Market Watch: Marketing Tools Emerge as Comprehensive Solutions
Choosing the right set of marketing automation tools is like ordering from an a la carte menu. There's marketing resource management (MRM), marketing analytics, campaign management, and marketing operations, to name a few choices.
Trying to keep it straight may get easier as tools for managing resources and campaigns become more tightly integrated. Vendors are combining MRM with campaign management to leverage a broad spectrum of functions, including planning, execution, and measurement.
MRM, a combination of workflow and knowledge management, helps with the planning, coordination, and collaboration of marketing resources by helping create strategy, define objectives, and devise budgets.
Campaign management enables marketing organizations to develop, design, schedule, and execute multichannel marketing campaigns. Campaign management solutions have become more popular as organizations look to lower costs, increase marketing productivity, drive sales and profits, and gain a competitive advantage.
Melding the functionality of MRM and campaign management makes good sense, according to Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research Group. "It's about time to put the chocolate and the peanut butter together for a bigger bang," he says.
Elana Anderson, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, says the overall marketing automation market (including MRM, campaign management, and marketing operations) accounted for $350 million in software licenses in 2003. She estimates that will grow by 10 percent in 2004. Anderson also estimates that the emerging MRM sector is no larger than $50 million in annual revenues to date.
Gartner predicts that marketing automation will grow by 22 percent annually, with campaign management as one of the key growth areas, along with marketing operations and marketing analytics.
Leading campaign management vendors include Unica, Siebel, E.piphany, SAS, and DoubleClick. Analysts also cite Aprimo, Blue Martini, Teradata, PeopleSoft, Chordiant, Oracle, and SAP as having strong offerings. Aprimo has already merged the functions of MRM and campaign management in its application. In March DoubleClick acquired privately held SmartPath, a developer of marketing resource management software.