Magazine article CRM Magazine

Marketing Solution

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Marketing Solution

Article excerpt

[TABLE OMITTED]

The Market

Marketers continue to place their bets on digital technology as vendors roll out increasingly sophisticated solutions. Digital tools covering online, mobile, and email are "taking the lion's share" of the marketing budget at the expense of traditional advertising and marketing vehicles, according to a report by Forrester principal analyst Tracy Stokes. Gartner analyst Laura McLellan predicts that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs. In a Webinar, McLellan noted, "Technology is at the heart of marketing--and adoption is well under way."

The Leaders

Returning leader Aprimo (acquired by data warehousing and business analytics company Teradata in 2010) is a "dominating presence among Fortune 100 companies and a solid brand," says Raj Agnihotri, assistant professor of marketing and director of research at The Schey Sales Center at Ohio University. Aprimo expanded its Integrated Marketing Management solutions this year with the Aprimo Real-Time Interaction Manager (ARTIM), an inbound solution that analyzes customer interactions in real time. With solid 4.0s in depth of functionality and company direction, analysts are pleased with Aprimo's development. Despite its success, Michael Fauscette, group vice president of software business solutions at IDC, says Teradata faces "a lot of competitors coming from different angles," posing a challenge for the vendor.

Although it managed to stay on the leaderboard, analysts had mixed reactions to Eloqua, the software-as-a-service marketing automation pioneer. Last summer, Eloqua launched a new Social Media Suite that enables users to improve form conversions, increase campaign reach, monitor real-time conversations, and score leads. According to Ray Wang, CEO and principal analyst at Constellation Research, the release "significantly improves the user experience and is designed to simplify the most complex scenarios." Fauscette notes that the company has a "decent reputation" but it needs to improve its company direction.

SAS Institute is the "Rolls Royce of [the] market," Fauscette says. The vendor scored a 4.2 for customer satisfaction and 4.0s for depth of functionality and company direction but stumbled on product cost, with a 3.2. On a positive note, Wang points out that SAS's industry solutions "remain its strength" and it has "made strides in improving its offerings in social [media]. …

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