Acquisition Is a Leading Trend Among Leading MRM Providers

IBM, Infor, SAS, and Teradata are among the companies in the Leader quadrant of Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management.” As leaders, each company consistently delivers on the essential functions of MRM applications, according to the report. What do they have in common? Acquisitions.

“Four of the six companies in the leadership quadrant made acquisitions,” says Kimberly Collins, who authored the report.  “Now that MRM is maturing, larger businesses are getting into the space.”

IBM announced its acquisition of Unica in August of 2010, while SAS and Teradata completed their respective acquisitions of Asset Link and Aprimo in early 2011. Infor announced its acquisition of Orbis Global in late 2012. Each of these acquired companies populated the MRM Magic Quadrant’s Leader quadrant in previous years.

Similarly, BrandMaker, another of the leading six, is poised to be an acquisition target. “They’re in the same position many of these acquisitions were a couple years ago,” Collins explains. “Obviously I can’t speculate, but we’ll see if they end up getting acquired.”

SAP, the last of the six leaders in MRM, stands as something of an anomaly. “SAP is a bit different. They’ve taken a more organic growth route,” Collins notes. Though SAP has made acquisitions as well, none of the have been in MRM. “They built their MRM capabilities organically and partner with OpenText to complete their MRM solution,” she explains.

The analysis included Microsoft as a potential challenger in the MRM space. Microsoft acquired Marketing Pilot late in 2012, a year after Marketing Pilot moved into the MRM Magic Quadrant’s Visionary quadrant. Since the acquisition Microsoft has refined its MRM architecture to align with the rest of the Microsoft platform.  However, “the focus on architecture rather than functional innovation and MRM pushed them to the Challenger quadrant,” Collins says. “What they lost in vision they gained in execution.”

Collins notes that At Task, one of the providers straddling the line between Niche and Visionaries, is a company to watch out for moving forward.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management as of February 2014:


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