When it comes to collecting unqualified contacts from a variety of digital channels and turning them into actual sales, two platforms, only two platforms were named leaders by Gartner.
Marketo and Oracle Eloqua topped the latest rankings in the research firm’s 2014 Magic Quadrant report on CRM lead management platforms.
In the report, lead management systems are defined as platforms that “integrate business process and technology: to connect marketing with direct or indirect sales channels, and to identify and develop higher-value opportunities through improved demand creation, execution and opportunity management.”
Marketo and Oracle Eloqua were named “Leaders” in the field, while Adobe Campaign, Salesforce’s Pardot, and IBM’s ExperienceOne product line were labeled as “Challengers.”
Here’s the complete list of platforms reviewed, as well as their placement within the Magic Quadrant. HubSpot and Act-On software received honorable mentions in the report.
This was Adobe Campaign’s first year on the list, and it was in part due to its potent integration with the rest of Adobe’s Digital Marketing Cloud tools. Adobe Campaign leverages data and analytics from Adobe Analytics, Adobe Experience Manager and tags from Adobe Marketing Cloud, centralizing much of the data and automating the content targeting process. However, it lost points due to the low rating customers gave on its ability to integrate with outside applications.
The report evaluated IBM’s Leads product, which was formerly a part of Unica. IBM was recognized for its suitability for large enterprise customers and its strength in dealing with complex lead management processes. However, it was hampered by the confusion over its deployment. Currently IBM uses both on-premise software deployment as well as the SaaS implementation, which can muddle its functionality. It did however, purchase marketing automation platform Silverpop earlier this year, which also gave it a boost in the rankings.
Marketo emerged as a leader in the report for another year, receiving praise for its ease of use and depth of functionality. Although it has not traditionally been as focused on large companies Marketo remains popular with smaller organizations, or with divisions/departments within larger organizations. The report says the biggest challenge for Marketo will be from multi-channel marketing suites that offer all-in-one functionality, such as Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce.
The report states about platform:
“Marketo must continue to react quickly to the evolving marketing automation market. Several competitors now have access to Web content management (WCM), data segmentation tools, or mobile device support from their parent company’s portfolio — albeit often not yet deeply integrated. Marketo will have to develop these capabilities organically or continue to extend its technology partnerships.”
Oracle’s B2B marketing automation platform Eloqua once again topped Gartner’s list, getting recognition for its broad lead management functionality. It also received marks for the additional offerings of several other highly rated applications acquired and brought into Oracle’s Marketing Cloud. These include Compendium, Responsys and BlueKai. However, Gartner’s report cautioned against rushing into purchases, especially since Oracle is still working on the integeration of its marketing solutions.
“Integration with adjacent products such as BlueKai, Compendium and Responsys is still under development,” writes the report. “Clients should ask for road map specifics if they are considering implementing other Marketing Cloud products.
It’s interesting to see Pardot, and not ExactTarget make it onto the list, especially since ExactTarget is the flagship platform around which Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud is built. Along with Pardot’s short time to productivity and simple automation implementation, Salesforce was also recognized for having a large number of platform partners listed in its AppExchange. This essentially make it very easy to integrate into a customers existing suite of digital marketing tools.
However, all those partners are precisely who will be giving Salesforce the most competition. Additionally, Pardot is also still not out of the integration phase with many of Salesforce’s other offerings.
The report says:
“Pardot is not yet native to Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud applications, and requires its own database, user interface and license. References commented that more clarity is needed about salesforce.com’s product road map and integration plans with Pardot, ExactTarget and other Marketing Cloud applications.”
Gartner’s 2014 Magic Qudrant for CRM Lead Management report can be downloaded in its entirety from the Marketo website (registration required.)