The 2016 CRM Market Leaders: Marketing Solutions

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The leaders in this category impressed analysts with their company direction, and followed through with strong scores in depth of functionality and customer satisfaction. Although many solutions can be expensive, analysts noted that it is often worth paying more for a breadth of capabilities. The companies that struggled performed particularly poorly in company direction, and also failed to maintain customer loyalty.


Although it received a low mark in cost (3.2), Adobe earned a 4.1 in company direction—up from a 3.9 last year—and a pair of 3.7s in depth of functionality and customer satisfaction. According to Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, Adobe has “beefed up its marketing cloud capabilities” and is “technically the only company that can go from creative to campaign.” Nevertheless, Wang notes that the solution will need to deliver commerce capabilities in the future.

IBM received strong marks in depth of functionality and company direction, with scores of 4.1 and 4.0, respectively. According to Leslie Ament, senior vice president of research and principal analyst at Hypatia Research Group, IBM is not always the cheapest choice, but it has “acquired quite a great portfolio of digital marketing solutions…such as Coremetrics, Unica, Silverpop, [and] Tealeaf.” She goes on to say that the company has combined these solutions “with consulting from their Interactive Experience agency,” which “works closely with Global Business Services, the consulting arm of IBM.” She says that despite a high cost, IBM has “a lot to offer companies.”

After jumping back on the leaderboard last year, Oracle remains a strong option, earning a 3.8 in depth of functionality and a pair of 3.7s in company direction and customer satisfaction. However, the company earned a strong 4.2 in depth of functionality last year, and its low score of 3.0 in cost is concerning. Nevertheless, Wang says that “big customer wins among brands outside of the traditional Red Stack base show that Oracle has done a good job managing acquisitions and organic growth,” indicating a strong follow-up performance to last year’s turnaround.

Teradata earned a strong score of 4.4 in depth of functionality last year, but struggled this year, receiving just a 3.3. Although it earned solid marks of 3.6 and 3.5 in customer satisfaction and cost, the company struggled particularly in company direction, receiving just a 3.0. According to Wang, the solution “remains a solid but dated offering.”


Salesforce.com is the winner in this category for the second year in a row, earning high scores of 4.3 and 4.0 in company direction and customer satisfaction, as well as a 3.9 in depth of functionality and a 3.5 in cost. According to Ament, “Salesforce has really grown over the years” and has “done a really great job of growing their footprint and expanding their offerings as their customers demand it.” She notes that the company does “a really good job of listening to their customers, creating visually appealing and interactive dashboards and easily configurable workflows, and they also deliver on a brand promise that includes social responsibility, which is appealing to a lot of people.”

One to Watch

Marketo is our One to Watch for the second year in a row. The company struggled last year after the departure of its founder, and it subsequently adopted a reactive approach to building marketing technology. Although it received a solid 3.9 in depth of functionality, the company struggled particularly in company direction, earning just a 3.1. Furthermore, after earning a high score of 4.5 for customer satisfaction last year, it suffered a serious blow, dropping to only a 3.4 this year. The company scored a 3.6 in cost, and Wang says that the new ownership by Vista Equity Partners “has customers extremely concerned [about] talent exodus, under-investment of research and development, and an increase in pricing.”

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