The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – As online and multimedia marketing, advertising and promotional campaigns grow more complex in the digital world, customers are going to rely even more heavily on multichannel campaign management, says research firm Garnter.

In fact, by 2014, Gartner believes that customer service, web analytics, content management and social customer relationship management (CRM) vendors will own more than 40 percent of the campaign management market.

And it its “Magic Quadrant” rankings of contenders in that space, IBM and SAS rank as “leaders” ahead of such firms as Teradata, Oracle, SAP and Adobe.

Both SAS and IBM have been strengthened by acquisitions in the multichannel campaign management space. IBM acquired Unica in 2010. SAS bought Assetlink in 2011 and aiMatch earlier this year.

Companies were evaluated on their ability to execute in seven specific areas, and completeness of vision across eight areas.

Gartner also ranked SAS and IBM highly in its marketing management quadrant report back in February.

Unica Extends IBM’s Reach

Big Blue’s deal for Unica helped the global giant increase enterprise marketing management revenues by nearly 22 percent last year, especially in Asia/Pacific and Latin America, Garnter noted.

“Unica’s mind share in the MCCM market keeps IBM in a Leaders position,” the new report said.

In 2012, Gartner pointed out IBM will need to integrate its Unica and Coremetrics capabailities. IBM acquired Coremetrics in 2010.

Companies surveyed in the report praised IBM in advanced campaign management, reporting “high scores for understanding marketers’ needs.”

Gartner did caution IBM that it faces “accelerating competition “including from other markets, such as Web content management and Web analytics, gaining mind share and revenue in this area.”

Some companies also “continue to mention some professional support issues and lack of attention since the IBM acquisition. Clients want to see more partnered relationships, although they indicated that IBM has been improving in this area.”

SAS “Should be on Shortlists” for Shoppers

SAS ranked just below IBM in the quadrant, and Gartner said the Cary-based company “should be on the shortlists of marketing departments that want advanced analytics within MCCM.”

Although SAS is privately held and doesn’t disclose its finances, Gartner estimated that SAS drove up its campaign management revenues 9 percent to some $325 million out of a total $2.7 billion in 2011 revenues.

“The vendor has solid basic and advanced functionality for campaign management, as well as strong advanced analytics capabilities, such as analytics segmentation and optimization, that are integrated into the campaign process,” Gartner said.

The addition of Assetlink as well as tools such as a ”Conversation Center” for capturing of Twitter “tweets” further boosted SAS’ capabilities, the report added. SAS laos did some extensive plumbing on workflow, real-time decision making, added more languages and incorporated more support such as for JBoss and Weblogic.

Another recent addition – that of Raleigh-based aiMatch – also will boost SAS this year, Gartner predicted. The aiMatch suite, which SAS unveiled at a trade show earlier this month in New York, targets publishers.

“The road map calls for extended capabilities for advertisers (on the buy side) and agencies to optimize, measure and simulate/forecast advertising inventory in a fully multitenant deliverable,” Gartner said.

Companies in the survey praised SAS: “References reported that having an integrated data structure underneath MCCM is one of the most beneficial features of SAS products. References consistently mentioned that SAS delivers on what is promised ‘without storytelling.’”

As for “cautions,” customers noted that SAS is for “power-user-type work” and that its “advanced capabilities require more configuration than they assumed.”

Gartner suggested that SAS “needs to accelerate its digital marketing strategy” for its web analytics and social tools plus drive for more adoption of its Real-Time Decision Manager, which was first offered in 2007.

“These should be highly visible core competencies for SAS, and should be leveraged as key differentiators in digital marketing and the MCCM space,” Gartner said.

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[IBM ARCHIVE: Check out a decade of IBM stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire by clicking here.]

[SAS ARCHIVE: Check out a decade of SAS stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire by clicking here.]