A Closer Look at Analyst Reports


Knud Kegel

Hot off the presses and always a hot topic, the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Web Content Management (WCM) is out and sure to generate buzz. [Click here to get a complimentary copy]. Because there's nothing more important to enterprises these days than their website, and nothing's more important on a website than content.

Here at CoreMedia, we’ve been promoting the idea that “content matters," so we’re happy Gartner has named us as a “Visionary” in this year’s report. That’s a label we believe we’ll continue to live up to, as we’ve got a visionary project in the works and a big announcement coming in September at the 2018 Digital Marketing Expo & Conference (DMEXCO).

Stay tuned for that. But for now, we wanted to share our thoughts on how to interpret these types of high-profile analyst reports, which seek to analyze market trends and provide pros and cons of the various players.

First of all, many reports feature some kind of graphical summary that compares vendors against a range of technical and business criteria. But like any simple picture that seeks to tell a complex business story, there’s more than meets the eye with these graphics. For example, most analyst firms have some criteria that relates to company performance or execution. But does this refer to a company’s track record of successful recent engagements or is it based more on total revenue billed – therefore masking the fact that those who can charge more will inevitably get a higher placement (whether or not their projects actually come to fruition and their clients realize ROI)?

Second, the scale of these markets is enormous – the one for WCM is over $5B and projected to double by 2022 which means that small yet impressive moves aren't really reflected. Here at CoreMedia, we're growing faster than the WCM market itself and consistently surpassing our goals on Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). But this kind of achievement can't be pictured accurately by big-picture reports that paint with broad strokes.

Then there’s the issue of word choice. Most analysts are very careful with their language, doing their best to balance an overview of each company with informative statements of strengths and weaknesses (typically several of each). This occasionally means that, in the interest of balance, an analyst might describe something as a weakness or challenge that the vendor (and some of its customers) may actually consider a strength.

For example, if an analyst notes that a vendor has a "limited” presence in a specific region compared to larger competitors, this often misses an important truth. In the case of CoreMedia, for example, we haven't gotten credit for the fact that we're experiencing record revenue growth in North America while continuing to grow our already strong presence around the world. Analysts sometimes see us as a player without a strong presence there, when the truth is we're gaining market share every year by becoming the go-to boutique provider for companies who are leaders in their category.

Another common caution is when analysts knock a company for having less marketing clout than established competitors. Yet this observation is often based on a selective set of criteria, such as the number of times an analyst has heard that vendor mentioned in calls or inquiries. What is often left unexamined, in fact, is the quality of the marketing itself or the impact it might be having on key target accounts and influencers.

At CoreMedia, we first of all focus on great software. That's where the bulk of our resources go. But beyond that, we don't believe that bigger marketing is better marketing. We're proud of our approach: creating campaigns that are intriguing, attention-getting, risk-taking, conversation-generating, and uniquely ours.

Because we practice what we preach. We apply the same principles to ourselves and our marketing as we do to our customers and their content. Which is: you have to stand out, do things differently, and get people talking.

You have to be iconic.

Stage 1: Fragmented: Multiple Channels

You’re a digital dinosaur!

You have a beautiful website, but with fragmented digital experiences, you run the risk of extinction.

It’s time to evolve.

Your audiences want a seamless experience, no matter what's happening behind the scenes. When your experience is different or difficult, it’s important to start with the basics, such as cultivating a holistic approach to online digital experiences. Realign your teams, platforms, processes, goals, and metrics around a comprehensive view of the online experience. Focus on the end-to-end customer journey cutting across channels, desktop and mobile.

separate channels animation circle t-rex dinosaur square
Stage 2: Integrated: Multiple channels

You’re a fish!

Signs of exciting life are starting to form. Your DX is responsive and adaptive but it’s not quite personalized yet.

Keep swimming!

The integration of your brand content across every touchpoint (website, online store, social media, emails, apps, point of sale) creates immersive experiences. These flagship sites combine content-rich brand experiences with immediate conversion capabilities. Business teams and marketing are closely aligned. However, while the digital experience is responsive and adaptive, it’s not yet personalized.

Connect with an expert
Stage 3: Instant: Global expansion

You’re a crocodile!

You’re taking it global. Speed and scalability are key and just like a crocodile, you’re fast…but you’re clumsy.

Oh snap!

In this stage, the online digital experience becomes completely dynamic. You need content that is global, yet relevant, with plenty of local insights: Who is the user? Are they using a mobile phone? Is it raining where they are? Is it snowing? If it is, maybe they need warm, waterproof boots. All of this contextualized information creates a better user experience. With one global orchestration, you’re able to adapt everything, in whatever country or language you choose – while keeping turnaround times low. So keep evolving.

Connect with an expert
Stage 4: Dynamic: Real time personalization

You’re a lion!

You’re reaching more customers in more countries and languages than ever before, and now you’re finally hunting and collecting info with precision.

But you can do more to keep your brand roaring!

As you graduate to the Instant level, you’re able to rapidly update everything - not just in one language and for one country, but in 20 languages and for 100 countries. Speed and scalability are key, driven by the need to roll out global campaigns in all languages and all touchpoints and make updates in minutes or hours, not weeks. But there’s still more to do to reach nirvana.

Connect with an expert
Stage 5: Immersive: Elevated experiences

You’re Captain Content!

You’ve done it! You have opposable thumbs AND you’re saving the world with your seamless, elevated customer experiences.

You're a superhero in the digital space.

Your digital world and your physical world are blending together in the most complementary way possible. When shoppers visit your store, they’ll be greeted with their pre-selected products. Language changes dynamically depending on country of origin – it's like the whole store was set up just for your one specific customer.

In this final stage, your customer experience is truly immersive and superior, and your flagship store merges your physical and digital world into one, with a truly personalized individual experience.

Connect with an expert