Key Takeaways — The Forrester Wave: Email Marketing Service Providers, Q2 2020
Technology advisory firm Forrester Research has released its latest Forrester Wave for Email Marketing Service Providers, Q2 2020. This year’s report noted that email service provider buyers will enjoy improved selection this year due to the following: a diverse landscape of vendors that has driven product innovation, highly specialized vendor offerings, and the availability of professional services models to accommodate different customer types. Due to the current health and economic crisis, email marketing is more vital than ever in driving sales and retention.
In their 23-criteria evaluation of email marketing service providers, Forrester researchers Shar VanBoskirk, Mary Pilecki, Robert Perdoni, and Christine Turley identified the 13 providers whom they consider most significant in the category: Acoustic, Adobe, Bluecore, Braze, Cheetah Digital, Cordial, dotdigital, Epsilon, Exponea, Iterable, Oracle, Salesforce, and Zeta Global — then researched, analyzed, and scored them.
The Wave report details their findings and examines how each vendor meets (or falls short of) Forrester’s evaluation criteria and where vendors stand in relation to each other. At Solutions Review, we read the report, available here, and pulled out the key takeaways.
Zeta Global, Epsilon, Oracle, and Cheetah Digital Stand Out as Leaders
Zeta Global’s marketing platform excels because of its data foundation, and its schema-less data structure solves challenging problems better than many other competitors. It can activate an unlimited number of events, with unlimited metadata, without my database configuration or data definition. Epsilon maintains its position by balancing email technology with the strongest professional services available int his study. Clients value this vendor as an extension of their teams, and its PeopleCloud Messaging provides critical data to supplement user profiles.
Oracle continues to consistently deliver scale, with a significant global footprint, industry-specific data schemas, and AI that runs off of email and non-email data. Oracle’s data assets and analytics modules extend the utility of its Responsys platform, and clients cite it as a way to drive revenue growth by delivering better and more relevant customer experiences. Cheetah Digital combines several solutions from recent acquisitions into its Customer Engagement Suite. 25% of its topline revenue is allocated to R&D, and the vendor offers an analytics environment for data exploration and scenario modeling.
Salesforce, Dotdigital, Cordial, Acoustic, Adobe, and Iterable are Strong Performers
Salesforce appeals to a mass audience and is a consistently strong option for marketers of any type and sophistication level. 15% of its global revenue is being invested in R&D, and will add further predictive capabilities and interactivity to its AI, data exploration environment, and module for distributed businesses. Dotdigital does most of its business in Europe, but its products and services are offered globally. This vendor offers a visual interface for query creation, message design, and multichannel orchestration, as well as a capable AI for predicting customer tendencies or recommending products.
Cordial offers an emotionally intelligent approach to marketing technology, displaying empathy, authenticity, and ownership mentality. Its campaign orchestration is excellent, auto-orchestrating content, layout, and channel based on performance against a preset business goal. Acoustic’s optimization efforts focus on email content; an improved visual UI, open-time personalization, and journey analytics will launch later in 2020. This firm is best suited for large midmarket emailers with strong campaign management skills.
Adobe Campaign Standard (ACS focuses on automation personalized, omnichannel communications for B2C marketers. In addition to being a good fit for current Adobe Experience Cloud users, ACS integrates well with other partners and third-party software. Iterable has remained a staple int eh market with its NoSQL data model, limitless data storage, and automated segmentation module. This vendor is a good choice for high-volume email and mobile messaging senders who can handle some growing pains.
Additionally, Forrester named Braze, Bluecore, and Exponea as Contenders in this year’s report. There were no vendors present in the Challengers category.
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