For the first time, B2B Marketing can unveil insight into the most popular tech platforms used by agencies, both internally and on behalf of their clients
Project management tools
The first thing to note is that the dominant technology in this category is actually… not a platform. More than a fifth of agencies surveyed are still using spreadsheets and manual processes to track their project management.
A slightly smaller proportion are using custom or bespoke platforms that have been developed internally or have been developed for them.
The agency-specific Synergist is the highest-ranking platform. This is followed by fellow marketing-specific technology Paprika, which tied in popularity with the general collaborative working platform Trello.
While Mailchimp edged out Hubspot in terms of total overall agency use, Eloqua, Marketo and Hubspot had the highest proportion of certified or accredited agencies. This suggests Mailchimp is being used for one-off or limited-run campaigns, whereas the larger traditional B2B players are in use for more sophisticated, strategic projects where specialist expertise is necessary.
It is also noteworthy that Adobe (not previously considered among the major B2B MA players prior to its acquisition of Marketo last year) is in use by a significant number of agencies. It will be interesting to see, following the takeover and integration of Marketo into Adobe Marketing Cloud, whether agencies will rationalise their use of both platforms.
Social media management
Four platforms outstrip the rest in this category, with Hootsuite leading the way. Hubspot and Adobe rank highly in this and a number of other categories demonstrating the value of integrated platforms to agencies.
There are fewer agency certifications in this category than any other. Does this suggest that social media credentials are less valuable to agencies? Or do clients simply expect a level of social expertise from their agency partners, so licensing or certification is no longer seen as a selling point?
“Hubspot and Adobe rank highly in this and a number of other categories demonstrating the value of integrated platforms to agencies”
Content management systems
WordPress dominates this category, with almost double the number of agency users than its open-source counterpart Drupal. That’s not a surprise given WordPress powers 75 million websites, almost a fifth of all sites on the web.
Adobe also has a presence in this category, having acquired e-commerce platform Magento for $1.8 billion in May 2018.
There is also a dominant player in the ‘content platforms’ category, with Adobe Creative Cloud accounting for three-quarters of agency use. The sheer breadth and scope of creative cloud – from InDesign for publishing, Premiere for video editing and After Effects for animation – makes it the all-powerful choice.
It’s no surprise to see internet behemoths Facebook and Google trounce the opposition in this category, given that the firms have 58% market share of total digital ad spend between them.
The platforms agencies use to implement their account-based marketing strategies are not what you might consider ‘true’ ABM platforms.
While the likes of Hubspot, Marketo and Salesforce Pardot trumpet their ABM credentials, these tech platforms enable ABM campaigns, in comparison with orchestration platforms such as Demandbase, Engagio and Terminus.
It’s likely that many of the agencies we surveyed are taking their first steps in ABM, so are using their existing platforms before investing in the ‘pure-play’ technology available in the market.
The relatively low adoption of these ‘pure’ ABM platforms reflects the low-level of ABM maturity.
This year’s league table features a record-breaking 95 agencies, and is chock-full of analysis, commentary and interview with the agencies themselves and on the state of the market.