A busy year in the development of the digital marketing cloud did not end quietly. Right before the Christmas holiday, Oracle announced its plan to acquire Datalogix, a company that crunches consumer spending data and correlates it to ad spend and digital marketing efforts. The acquisition is expected to complement Oracle’s recent purchase of BlueKai to expand its digital marketing suite.
“The addition of Datalogix to the Oracle Data Cloud will provide data-driven marketers the most valuable targeting and measurement solution available,” said Omar Tawakol, Group Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Data Cloud, in a press release. “Oracle will now deliver comprehensive consumer profiles based on connected identities that will power personalization across digital, mobile, offline and TV.”
Oracle and many other companies recognize that the marketing cloud is one of the hot opportunities in the worlds of cloud computing and Big Data. And as if to emphasize that point, just a few days before Oracle announced its deal, Gartner published its first-ever 2014 Magic Quadrant report on digital marketing hubs.
Gartner reiterates the reasons we know digital marketing is becoming more important to businesses. Consumers have more power, thanks to social and mobile technologies. These new channels give brands more opportunities to interact with consumers, but also make those relationships more complex. As a result, companies are giving more authority to their marketing divisions to lead in this changing landscape.
“The past several years have brought a dramatic acceleration in the application of technology and real-time data to marketing,” Gartner says. “As marketing technology budgets increase, leading marketing service and software providers are investing heavily in assembling collections of marketing applications and services — mostly through acquisitions but also through organic development.”
Adobe Systems snagged the coveted spot in the Gartner report. It’s positioned furthest to the right in terms of “completeness of vision,” and at about the same level as Oracle for “ability to execute.” Overall, that gives Adobe a slight edge in terms of being a “leader” by Gartner’s measure of digital marketing hub over Oracle and Salesforce.com, the only other company to land in the leadership quadrant.
“We believe being recognized as a leader positioned furthest for completeness of vision is validation of Adobe’s unique offering in the market,” said Suresh Vittal, vice president of strategy for Adobe’s Digital Marketing in a press release. “The deep integration of our Marketing Cloud solutions allows brands to connect with customers through highly personalized content across all digital touch points.”
Of course, the magic quadrant was published before Oracle’s bid for Datalogix, so that positioning may have already been a bit scrambled. And in any case, Gartner cautions that no one company is anywhere near achieving a dominant position.
“The market for digital marketing hubs is still nascent and is characterized by customer confusion (sometimes bordering on frustration),” Gartner says. “It features a fragmented and heterogeneous collection of competitors from different backgrounds that approach the problem and its solution in different ways, only adding to the confusion.”
Going forward, we can be sure of one thing: Competition and investment in the digital marketing cloud will remain fierce.