participate.
The TechRankings research mentioned in this press release is available to Forrester WholeView™ clients and can be found through www.forrester.com. The Giga Planning Assumption “Market Overview 2003: Marketing Automation — Still Roomfor the Specialists” is available to Giga Advisory clients and can be found through www.gigaweb.com.