Customers looking for a campaign system very quickly face the challenge of finding a suitable solution in a complex market. Gartner and Forrester are currently the first and often also the only source of information for campaign systems in this context. Many businesses, however, are not satisfied because neither of the studies presents a "customer perspective".
Important factors, such as e.g. the substantive focus, the customer environment, the user-friendliness (ergonomics), the maturity level of the business's campaign infrastructure or e.g. the availability of German-speaking support are not even mentioned in the studies.
Moreover, there have been numerous mergers and acquisitions recently. Neolane and Adobe found each other, Oracle took over Eloqua and who knows what else may follow. The industry is revolutionizing, and additional mergers and acquisitions are to be expected. Further, some email service providers are expanding their solutions by campaign functionalities.
No business has a comprehensive overview of the campaign market and can thus be asked for the suitable solution for the current and future requirements of the customer. The evaluation is started from scratch for each project, and the usual suspects are invited, which do not always have the suitable solution in their portfolio.
Thus, b.telligent decided to draw up its own market overview of campaign management solutions for the German market from a customer perspective.
Objectives and Strategy
The market overview is intended to provide an objective basis for decision-makers who have already recognized that a campaign solution entails a crucial competitive edge and promises corresponding surplus value for their organization.
But: which solution is the suitable one? Should an enterprise solution be acquired if the business intends to limit the campaign to dispatching letters? Weren't there plans regarding Facebook and a personalized portal?
Each customer has different requirements and in particular, different frame conditions. Thus, the market overview pre-classifies the available solutions.
Accordingly, customers are able to pre-select suitable systems. Customers and providers may thus avoid complex and time-consuming evaluation projects. Time and money which could be spent e.g. on the optimization and expansion of internal processes or the acquisition of a suitable campaign solution.
Frequently, the software users are not listened to sufficiently, and generally only taken on board once the decision for a solution has already been made. In order to reduce training requirements and also to increase the acceptance of the solution, particular focus is placed on the evaluation of ergonomics and thus the easy handling of the software.
Forrester, Gartner, internet research and personal experience with providers are the basis for an initial analysis. In this context, the current market of available campaign management systems is assessed and a pre-classification is undertaken. Classification parameters in this process are e.g. the B2B or B2C focus, the functional scope (basic to enterprise) and the strategic emphasis (campaign, lead management, content management system or customer contact management) of the solutions.
Each system is allocated to a class. Thus, the systems become comparable. So customers also have the possibility to choose suitable solutions from the class suitable to them.
Within the classes, each assessed solution is evaluated. To this end, evaluation criteria are established which take into account the following areas
- functional criteria - to evaluate the substantive comprehensiveness of the solution
- connectivity - to evaluate the data integration
- time and costs of introduction
- licensing model
- support of German customers
In particular, the roadmap allows insights into the direction and manner a solution is developing. It may make sense to decide on a solution which has not yet integrated a specific functionality, and to await or even influence this functionality.
Comprehensive workshops are conducted with the providers during which the individual solutions are assessed within the scope of live demonstrations. In this context, emphasis is placed on understanding the ideas and the vision behind the solution in order to thus become better acquainted with the manufacturer and its strategy.
Currently, 15 providers take part in the market overview, including all well-known providers from the studies of Forrester and Gartner, as well as additional providers, some of which may be lesser known on the German market.