Sparks from a sparkler

The CMS/Marketing Automation Explosion

As I sit back and look at the technologies available for content management  and marketing automation, I can’t help but think we’ve reached the point where the software offerings are all the same and there is nothing new on the horizon.

We should be about two months away from seeing the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave reports for WCMS platforms. I don’t foresee seeing any major changes. The players – Adobe, Ektron, Sitecore, EPiServer, Acquia, Microsoft, IBM, OpenText, Oracle – are likely to be the same with small movements up or down in the quadrants.

Using a comparison tool like CMS Matrix, you’ll see that there are 1,200+ different CMS platforms on the market that encompass technologies like .NET, Drupal, and PHP, and are either licensed or open-source.

Marketing platforms  are quickly catching up to the saturation level of CMS platforms. If you look at Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic (2014), there are approximately 950 different companies that provide software for marketers. It’s not realistic to expect technology research and advisory companies to evaluate thoroughly every single platform on the market today.

As a customer, my head would likely be hurting now. How would you know where to start and which platform to start with?

This proliferation of platforms has created an interesting change for us implementers. It’s no longer noteworthy to say you’re an implementer of “X” software, that you have “Y” certified developers and that you’ve completed “Z” implementations.  In essence, as an implementer, we are becoming independent advisory boards with no commitment to any one particular brand. That puts us in a unique position to help clients make sense of all the platforms out there today – and help choose the ones that truly meet their needs.

We enjoy that process. Because there may be more than 1,200 CMS platforms to choose from, but the only one that matters is the one that meets your needs.