IBM, Adobe,Oracle…watch out!

IBM, Adobe & Oracle have all decided to focus on the CMO. Don’t get me wrong, I love these companies & I think they are doing a great job of reaching the CMO’s.

But the job of the CMO continues to get harder! And the number of options the CMO has to wade through just keeps getting larger. According to Scott Brinker: “From 2016 to 2017, the marketing automation category of the marketing technology landscape grew yet again, by 36%, from 156 vendors to 212. If you predicted it was going to consolidate in the past six years, sorry, you were wrong”

In the past there was a difference in the business models of software & service companies. One was low-margin analysts and the other was high-margin code. But that difference is now disappearing. SaaS has also entered the business lexicon. But it isn’t so simple for SaaS players also.

When it works, SaaS has delivered phenomenal results.Giants like Salesforce, Atlassian, ServiceNow, LinkedIn, Workday and Zendesk have displaced on-premise software solutions and have a combined market value of $94 billion

Not all situations are appropriate for SaaS products. In fact for marketing, maybe service providers are better suited to deploy the SaaS solutions for clients. They bring expertise & can help improve speed to market & also maximise utilisation of SaaS product features. JEGI has nicely coined this term SaaSfraS. In their words: “Client service teams expertly operates the software on behalf of customers to deliver the desired results. Call it “SaaS as a Service”. Or maybe “Software as a Service as a Freakin’ Awesome Service”– SassafraS”.

Meanwhile, service companies are selling more software. For example, Deloitte Digital packages its own predictive models under the brand name nACT. Global holding company Publicis Groupe acquired mobile ad solution RUN, part of performance-marketing platform Matomy. Meanwhile, rival WPP claims to have invested more than $1 billion in technology, much of it gathered under its ad tech umbrella Xaxis.

CMO’s need to navigate this landscape & think before they commit to either a startup or to IBM,Oracle or Adobe? And the IBM’s of the world have to think harder about how they sell, how they implement & how they can bring more innovation into their products?