Defining L2RM and the vendors that are leading the way
At the beginning of the year, Forrester released its The Forrester Wave report: Lead-To-Revenue Management Platform Vendors, Q1 2014. In it, Forrester evaluated the leading solution providers in the space, including Act-On, Adobe, CallidusCloud, IBM, Marketo, Oracle, salesforce.com, Salesfusion and Silverpop. This was the first time that Forrester focused its research on L2RM automation vendors.
Understanding the results of Forrester’s research, however, must start by understanding lead-to-revenue management or L2RM. According to Forrester, initial L2RM automation solutions came about with the sole purpose of bridging the gap between lead generation activities, like trade shows and email campaigns, and closing a deal. Today, Forrester describes L2RM as a rapid evolution opportunity for marketing to catch up with an already evolved buyer.
For those using IBM's WebSphere Commerce, this blog will hone in on one of the nine solutions critiqued by Forrester that has an established relationship with that specific eCommerce platform: Silverpop. Silverpop, which was founded in 1999 and was officially brought into the IBM fold in May 2014, is a cloud-based solution with a focus on delivering personalized customer engagements.
“Silverpop and IBM are on the cusp of leadership,” Forrester reported. “Both of these vendors have strong products that straddle the line between B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing. Until recently, other marketing automation vendors have treated the requirements of B2C and B2B marketers as two bifurcated sets. Recent acquisitions and market developments indicate some convergence in B2C and B2B marketing automation segments, which will probably serve to raise the relevance of both of these competitors.”
Taking into consideration the 75 points of criteria included in the Forrester Wave report, Silverpop fell into the “strong performers category” with only a handful of vendors ahead of it. Reading through the report, however, leads one to wonder whether Silverpop won’t find itself ranked in a higher position in future Forrester findings.
“Silverpop is not on the shortlist, all that often, when Forrester talks to clients who are evaluating marketing automation solutions,” the editors of the report explained. “Looking at their results in the L2RM platform Forrester Wave evaluation, one has to wonder, ‘Why is that?’ The vendor posted as a Strong Performer in both the enterprise and the small marketing teams perspectives.”
The editors went on to explain that while Silverpop initially focused on the email market and operated as an ESP, it has evolved into a solution that offers all of the expected L2RM platform capabilities, including cross-channel campaign automation, lead management and CRM integrations. Furthermore, Silverpop has proven features that support marketing activities, such as email development, testing and delivery coupled with a robust, automated A/B testing capability.
“The vendor’s B2C DNA has resulted in a product with strong multichannel engagement capabilities,” Forrester added. “Silverpop has been an early advocate for behavioral marketing. The product has a campaign workflow builder, coupled with a business rules engine — which can apply conditional logic to any program step — that makes it easy for marketers to build complex multichannel and behaviorally triggered nurture streams — which is a valuable capability for B2B marketers who are selling products that deliver various multiple outcomes to multiple stakeholders.”
To learn more about Silverpop and why it is the L2RM solution of choice for IBM WebSphere Commerce users, stay tuned to the NetSphere Strategies blog. We aim to keep our readers and clients informed of new and promising technology that is developed to work in harmony with their already proven IBM platform.