European Marketing Automation Vendors: Do A Good Job But Don’t Forget To Market

As one of Forrester’s European-based analysts, Peter O'Neill here, I like to show a little continental patriotism every now and then. I work on a worldwide basis, but it is always great fun to discover a European startup, or even established vendor, and help it out into the big wide world. I actually did this in the early 1980s in a previous work-episode – any of you know of SAP? Now to put myself into perspective e, I also championed the cause of Intershop and Softlab in those years, which were not that successful, so I am not claiming any credit for SAP’s prominence.

So I am always watching out for news about the European IT industry, and I was initially tempted to tweet or retweet a recent report by the German VC firm Earlybird that argues that although the European venture industry is a quarter of the size of the US market, proportionally speaking, it is outperforming the US VC industry in returns. But I found that I didn’t understand it well enough to attach my name so I left it untouched. The report is actually quite controversial as it twists statistics around this way and that so that it remains ambiguous at best. TechCrunch has now had a real go at it, calling it “nothing more than wishful thinking” !

But there are definitely many innovative technology companies around in Europe, so I am currently putting together a market overview of those European firms that are offering elements of marketing automation software. Tech vendors that are based in Europe might prefer to work with local companies for support and economic reasons. The report will also list the European presence, if any, of the leading non-European players for reference. As a work in progress, I have listed the vendors that we have identified here on my Slideshare page. The list is based on client inputs, analyst briefings, and competitor citations. But I would never claim that we are perfect, so if you have time, please check my list and let me know if I have missed any candidates.

To be honest, marketing is definitely not one of the strengths of most European vendors – even SAP had to transfer its marketing department to New York to be able to look Oracle in the marketing eye after all! As an example, I got an email from the CTO of a self-described “social-CRM” software vendor that stated that they do not do marketing automation in any form and therefore do not wish to be listed in my report. Now I have already written and presented upon the convergence of service and marketing; and social-CRM does not really sound that far away from a marketing function. But actually the mere fact that this vendor was invited to be profiled in a Forrester report and turned it down amazes me – or am I being arrogant?

Do you agree? Disagree? Please have a look at my list and let me know if I have missed a vendor you know. As always, I’d love to hear from you on this.

 Always keeping you informed! Peter