Forrester, an independent research firm, has evaluated 12 of the leading database marketers in its annual Forrester Wave.
Evaluations were held during the third quarter of this year, using 143 separate criteria. Forrester named Merkle, Targetbase, KnowledgeBase Marketing, The Allant Group and Epsilon as leaders in the enterprise field.
The study found that clients are seeking high-value, flexible, proactive service from marketing service providers. Marketers also seek integrated delivery when choosing a marketing service provider.
The research revealed five key findings about marketing service providers and their clients. The two most common approaches for MSPs, Forrester discovered, are end-to-end service or niche service. The evaluations also pinpointed the midmarket as a key area for growth and found that MSPs are focused on becoming CMO-relevant.
Poor project management skills were highlighted as a problem that continues to plague even the top providers. Another problem area may be mergers and acquisitions, which, the study said, could hurt innovation.
Forrester originally invited 144 companies to participate in the Wave evaluation. However, only 12 of these companies met selection criteria, which included breadth and depth of customer base and an even balance between retention or hybrid offerings and acquisition/prospecting. Additionally, only vendors serving a minimum of three industries were included.