Readers' Choice Survey 2018: Consumer Experience Management


Best in Category: SAP
As it does in most tech areas, SAP offers a number of consumer experience management tools whose solutions span revenue management, marketing, merchandising, sales, service and commerce. But its core platform increasingly is the full-service SAP Hybris (acquired in 2013), which seeks to be a one-stop shop for omnichannel management needs. Clients include Carlsberg, Henkel, Nestle and Pirelli.

Last fall, the company announced upgrades to the SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud that included facial recognition and IoT technology to enable personalized product recommendations; embedded customer attribution tools to better measure conversion and campaign effectiveness: and integration with WeChat, China’s 889 million user-strong social media app.

SMB Market Leader: NetBase
After a one-year absence, social media analytics specialist NetBase returns to the Readers’ Choice in a competitive category that still isn’t being dominated by any single vendor, big or small. (Topping the SMB list, of course, represents a nice return to the ranks.) Customers include L’Oreal, Polo Ralph Lauren, Yamaha and Coca-Cola.

NetBase began 2017 by promoting a new Customer Experience Analytics tool, which turns consumer sentiment from social media, digital, surveys, customer care and other sources into actionable insights. And it ended the year touting an enhanced version of the NetBase 360 platform, which offers learning courses, best practices and how-to info for marketers looking to become analytics experts.

Customer Satisfaction Leader: Salesforce
Salesforce topped the satisfaction ratings for the category. “Users love it and it gets the job done,” noted one client, the ranks of which include Birkenstock, Kimberly-Clark, Adidas and Canon.

The company’s cloud-based solutions are enabling both large enterprises like Nestle Waters, which uses the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to build omnichannel experiences and track social sentiment and communication across various digital media; and smaller companies such as sportsmen-minded cooler brand Yeti, which uses the platform to deliver personalized automated customer communication. In 2017, a new partnership with IBM Watson began letting the Salesforce Einstein platform connect to enable a new level of AI-based engagement.

Noteworthy: The Mars Agency
In a first for the CGT Readers’ Choice survey, a marketing agency made the list of solution providers. (We’ll find out next year if this was an anomaly or the start of a trend.) The shopper marketing specialist’s client roster includes Campbell Soup, Samsung, Clorox and Chattem.

The shop has been building up its e-commerce practice to deliver end-to-end services that go beyond traditional marketing to encompass strategic planning, media and merchandising activation, analytics and business management. The practice has more than doubled in size over the last two years. Mars has also been beefing up the internal Performance Analytics team.