Gartner Magic Quadrant: digital marketing hubs compared

Gartner’s analysis of digital marketing hub products has placed Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce in the market leader category, with IBM and Marketo as challengers with lower completeness of vision.


Gartner’s Magic Quadrants are designed to help marketers to make product purchase decisions. In this analysis, it defines a digital marketing hub as software that includes audience profile data, content, workflow elements, messaging and analytics functions, and is used to optimise multichannel campaigns, conversations, experiences and data collection.

Providers included in this study have global reach and earned at least $50 million revenue and acquired at least five new customers in 2013.

The magic quadrant plots each company against the the two axes of ‘completeness of vision’ and ‘ability to execute’, based on a series of evaluation criteria.


magic quadrant for digital hubs


The report, Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs, provides strengths and cautions for each of the 16 providers featured. Here are some comments about the market leaders and challengers:






  • Strategic vision,
  • focus on the marketer (adding new tools based on marketers’ feedback), and
  • agency partnerships (including with Publicis, SAP and Accenture).


  • Integration (inconsistencies remain between acquired products), and
  • organisational incentives (product-centric sales organisation seen as a driver of cost).




  • Depth and breadth of solutions,
  • versatility (nearly equivalent depth for B2B and B2C), and
  • intelligent orchestration (strong DMP and content marketing capabilities).


  • New market (“skilled at serving the CIO, but unproven at serving the CMO”), and
  • integration legacy (history of limited integration and innovation).




  • Base functionality and momentum (credibility through acquisition of ExactTarget and market leadership in CRM),
  • market vision, and
  • workflow and collaboration (intuitive UX and ongoing innovation).


  • Legacy focus (push messaging orientation from ExactTarget’s email marketing heritage, limited to social channels), and
  • customisation and data integration (seen as cumbersome).






  • Vision and market understanding,
  • quality of acquisitions (including Unica, Coremetrics, Silverpop and Xtify), and
  • global presence and vertical support.


  • Holes in marketing features (lacks some key features), and
  • integration, cost and complexity.




  • Customer satisfaction (strong, particularly with B2B marketers),
  • intelligent orchestration (near best for email and mobile marketing capabilities), and
  • partners and app exchange.


  • Performance limitations (regarding scalability), and
  • third-party dependencies (partnership strategy, while a benefit, lacks strong native support).


On top of the 16 companies examined in detail, Gartner has also provided the following list of vendors to watch:

  • Acxiom,
  • Cake,
  • eBay Enterprise,
  • HubSpot,
  • Kenshoo,
  • Marin Software,
  • RedPoint,
  • SAP,
  • SAS,
  • Tealium, and
  • Webtrends.


Michelle Herbison
BY Michelle Herbison ON 9 January 2015
Assistant editor, Marketing Magazine.