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Key Takeaways: Forrester Wave for Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q2 2021

Forrester Wave for Enterprise Marketing Software Suites

The editors at Solutions Review have read the Q2 2021 iteration of the Forrester Wave for Enterprise Marketing Software Suites report and compiled some of the takeaways worth knowing about.

Technology advisory firm Forrester Research recently released the latest Forrester Wave: Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q2 2021 report, which identifies eight of the most important providers operating in the EMSS market. The report also offers analysis and comparisons of each provider so B2C marketing professionals can select the right solution for their company’s needs.

Our 2020 CRM Buyer’s Guide helps you evaluate the best solution for your use case and features profiles of the leading providers, as well as a category overview of the marketplace.

This iteration of the report highlights how the enterprise marketing software suite (EMSS) market is continuing to prioritize specialization. While many EMSS providers had similar strategies, an increasingly competitive and expanding market has lead to vendors pivoting toward differentiated offerings. With that in mind, the Forrester Wave report recommends that EMSS customers look for providers offering data solutions, analytics capabilities, customer intelligence tools, and platform strategies.

The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q2 2021 report segments the listed solution providers into four categories: Leaders, Strong Performers, Contender, and Challengers. The editorial team at Solutions Review has read the report and compiled the most important takeaways and updates you should know about.

Note: The opinions described in this article belong to the researchers and editors of Forrester Wave for Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q2 2021.


Adobe Experience Cloud has the highest spot in Forrester’s report. The company’s customer experience management strategy is built on a vision that sees Experience Cloud as a “modular portfolio of platform, services, and applications” that emphasize digital interactions. According to the Forrester report, the Adobe EMSS ecosystem makes it an ideal solution for digital-centric businesses looking for content, commerce, marketing, and analytics capabilities.

Salesforce is the other Leader in the report, thanks to updates like the acquisition of Evergage, the launch of Customer 360 Audiences, and other releases that build upon Salesforce’s existing customer experience, analytics, and collaboration services. While the report does mention client concerns around implementation and native integrations, Salesforce’s EMSS offering does benefit from an evolving product roadmap and functionalities curated to support usability, marketing lifecycles, sales support, and service touchpoints.

Strong Performers

While Oracle has a larger market share, SAS’ analytics-powered marketing solutions earn it the highest spot in the Strong Performer category. SAS’ EMSS offering, titled Customer Intelligence 360, incorporates marketing, optimization, and planning models packaged as a standalone offering. However, there are add-ons available for users looking for real-time decisioning and advanced analytics capabilities. The company’s EMSS is best suited for organizations with a technically adept user base and are looking for a technical, analytics-first approach to marketing.

The Oracle Marketing offering includes modules for testing, data management, streaming data, loyalty, and segmentation. It comes equipped with a data management system that links data from Oracle marketing, customer experience, and analytics solutions. The company has a significant market share, according to Forrester, and is outranked only by Salesforce and Adobe. Oracle’s Connected Marketing Suite roadmap includes updated product integrations and new features for analytics, machine learning, and customer intelligence.

Acoustic has doubled down on its marketing efforts since becoming an independent company. The company’s EMSS, Acoustic Marketing Cloud, packages campaign, personalization, analytics, content, and exchange modules into a single product and is making moves to accelerate its product delivery. While Forrester notes that some of the company’s technical support capabilities were stalled during Acoustic’s divestiture from IBM, these have been restored. Forrester also says that users are optimistic about Acoustic’s transparent approach to its product roadmap.


SAP continues to invest in its Marketing Cloud functionalities with various acquisitions and product updates. For example, the company acquired Emarsys in late 2020, which will help SAP expand its commerce marketing vision and complete its rollout of the SAP Customer Data Platform. Forrester’s report says that SAP’s EMSS offering will most appeal to organizations requiring global support and operating in an e-commerce business model.

Skirting the Strong Performer and Contender line is Cheetah Digital, which has been gradually reinventing itself since divesting from Experian several years ago. Once an email service provider, the company has evolved into an enterprise-class marketing platform for clients looking to personalize their customer marketing efforts. Cheetah Digital is advancing its roadmap through a series of acquisitions and updates that will bolster the company’s functionalities and continue to provide customers with the services they’ve come to expect.

Zeta Global is the final provider on the report. Forrester describes the company as being on a “mission” to transition itself into a product-led company focusing on data, insights, and business outcomes. Its EMSS, the Zeta Marketing Platform, is a synthesis of data, identity resolution, targeting, reporting, analytics, messaging, and advertising solutions that can be flexibly combined to meet client needs.

Read the entire Forrester Wave report here.

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