DISCOVER

Every movement begins with a moment.

What is happening to my ESP?

Posted 2 April 2015 3:30 PM by Alec Young

By @EmailTycoon 

The evolving landscape of email marketing is fueled by the collaboration of marketers and ESPs (email service providers). The spread of available customer insights coupled with marketers’ strategic thinking continually push the limits of the provider, thus triggering ESPs to frequently update their platforms with enhanced capabilities and features. The most noticeable update of late: Three major ESPs have updated the logos on their websites.

The logos

In 2013, ExactTarget joined the Salesforce Cloud, and Responsys was acquired by Oracle. A few months later, in 2014, IBM announced the purchase of Silverpop. These three pillars of the industry once engaged in a fierce rivalry to dominate the email marketing arena. They battled it out to be the first to offer the newest, most innovative capabilities. But since the acquisitions, each of these industry icons is fading into just another product offering in a cloud-based marketing stack.

The stacks

“Stacks” are pitched by IBM, Oracle and Salesforce as a complete digital marketing solution. Each product in the stack solves a particular marketing need, but the accumulation unites to empower marketers with a 360-degree view of the customer. The stack covers all angles of digital marketing, including detailed analytics, segmentation and targeting solutions, social media and email marketing, lead scoring and more. 

While stacks seem like a panacea, marketers see a looming downside to this new alignment. An ESP needs to meet your business needs while also following a roadmap consistent with its customer’s anticipated digital marketing growth. ESPs are works in progress that continue to grow and change, so it is also crucial to be in bed with one that fits your needs:

  • What’s your marketing palate? There are several flavors of ESPs on the market. MailChimp and Constant Contact are a few examples of ESPs that hone in on the needs of small businesses. They fill the demand for a simple interface and an affordable service that anyone can sign up for and use immediately. 

  • Is there a special platform for you? More specialized ESPs also exist to solve very specific business needs, such as Fishbowl’s solution for the restaurant and retail industry. Eloqua and Pardot tailor their platforms for the business-to-business (B2B) space. All of their horsepower goes into customer insight, lead scoring and integration into an organization’s sales flow.

  • Should you think big? Silverpop, ExactTarget and Responsys are three examples of ESPs positioned as an enterprise-level solution for professional marketers who send millions of emails a month. 

Are you stuck?

Anyone who has signed a contract with a major ESP knows that these platforms are sticky. Once integrated and deploying campaigns, it becomes increasing difficult to sever ties and move to a competitor. The ESP quickly becomes entangled with customer data, submission forms, landing pages, assets and reporting.

As sticky as an ESP can be within an organization, there is still the option to jump ship and sign a contract with a competitor. This ability to switch motivates ESPs to stay aligned with their customers’ growing needs and requests. But this stickiness will soon become an appendage as the ESPs align within their respective stack. For example, it only makes sense to use ExactTarget as your ESP if you are already using Salesforce services. It is doubtful that Silverpop will continue to enhance compatibility with Salesforce, as they have done over the past several years. It’s safe, however, to say that Silverpop will focus on compatibility with IBM solutions. It may no longer be a decision to switch ESPs but rather the decision to change your entire stack (and the resulting 18-month project plan).

The growing concern is that ESPs will shift their focus from the client roadmap and onto retrofitting and conforming to their new owners’ processes and systems. Marketers who actively use these ESPs every day can attest that a change is already happening beyond the logo.

What happens now?

That remains to be seen. The big worry is that the alignment with these new cloud-based enterprise marketing stacks will diminish the relationship marketers have forged with these ESPs over the years. Marketers are left to wonder, “What features will I lose in 2015 due to the IBM acquisition? Will Responsys’ next product update reflect feedback from marketers who use the tool or will the focus be on how to better integrate with the Oracle Cloud? 

The future of these ESPs is still to be determined, but for email marketing to continue to evolve at its current pace, it is crucial for ESPs to continue to listen to their customers. If the relationship between these three ESPs and marketers deceases, it may be prime time for a new pillar in the industry to emerge. 

Share:

Add your comment

 
 

 

Comments

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

#crisis #socialmediacrisis #socialmedia #digitalmarketing #socialmarketing #strategy #influencers #communication #pr #media #ideation #creation #content #planning #culture Snapchat Snap Inc. advertising marketing social media community management brand millennials authenticity Spectacles Wearables customer customer service Paid Media Podcasts Content Sponsored Ads Content Marketing #content #marketing #media #analytics #digitalmarketing #ideation #creation #production DecisionIQ strategy big data personalization Humanizeit Facebook Facebook Live Video Media Media Planning Data Intern Instagram Stories ftc guidelines social influencer social influencers social media influencers social media broadcasting live video Processing prototype prototyping user experience ux technology programming coding java ideas design visual arts mix reality mixed realities tutorial sketch Twitter Carousel Ads Ad Exchange Programmatic FBX Disney virtual reality projection mapping RFID Tumblr Voice Tone Axure wireframing UX software collaboration Measuring Usability UX Best Practices Designing User Journeys Stop counting clicks Designing for completion Designing for satisfaction Dieter Ram and User Experience Less is more Less but better Influencer Marketing learnability user interface user-created content gaming maker editor Super Mario Maker Nintendo digital media chat bots messaging mobile applications automation F8 Mark Zuckerberg Business F8 Conference Email office agency communication Slack Facebook at Work meetings productivity Wearable tech Healthcare Experience Patient Experience Service Design Strategy Creative Moxie VR Six Flags Six Flags Over Georgia theme parks Samsung Samsung Gear Samsung Galaxy VR headset Oculus Rift Playstation VR roller coasters Dare Devil Drive Websites Web dev development digital reactions emotion analytics dislike social metrics clicks Brands Consumers CPG Retail Consumer Marketing Consumer Insights Super Bowl Commercials Football Cultural Phenomenon Game adtech martec auto-responders automated marketing Experience Design Interaction Design Ecosystem iOS Healthkit Ad blocking Forbes Condé Nast GQ interactive media ad-light hashtags hashflags audience visual emojis campaign management 1-to-1 marketing omnichannel CES CES 2016 Oculus Sony PlayStation uSens HTC special mapping hand tracking games PetBot WonderWoof BowTie Pets OTT digital distribution Netflix Reed Hastings on-demand #yearahead #2016 #newyear #2016predictions #digitalstrategy #modernism user-generated content UGC Consumer Connection Integrated Marketing Manufacturers Accessibility usability engagement rate disability awareness creative process creativity fail fast hiring ideas imperfectionist perfectionist personnel progress test and learn fast casual restaurants social media campaigns QSR social strategies in-store promotions in-store social media promotions successful social media campaigns Logos Typography Branding #CPG #Retail #ConsumerInsights #CRM #ConsumerDirect #Seamless #OmniChannel #MoxieMakers #frontierism #intelligence #architecture insight moments Unit3C FutureX lab innovation open house Q&A UnitFilms 48in48 General Assembly Non-Profit Ponce City Market Branded design technical design style guide wireframes brand guidelines Consumer Products Interactive Marketing GIF social campaign modern marketing Cannes Lions new media pop culture meme Web Accessibility QA media buying mobile apps targeting wires Advertisers Apple Store EasyPay self-checkout app mobile payment Sporting Events Sitecore CMS delivery Content Marketing Strategy Brand Content Marketing Content Strategy Brand Content Strategy Social Content Strategy Cannes humanity what3words life saving dot Agency Partnership Agency Relationship Competitive Review Millennial Marketers email marketing omni-channel digital marketing esp email service provider process WCAG 2016 Planning Connected Omni AR Commerce Social Innovation Create Content Strategy OMMA MediaPost Internet Week TV & Video Media Planners Creative Conundrum real-time scalability Customization smartphone loyalty advocacy live streaming content democracy Open Source Node.js Cheerio Handlebars Hyperquext MongoDB Atlassian Stash PhantomJS Shopping On-demand economy Sharing economy Everything on demand Instant delivery iPhone App Amazon Now Build Automation DevOps Native Advertising Machina Forrester SXSW Machine Learning Data Streams Web search results Data Platforms ROI Instagram Purchase Behavior Like Content Consumer Channel Role and Purpose ExactTarget Salesforce Cloud Responsys Oracle Silverpop IBM Agency Culture Innovation and Technology Client Relationships Platform Partnerships Ever-evolving Digital Age geo-fencing tablet Android second-screen Austin FOMO Meerkat scaleable vector graphics Flash animation interactivity code browsers uber-savvy consumers integrated digital-connectedness Valentine's Über Bloom that Open Table Waze marketing research google music art sports illustration sculpture food green entertainment movies photography real time marketing cheat sheet smart homes vine print 3d printing street art painting fashion influencer movie billboard outdoor mobile wallet toys film halloween history space films cars anniversary
×

PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR INFORMATION
TO DOWNLOAD THE PAPER.

Error: All fields are required.
×
THANK YOU.
YOUR DOWNLOAD IS NOW AVAILABLE.