The Online Marketing Suite Redux

I am pleased to announce that my newest report, Revisiting the Online Marketing Suite, was published this week.

My colleague and Customer Intelligence Practice Leader at Forrester, Suresh Vittal, was the first to define the online marketing suite in 2007. At the time, the online marketing was highly aspirational; Suresh's work was a call to action for marketers and vendors. If we look back at the original report, the online marketing suite descriptive graphic (figure 2 in the report) is particularly prescient because it included a section for "future network partners" to build upon existing capabilities.  We have the benefit of hindsight, but this consideration would be critical as nascent channels such as social and mobile exploded in the ensuing years.

We are excited to reinstate this line of resarch. Unfortunately, in the time since the original report the online marketing suite has been slow to hit the tipping point. Many factors are responsible -- such as the economy, technical challenges, and marketers' struggles to cope with the constantly moving targets of channels and customer demands. Nevertheless, during this period we've seen unprecedented innovation in marketing, technology, and consumer sophistication. It felt like the timing is right to take a new look at the online marketing suite to factor in the marketing ecosystem as of 2011. If anything, these changes -- and challenges -- drive the need for the online marketing suite more than ever. It has never been more important to coordinate content, execution, and analytics to support customer interactions. 

It's also worth noting that vendors have a stake in the online marketing suite. Many vendors from the web content management, web analytics, and marketing automation categories see the online marketing suite as a growth engine to build upon their core competencies. This will help to drive adoption further as purveyors of various marketing technologies seek to expand their capabilities.  In the short to mid term, as the market homes in on a comprehensive online marketing suite, we will see a  market of numerous permutations of the online marketing suite, which is appropriate given the diversity of marketers' requirements.

It is my hope that dual interest and innovation from marketers and vendors will create a vibrant market for the online marketing suite, ultimately resulting in better experiences for consumers and increased marketing performance for Customer Intelligence professionals.

In the coming months, you can expect more research on the online marketing suite. The next piece in the series is called "The Road To The Online Marketing Suite," and will provide a recommended blueprint for adopting the online marketing suite.

I'm interested in your take on the online marketing suite, how do you envision its evolution and adoption?