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Best digital marketing hubs named: where does your vendor sit?

Technology & Data

Best digital marketing hubs named: where does your vendor sit?


Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce have emerged as leaders in Gartner’s ‘Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs.’

Technology analyst firm Gartner has released its ‘Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs’, which ranks tech vendors on completeness of vision and their ability to execute.

Brands emerging as leaders were Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce and Marketo.

gartner magic quadrant

Source: Gartner


Strengths of Adobe, the clear winner in terms of completeness of vision and ability to execute, according to Gartner, are “vision leadership,” “product quality” and “support ecosystem.” Gartner recognises Adobe’s shortcomings too, being “complexity,” “identity management gap,” and “cross-cloud integration.”

Leader brands are defined as those which have “fully embraced the integration of martech, adtech and analytics, and deployed many hub solutions at scale – although they still mostly rely on integrated portfolio solutions from acquisitions and partnerships.”

Challenger brands are “major enterprise software vendors that either started later or moved more slowly than the leaders.”

Visionaries are smaller providers, which have not reached the scale to be able to fully compete with the leaders. “They rely on superior agility and focus to compete in a market that appears poised for consolidations, although the opportunities for disruptive innovation in marketing technology are far from exhausted.”

Niche players “come from diverse backgrounds, but share common qualities of agility and innovation.” These providers enter a high-risk chaotic marketplace. Several vendors from Europe have made their first appearance in this year’s quadrant, “bringing new perspective and an alluring promise of access to hard-to-penetrate fertile markets.”


Brands are evaluated on ability to execute and completeness of vision, defined as:

Ability to execute:

  • Product and service: Includes capability, quality, feature sets, skills and so on.
  • Overall viability: an assessment of the organisation’s financial health and financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the business unit will continue investing in and offering the product.
  • Sales execution and pricing: the vendor’s capabilities in presales activities and the structure that supports them.
  • Market responsiveness and record: ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change.
  • Marketing execution: the clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organisation’s message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organisation in the minds of buyers.
  • Customer experience: relationships, products and services and programs that enable clients to be successful with the products, including technical support and account support.
  • Operations: the ability of the organisation to meet its goals and commitments.


Completeness of vision:

  • Market understanding: ability of the vendor to understand buyers’ wants and needs and to translate those into products and services.
  • Marketing strategy: a clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organisation and externalised through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
  • Sales strategy: the strategy for selling hat uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
  • Offering (product) strategy: the vendor’s approach to product development and delivery that emphasises differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets.
  • Business model: The soundness and logic of the vendor’s underlying business proposition.
  • Vertical and industry strategy: the vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments.
  • Innovation: direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
  • Geographic strategy: the vendor’s strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the ‘home’ or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.


Further reading


Ben Ice

Ben Ice was MarketingMag editor from August 2017 - February 2020

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