Gartner made one change when it evaluated the leaders in its latest Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management.

The Stamford, Conn.-based research firm upgraded Salesforce from a visionary to a leader.

Salesforce joins five leaders from the previous MQ — IBM, SAS, Teradata, Oracle and Adobe -- which analyzes vendors that promise to be multichannel marketing providers.

Gartner named SAP a challenger and cited Marketo and Sitecore as visionaries.

Ten vendors made it into Gartner's niche players quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management (MCCM): RedPoint, Microsoft, SDL, Experian, Selligent, Infor, Pegasystems, Zeta Interactive, Pitney Bowes and AgilOne.

Getting in the Club

To get into the door for this Gartner MQ, vendors must have at least three of the following six capabilities: predictive analytics, campaign optimization, multidimensional segmentation, event triggering, real time recommendations or multichannel lead management.

What else does it need? Money and customers.

Vendors in this MQ must have at least $15 million in revenue and enough cash to cover "a year of operations at the current rate of cash depletion." Vendors also must have at least 20 customers using MCCM and at least 15 new customer wins over the last 12 months.

Gartner looks at two qualities -- "ability to execute" and "completeness of vision." For the former, vendors must be strong in product capabilities, overall viability, sales, marketing execution, customer experience and operations. For the latter, vendors have a strong market understanding, marketing strategy, business model and innovation model.

Leaders do considerably better in overall campaign management performance and are better integrators with digital marketing than the rest.

Challengers are basically "getting there" in this space. They focus on existing clients' needs for campaign management functions and strategic direction.

Visionaries show promise but may lack execution capabilities, such as growth potential, resources or scalability.

Niche Players provide specific needs and tend to lack a broader set of campaign management capabilities.

What Does Gartner Like?

Gartner Magic Quadrant authors Adam Sarner, Julie Hopkins, Jennifer Polk and Mike McGuire tell you what they like about each vendor — and what they don't like.

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They said marketers should consider Adobe "for breadth of digital and offline campaign management capabilities, using its strengths in content management." They gave a shout-out to Adobe Campaign, the email marketing technology the San Jose, Calif.-based company bought when it acquired French provider Neolane.

Gartner authors are impressed with Campaign's integration with Adobe Analytics, which allows, for instance, messages to be sent to people who abandon shopping carts.

Adobe needs to step up its game with the integration of Adobe Social, Gartner analysts reported, and can improve in user interface and overall usability.

Acquisitions Help

IBM brings strong segmentation, broad functions and multiple deployment options, Gartner officials said. Gartner researchers called the acquisition of Silverpop a win for the Armonk, NY-based giant's digital marketing capabilities, particularly in B2B lead management. It integrates nicely with IBM's Digital Analytics, they added.

IBM does need to catch up to others in areas like social marketing, content marketing and ad management, according to Gartner analysts. 

Oracle, based in Redwood City, Calif., has "improved its vision for MCCM" and is a "high-availability platform that scales and delivers dynamic personalization, data modeling and data management." Oracle's acquisitions of Eloqua (B2B) and Responsys (B2C), its advanced analytics and its consulting services make it stand out in this space, Gartner authors wrote. 

Users reported to Gartner that it's not always easy to access all of Oracle's capabilities. Oracle also needs to improve its mobile analytics beyond SMS and push messaging.

Social, Mobile Improvement

Salesforce has also extended its vision and execution, and marketers should consider it for cloud-only deployment of MCCM for digital channels, Gartner report authors wrote. They like the capabilities inside Salesforce's Journey Builder, which maps customers' digital journeys.

Salesforce needs to expand beyond its email "sweet spot," and should address some clients' complaints regarding support.

SAS can offer both B2B and B2C marketers solid capabilities like advanced analytics, data management and business intelligence, Gartner officials said. SAS officials told Gartner the MCCM line of its business -- called Customer Intelligence -- has grown 10 percent annually. It's using more open-source technology and acquisitions to give its platform a boost.

SAS can improve its social and email capabilities, and overall it's best suited for companies with "significant technology resources."

Teradata can help large B2C organizations seeking MCCM with strength in marketing resource management and data-driven marketing to support brand engagement. Teradata is another vendor that made waves with acquisitions, bringing in capabilities such as social monitoring and management, Facebook social advertising (Argyle Social) and mobile engagement (Appoxee).  

Teradata must prove itself, Gartner officials said. It needs its acquisitions to deliver promised social and mobile marketing and move beyond tradition CRM tools for digital marketing, according to some customers.

What Digital Marketers Want

Gartner found themes in MCCM, including: 

  • Need for unified access to data: More MCCM vendors offer a digital marketing hub that seeks to provide marketers with unified access to previously disconnected areas of anonymous audience profile data, according to Gartner officials, along with connections to content and common analytic functions to inform multichannel campaigns and interactions.
  • Multidimensional segmentation: Platforms now group audiences based on multiple attributes along multiple dimensions, including grouping personas, life cycles and lifestyles.
  • Real time capabilities: Vendors continue to focus on real time capabilities, such as multichannel event triggering, in-line predictive analytics and real time decisioning, according to Gartner researchers. 
  • Ease of use: Marketers want "access to the complexity" without "dumbing down" applications.
  • Mobile: Vendors do a lot of talking here but often do not deliver beyond basic functions like push notifications and SMS capabilities.
  • Commerce: Marketers are taking on more responsibility, Gartner officials said, for revenue and profit from digital commerce. MCCM vendors have begun to tie their applications more closely to e-commerce engines.

Other Guy Says ...

Gartner is not the only one analyzing the space. The Digital Doughnut, a site dedicated to marketing technology, today released the 2015 Multichannel Digital Marketing Report it produced with EPiServer.

In it, author Nick Watt of the London-based Digital Doughnut said simply being present across multiple channels is not good enough. He also said "a mix of inbound and outbound marketing is key if businesses are to move from a broadcast messaging model to two-way multichannel communications that match customers’ needs and intent with the right content, experiences and offers."

Watt and EPiServer surveyed marketers and found the website (80 percent) is still perceived to be the most important channel when it comes to where customers prefer to go to get information about businesses or services, closely followed by email (77 percent), and social media (58 percent).

present across channels is diminishing. Consumers
expect to be engaged with an increasing range
of content types and channels via a seamless and
consistent customer and brand experience
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic LicenseTitle image by bnilsen.