• February 8, 2023

IDC Sees Marketing Campaign Management on the Rise Among SMBs

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Market research firm IDC expects worldwide revenue for small and midsized business (SMB) marketing campaign management software to grow from $8.5 billion in 2022 to $14.9 billion in 2026, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9 percent.

IDC defined marketing campaign management functionality as campaign planning and execution; customer data management; social marketing; mobile marketing; and marketing analytics.

The marketing application space is large and multifaceted and can include thousands of vendors across dozens of categories, the firm said in its report.

While industry stalwarts Salesforce and Microsoft have a strong presence across all segments, SMB-focused vendors like HubSpot, Mailchimp (Intuit), and Constant Contact rounded out the top 5 vendors in IDC's analysis.

Over the past several years, the SMB-focused martech segment has seen a maturation of offerings, with vendors now providing functionality historically reserved for enterprise customers. Artificial intelligence-infused task automations, collaboration, and project management capabilities, complex data integrations, content or digital asset management tools, and more are becoming commonplace as SMB users demand increasingly more robust platforms.

"Today, SMB organizations have complex and mature marketing needs. To be successful, providers must deliver powerful, enterprise-grade platforms in formats that are easy to deploy, integrate, and optimize," said Roger Beharry Lall, research director for IDC Marketing Applications for Growth Companies, in a statement.

To remain competitive in the SMB market, marketing campaign management vendors will need to show new and meaningful value differentiation to their users. Key areas of concern for these users include the following:

  • Value demonstration and transparency against the customer's expected outcomes, costs, and benefits.
  • Data use and simplification through universal governance policies, prebuilt connectors, low-code dashboards, simplified automations, and recommendations engines.
  • Data privacy as an opportunity vs. constraint. Vendors that enable companies to set higher standards and exceed customer expectations regarding their data practices will provide a competitive advantage.
  • Personalization beyond "Dear <Name>" to represent more meaningful end-customer value while being mindful of transparency in data collection practices.
  • Advanced automation with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and low-code/no-code solutions for simple tasks and to improve tool performance by leveraging data.
  • Functional expansion across the tech stack, looking beyond the discrete functions of traditional marketing and offering a larger multifunctional platform that helps reduce the complexity and size of the marketing technology stack.
  • Integrations that share user interface alignment, predefined workflows, nomenclature commonality, governance controls, and so forth.

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