• July 7, 2008
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

No Leaders Yet in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Marketing Management

Technology research firm Gartner recently released its latest Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) -- and the top half of the firm's famous quadrant layout is noticeably empty. In the bottom half of the diagram, vendor positions have varied little from last year's results, but, according to Kimberly Collins, managing vice president of CRM at Gartner and co-author of the report, most of the recognized vendors have nevertheless added revenue and have improved in functionality -- particularly around performance management and user interface.  

The Visionaries this year are:

  • Aprimo;
  • Oracle (Siebel);
  • SAP;
  • SAS Institute; and
  • Unica
The grid's only other occupied quadrant comprises the field's niche players, which Collins says may have a variety of traits, including:

  • offering one or more capabilities within an EMM platform that are relatively more robust than others;
  • a focus on a particular vertical segment; and/or
  • an incomplete platform.
According to the report, the following offerings (listed here alphabetically) are this year's niche players:
  • Alterian;
  • Infor;
  • Oracle E-Business Suite;
  • Oracle PeopleSoft; and
  • Teradata.
"The thing about EMM is that it's not just about the functionality. It's about providing a platform for the entire marketing function," Collins explains -- and the desire to unite that complete marketing capability may be the vendors' collective Achilees' heel. "We don't see the maturity in the market in terms of the buyers yet," she says,  though she's quick to add that Gartner's motivation for establishing the EMM Magic Quadrant in the first place is rooted in the idea that the market is an emerging one: "We believe it's coming."

The notion of an "emerging" market is one defined by the activity not only of the vendors in the space, but of the end users they're targeting; therefore, even if a vendor  purports to have an all-encompassing EMM platform, the truth of the matter is, buyers don't necessarily agree, Collins says. "People just aren't buying it that way today," she says, partly because marketing itself is trapped in siloes. Moreover, vendors themselves may only highlight core competencies in certain areas. As a result, companies are buying solutions on a tactical level, looking to solve one pain point at a time --  campaignmanagement for the database marketing team, for example, or searchengine optimization capabilities for the e-commerce team. Other popular point solutions include email marketing, lead management, and marketing resource management (MRM) solutions.  

While individual vendors may differ in their particular offerings or strnegths, Collins says that it was "nice to see" a growing shift of research-and-development (R&D) resources away from campaign management, which, according to the report, has become increasingly commoditized. The R&D money is now being funneled, she says, into two other areas:

  • marketing performance management; and
  • improved user interface.
The report also highlights two other important trends in the industry: First, as marketing incorporates technology into its everyday processes, vendors are increasingly intent on making dashboards and key performance indicators "more consumable" by the business user, rather than requiring a technical analyst to do the work. A second trend is the move away from "integrated modules built on a common architecture" to a highly configurable service-oriented architecture (SOA) to provide role-based functionality.  

There’s no question many end users are hoping to find a single EMM vendor, Collins says, and vendor consolidation may lead to a common set of tools across the entire marketing department. However, even if end users intend to move onto a platform, they’re rolling it out step-by-step, one application at a time. The reason, then, why no vendors are in Gartner's leader or challenger quadrants is simply because, she says, "if people aren’t buying it, then vendors don't have the reference of people using it as an EMM marketing platform."

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