Forrester analyses leaders and challengers in the marketing resource management vendor space

Latest Forrester Wave into MRM highlights the acquisitions and money management capabilities being developed by tech vendors

Forrester has released its latest Marketing Resource Management (MRM) Wave, highlighting nine vendors across its leadership, strong performer, contender and challenger ranks.

Topping the Q3, 2022 list as a leader is Aprimo and its Aprimo Productivity Management, Plan & Spend, Digital Asset Management and Distributed Marketing offerings. Forrester noted Aprimo as a comprehensive, end-to-end MRM tool covering people, money and content management with a vast partner network, transparent pricing model and modular architecture. Cons included a less clear execution roadmap and some challenges with the user interface.

Featured in the ‘strong performers’ category were BrandMaker, Optimizely, Adobe and Marmind. Forrester noted BrandMaker’s acquisitions had given the vendor a solid MRM offering with rich functionality – once it was fully integrated. Optimizely, meanwhile, was highlighted for its people and content management capabilities and superior product innovation roadmap. However, gaps in its money and marketing performance management tools kept the offering out of the leadership tier.

Adobe Workfront likewise offered compelling functionality that would stand above best-of-breed vendors in the MRM space provided it was connected across Adobe’s wider stack. Marmind’s ability to close the loop from planning to performance also led to its higher position in the vendor ranks, but Forrester cautioned prospective buyers on its less-than-optimal people and content capabilities.

Contenders in the Forrester MRM Wave included SAS 360 Plan and IntelligenceBank. SAS was noted as a strong MRM but dependent on the wider SAS ecosystem. IntelligenceBank was highlighted as excelling in content production and across regulated industries and government but lacking some of the support services required to go downstream as well as money and people management tools.

Rounding out the Forrester MRM list as challenger vendors were HCL Software and Lytho.

Two years on from its last look at the MRM space, Forrester report authors, Jessica Liu and Katie Linford, said MRM is evolving into a “marketing coordination and ROI powerhouse”.

“To position marketing as a business driver and be proactive amid changing market conditions, marketers must incorporate stronger end-to-end planning and coordination. This starts with connecting financial planning to marketing performance — a capability that MRM tools historically struggled with,” the report authors stated.

“Previously, MRM vendors plodded along to accommodate this gap with elementary financial planning capabilities or integrations with external money management tools. Since our 2020 evaluation, vendors have responded to marketer demands for better-linked planning and performance with a flurry of M&A and exclusive partnerships to make MRM foundational to all marketing operations.”

This list includes BrandMaker’s acquisition of Allocadia and Hive9, Optimizely’s decision to integrate Welcome into its offering, and Adobe Workfront partnering with Anaplan.

The Forrester MRM Wave analysed platforms on 33 criteria across current offering, strategy and market presence. These included native capabilities in at least two of the three key MRM segments (money management, people management, content management) and at least 100 customers, 35 per cent or more in the enterprise customer tier.

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