SAP Introduces Marketing Gap Analysis Tool

In an effort to help marketers make more educated decisions about the technology they use and how they use it, SAP has launched a marketing gap analysis tool in partnership with Raab Associates. The tool enables marketers to take a self-assessment by answering a series of questions about their organization's overall profile, their ongoing marketing campaigns, and any other relevant processes. The solution then processes the information to determine the organization's current marketing technology foundation and offers a number of recommendations for strategy improvement.

"We see a lot of industry pundits right now talking about market consolidation, and that may be true for some technology, but when you look at marketing technology, the market is vast. There are a lot of different technology options out there, and it's a confusing, overwhelming time for marketers. There's a lot of technology to choose from, and many strategy choices to make as well," Jamie Anderson, global vice president of customer engagement at SAP, says.

The solution will serve as a benchmarking tool, Anderson explains, and will offer insight into how organizations stack up against each other. In addition to revealing how an organization is performing in terms of their marketing initiatives, the solution will also offer recommendation conten,t including strategies to consider in general technology architecture, such as an integrated suite, a shared customer data platform, or an application-based option. Recommendations will also be tailored to industry-specific issues, such as regulatory concerns, and will pinpoint any gaps in marketing systems.

According to Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research, SAP's move reflects key patterns in the market. "This is an interesting announcement by SAP in the marketing area as it features two key trends for enterprise software, more freeware and viral selling," he says. "The former is key for vendors to show more immediate value to both customers and prospects by instant analysis tools and software functions that create immediate value, in this example an analysis of marketing gap analysis. The latter is important as enterprise software buyers don't want to go through a lengthy RFP creation, selection, demo and negotiation process, but [rather] try software directly themselves to explore if there is value for them and their organization in it," he adds.

From SAP's perspective, Anderson agrees that the move is primarily about customer engagement. "We want to engage customers and help them understand their options. Often, marketers don't quite know where to start, or they don't know how to make the right changes. We're hoping this benchmarking and gap analysis tool will get them thinking about their business, and it will service as a precursor to thinking about their marketing technology," he says.


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