As customer behavior has gone digital, so have astute enterprises, making digital marketing platforms (DMPs) a vital investment for attracting, converting, and retaining customers.

Discerning the best DMP, however, can be a challenge.

Marketers seeking a comprehensive, unbiased overview of DMP vendors are often let down by reports that focus on limited criteria, leaving key benefits and deal-breakers uncovered. Until now, that is.

Ovum, a UK-based research house on par with Forrester and Gartner here in the U.S., recently released the most thorough analysis of full-breadth DMPs we’ve come across. Titled “Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Digital Platform, 2015-16,” the report goes broad and deep, with a full SWOT analysis of what it considers the leading seven DMP vendors serving the global marketplace.

DMPs, Defined

Before we proceed, let’s get on the same page on the role of DMPs. Ovum defines DMPs as providing “the means to bring marketing technologies such as email, mobile, social, websites, ad tech, data and content management, and analytics into a single, unified and integrated environment.”

The outcome is faster, more responsive, and higher-quality marketing communications and management.

A Common Challenge

Ovum analysts found that, while modern enterprises prioritize DMPs, most have picked up digital technologies in an ad hoc fashion based on short-term gratification, rather than a thoughtful long-term strategy.

By doing so, marketers end up with a hodgepodge of competing interfaces that don’t scale and integrate poorly, fraught with blind spots and redundancies.

Assessment Criteria

Ovum’s research weighed the following components for each qualifying vendor serving the global enterprise:

Ovum Research: Digital Marketing Platforms Assessment Criteria

Ovum Research: Digital Marketing Platforms Assessment Criteria

The Ranks

After weighing all of the above criteria, here’s how leading DMP vendors ranked, from top to bottom performer:

  1. 1. Adobe
  2. 2. IBM
  3. 3. Oracle
  4. 4. Salesforce
  5. 5. SAS
  6. 6. Teradata
  7. 7. Marketo

Ovum Research: How leading Digital Marketing Platform vendors ranked“The differences between the vendors are more apparent in strategy execution, with Adobe and IBM starting to pull ahead,” the report explains. “In terms of market impact, Adobe and IBM (…) have a clear lead.” – Ovum

The report also identified integrated e-commerce and social media capabilities as weaknesses that need further development by many vendors.

IBM Marketing Cloud

It’s no secret that we advocate IBM solutions here at BlueSky. Put simply, it’s a platform we’re most proud to represent because it delivers on its promises.

The Ovum report validated that vote of confidence, ranking IBM as the #1 leader in core technology capabilities. In the overall ranking, IBM’s position behind Adobe is attributed to IBM’s sharp focus on integration, more so than innovation, which researchers ranked higher.

Finally, the report recognized IBM’s positioning shift as a strong solution for small and large enterprises — not just large-scale marketing operations.

Access the full report, including a SWOT analysis of each of the contenders mentioned above, here.

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