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Marketing suites miss the mark

Forrester ranked the top marketing automation vendors but found that none have a comprehensive platform.

Increasingly, marketers are asking for one integrated application suite to help them do their jobs, yet despite advances software vendors have been unable to provide one, according to recent research.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.'s latest evaluation of enterprise marketing applications was a response to marketers' demand for that unified technology.

"What I think has been most interesting and different is, we're looking much more broadly at an enterprise marketing platform," said Elana Anderson, vice president and research director of the marketing strategy and technology group at Forrester and author of the report. "People are looking past strategic planning, lead management and interaction management." @18791

In December, Forrester surveyed 300 marketers, and 77% said they wanted an integrated suite. With that information, researchers set about finding which vendor could provide a technology that integrates marketing programs across channels and lines of business, optimizes customer contacts, tracks customer data and measures performance across the marketing matrix. Forrester evaluated Unica Corp., Siebel Systems Inc., Oracle Corp., SSA Global Technologies Inc., Aprimo Inc., SAP AG, the SAS Institute Inc. and Teradata against 168 criteria.

"There are pockets of excellence, but we really don't have a vendor that has all of it," Anderson said.

For example, Forrester found that Unica offers the best campaign management tools, SAS has the best data analytics and data mining tools and SSA Global, which purchased Epiphany Inc. last August, has the best interaction management technology. And while marketers want a comprehensive application that is a leader in most of the marketing categories, 70% said they will stick with best-of-breed vendors until they get it, Anderson said.

From a business-to-consumer perspective, Unica emerged as a clear winner, and Siebel Systems Inc. (recently acquired by Oracle Corp.) had the broadest offering and surfaced as the leader in business-to-business marketing, according to the report.

"Unica is most poised to [provide a comprehensive suite]," Anderson said. "Unica has a very strong vision. I think Siebel had a fairly strong vision as well. They were just starting to ramp up and show some success. The question is will they continue to execute under Oracle."

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