As a refresher to our Q2 2014 digital marketing series titled ‘Rise of the Digital Marketing Suite’, we talked recently in a previous post about the overall market updates and laid out the key M&A events, IPOs, S-1 filings, and late stage financings. In this post, we provide below some updates about the digital marketing products of the large key players Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft.
Since our last update Salesforce launched its first cloud analytics platform called Wave at their Dreamforce Conference last year. Wave, Salesforce’s sixth cloud platform, strengthens the company’s analytics capability and provides a lot more muscle on the BI and data intelligence side for the company to build on it’s digital marketing suite. More recently, Salesforce Wave made the move to mobile with three products: Mobile Connector, Dashboard Designer and Links to further broader it’s suite in digital marketing. We view this as a natural evolution with the product and even this week saw Salesforce get involved in the Apple iWatch announcement by showcasing how they would couple Salesforce.com with the watch to enhance a sellers capabilities.
Outside of Salesforce, Microsoft expanded its strategic partnership with Salesforce with the aim to connect the Salesforce CRM apps with Office and Windows products. As Microsoft targets Salesforce with recent price cuts on its online CRM bundle, the long-term viability of the partnership between the two marketing cloud rivals remains to be seen.
Beyond Salesforce and Microsoft, Adobe launched several new data-driven marketing capabilities across mobile devices which further enhances it’s position as a leader in the digital marketing arena. Among other mobile offerings, their Intelligent Location Marketing feature allows marketers to engage users through location-based messages. Adobe plans to leverage location based marketing to increase engagement on its platform and maintain its lead in the marketing automation segment of the digital marketing suite.
While Salesforce, Adobe, and Microsoft updated product offerings and launched new initiatives we did not notice much out of Oracle or IBM by way of new product updates or feature additions.
Worth noting and beyond our Big 5 analysis, we are beginning to see SAP take a more proactive approach in the market that has been a recent change. Generally speaking SAP chose to partner in the digital marketing space however is now getting more aggressive about building their own capabilities internally. Since our last update, SAP’s Hybris released a new marketing suite that enables real-time contextual marketing and further enhances their product offering. The new marketing cloud pits SAP against the Big 5 especially industry leaders Adobe and Salesforce. Furthermore, SAP has expanded its partner network by allowing independent software vendors to build extensions on its solution which seems to mimic the Force.com framework and app store approach. While it remains to be seen what the progress is here we note that the company has finally decided to dive into the space.