Forrester: India is the next big market for digital marketing platform vendors

In a blog post based on a recent Forrester study, analyst Manish Bahl has outlined the big digital marketing opportunities in India, especially for vendors.

Bahl says over 50% of Indian CMOs are actively searching for new suppliers to provide solutions for digital engagement systems, such as mobile apps, social media applications, or customer loyalty management programs. The expanded budgets of CMOs are allowing them to be more selective in the vendors they work for.

Bahl says there is a very clear demand for all-encompassing digital programmings, much like the ones provided by Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle.

Bahl writes:

The CMO of a large airline in India told me that at present he works with 15 to 17 tech marketing vendors, from boutique shops through large companies, as he couldn’t find a single vendor that could meet his end-to-end marketing needs (or he believes that no such vendor exists).

Sounds like a huge opportunity for the enterprise marketing clouds, who have the infrastructure and global reach to really make a killing in the Indian market. However, there are still plenty of limitations on enterprise software vendors operating in a country outside the US. Bahl outlines a few:

The problem here is that CMOs lack technology depth, which could lead them to rely too heavily on certain tech vendors. This could expose the firm to infrastructure-related risks, cause it to fail to comply with industry and country regulations, or create challenges in integration with back-end systems.

In addition, the marketing clouds would need to operate in a language other than English, and this has proven especially difficult, especially with social media listening/management applications. And finally, there’s the issue of customer support, which will always be delayed as long as its being done across continents, leading to plenty of frustrated customers.

In the end Bahl calls for greater collaboration between the CMO and CIO, words of advice that ring true even for the American market:

CMOs are confronted with ever more technology choices; it’s time for CIOs to step in and help. You should become a service provider to marketing — someone who orchestrates technology providers to serve marketing’s needs. As such, you will work with a wide range of partners. Traditional vendors will maintain their focus on IT service delivery, while the next generation of service providers will understand how they can better support business services. Start by building your understanding of the marketing technology vendor landscape, including digital agencies and marketing software vendors.

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