Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Latest Magic Quadrant report into content marketing platform vendors also highlights growing investments into analytics, voice-of-customer insights, workflows and AI to power personalisation

The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for content marketing platforms has highlighted Optimizely (Welcome), Sprinklr, Skyword and Seismic as leaders both in terms of vision and ability to deliver.

The analyst firm’s research into content marketing platforms (CMPs) looks at software offerings that support capabilities such as content strategy, ideation, editorial planning, calendarisation, collaboration and creative workflows and approvals management, curation, metadata management and distribution of different content types and measurement and optimisation tools. It also highlights integration into marketing systems such as Web content management, sales enablement, digital asset management (DAM) and marketing automation as a growing area of focus for these platforms.

Leading the pack in terms of both vision as well as ability to execute was Optimizely’s Welcome marketing orchestration platform, which the vendor acquired in December last year. For Gartner, pros of the CMP included a low-code app marketplace for better interoperability with more than 100 others martech and applications, along with a modular content asset approach that better supports personalisation for specific audiences and channels. Welcome’s use of generative artificial intelligence (AI), designed to help marketers write new content based on a small number of provided inputs, was also highlighted as a positive.

Weaknesses of the Welcome offering included uncertainty around the product roadmap and customer service as a result of the Optimizely acquisition, as well as limited use-case functionality.

Just below was Sprinklr, which Gartner recognised in the leaders’ quadrant for its grounding in social insights and unstructured data to provide content recommendations and optimise performance, workflow optimisation and custom workflow capabilities and AI-powered insights. Cautions included Sprinklr’s expansive approach to the tech stack and module-based pricing, complexity of solution and more hefty resource investment, and less consistent customer technical support.

Skyword also made the leadership ranks for its CMP offering, which incorporates a talent network for content creation, an enterprise dashboard for content project management, plus workflow optimisation and managed services mostly focused on the North American market. Its 7500 contributors across 70 countries was listed as a strength, as were managed services and social listening and voice-of-customer insights. Cautions from Gartner included limited value from the modular solution, nascent AI capabilities and higher-effort pricing structure.

Seismic (formerly Percolate) was the fourth and final player in the leadership quadrant. Gartner pointed to its content performance analytics, native publishing abilities across marketing automation, social media, CRM, DAM and sales enablement plus native platform integrations as positive. Cautions included the reliance on the full Seismic sales enablement platform to unlock full value, limited content ideation off its LiveSocial add-on social media capabilities, and the solution’s relatively high cost.

Also featured in Gartner’s CMP Magic Quadrant as a visionary with compelling completeness of vision but less ability to execute was digital experience vendor, Sitecore. Challengers with similar ability to execute but less vision included Contently and Upland Kapost, while CoSchedule made the report as a niche player with less completeness of vision.

Alongside capabilities, all vendors had to have a minimum US$5 million in annual revenue from their content marketing platform to qualify.

“When content and customers are both kings, marketing teams must do more, often with less. Now that traditional buying channels have been disrupted, marketing teams must respond with innovation in content that places new customer needs at the centre of the process,” Gartner commented in the report. “This content must help customers along their journeys, across channels, as they search for solutions.”

This makes CMPs a growing and evolving martech capability, the analyst firm said. It cited growing investment into voice-of-customer insights, metadata, workflows and assembly capabilities reflecting not only the desire to use customer insights to inform creative, but also growing modular content demands to fuel personalisation.

“As the volume of atomic elements reaches mass, CMPs are also applying AI to facilitate content operations and creative development to support the management and assembly of a volume of content that will quickly surpass classic content management techniques (if it already has not),” Gartner stated.

At the same time, marketers need to understand the performance of content across channels including sales, Gartner said.

“CMPs continue to highlight deep integrations with sales enablement platforms to give sales teams easier access to approved content and, in turn, to understand how that content is performing in the market. As markets quickly face looming changes in advertising and privacy capabilities, CMPs are providing deeper/better integrations with advertising technologies to synchronise their paid and owned content workstreams,” it added.  

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