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Adobe Once Again Tops the Gartner Magic Quadrant

For the fifth year in a row, Gartner has named Adobe a leader in their “Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce.”

At IWD, we love using Adobe products to build our clients’ comprehensive eCommerce solutions, so this came as no surprise to us.

Still, if you’re not currently using Adobe, it’s worth looking at some of the specific reasons Adobe made it to the top of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant list yet again.

3 Areas Where Adobe Earns Top Marks

In starting their critique of Adobe, Gartner comes right out and summarizes their findings:

Adobe is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant. Its Adobe Marketo Engage product supports multichannel marketing automation and account-based marketing (ABM), with comprehensive lead and account-based qualification. Its operations are globally diversified while its customers are predominantly in North America and tend to be enterprise-scale organizations in high tech, financial services and manufacturing.

But can you trulysummarize everything Adobe has to offer?


If you’re interested in a more extensive breakdown or just have specific questions about how Adobe could benefit your unique business, feel free tocontact us and one of our experts will be happy to speak with you.

For now, I want to quickly cover the three main reasons Gartner gave for why Adobe is dominating the Magic Quadrant.

1. Ability to Scale

The first major strength that Gartner cited was the way Adobe supports the “delivery of sophisticated multichannel campaign strategies…and large-scale B2B programs through its comprehensive marketing automation suite.”

As multichannel campaigns continue becoming the norm for B2B companies, more and more owners are recognizing the importance of investing in software that can back these kinds of initiatives. Relying on single-channel campaigns simply isn’t an option for modern B2B businesses, but trying to go omnichannel without software that’s up to the task is a waste of time and money.

In the report, Gartner also goes on to point out that Adobe’s suite of products can be leveraged for lead management and account-based marketing (ABM), which is also a huge plus for B2B businesses. Many have begun exploring what an ABM strategy can do for their companies without completely ditching their traditional inbound approach.

Thanks to Adobe, business owners can improve what’s already working for them and try out ABM without finding more room in their budget for another platform. 

2. Global Sales and Support

Adobe spent decades building a global presence that can support its implementation, co-selling, and customer-service initiatives.

On top of that, Marketo Engage’s UI is available in six different languages. It provides an extensive amount of training materials and documentation in these languages, as well as tools for building forms, emails, and landing pages.

So, no matter where you do business – or where you plan on doing business in the future – Adobe’s powerful components will be easily accessible.  

3. Third-Party Integrations

Finally, Gartner praised Adobe for offering robust integrations to companies through the Adobe Exchange and Marketo LaunchPoint marketplaces. This includes social media, ABM, and event marketing solutions.

Third-party integrations are arguably one of the most valuable aspects of any eCommerce platform, product, or suite. The more integrations that exist, the more customizable the solution is. The more customizable your eCommerce solution, the better you can use it to serve the unique needs of your specific market.

3 Potential Drawbacks Gartner Mentioned

Although Gartner clearly thinks highly of Adobe, the report also gave readers three “cautions” about the eCommerce giant. While I don’t remotely think these are dealbreakers – and countless business owners around the world seem to agree – these cautions are worth considering before deciding if Adobe is right for your business.

1. Lack of Simplicity

Gartner reports that Adobe’s complexity leads “to a steep learning curve” which may potentially hamper utilization. In fact, Gartner Peer Insight users scored Adobe lower than other vendors when it came to “ease of deployment.” Gartner also claims its clients indicate that deploying Marketo Engage effectively takes lots of time and resources.

The report even went so far as to suggest that companies with only “basic multichannel lead management requirements” should consider if Marketo Engage might actually be more than they need.

For the most part, I agree with this sentiment. While I definitely think most companies need to embrace multichannel strategies, that doesn’t necessarily mean using a solution as robust as Adobe.

At the same time, I also don’t think most businesses – regardless of their size – should try taking on Adobe by themselves. That’s why companies like IWD Agency exist. We regularly help businesses make the most of this platform, whether that means assisting with implementation, customizing its deployment, executing ongoing improvements, or simply managing their Adobe suite.

2. Reporting and Analytics

Secondly, Gartner reported that some of their Peer Insights users felt Adobe’s reporting and analytics weren’t as user-friendly as they could be. One specific example was trouble they had just accessing these important reports.

Again, I can see how people would have these complaints. Adobe has put together a veritable army of tools – those for analytics being a prime example – but, yes, these advantages come with a learning curve.

Furthermore, Adobe supplements these already impressive out-of-the-box features with advanced reporting and analytics in Marketo Engage vis-à-visBizible and a number of other Adobe Experience Cloud applications.

So, yeah, there’s a lot to learn if you want to leverage all of the data Adobe is able to offer.

That said, I think it’s worth the trouble. Just like with the above “caution”, you might be able to get away with fewer insights if you have a small business or work in an industry without a lot of competition.

However, for the vast majority of modern eCommerce businesses, better reporting and analytics are always worth it. The data they provide could easily become a powerful competitive edge.

And,once again, this is where my agency can be a huge help. One of the services we offer when managing our clients’ Adobe deployments is monitoring their analytics and providing them with reports that are easy to interpret and act on.

3. Product Updates

And last, Gartner believes that “Adobe has been slow to integrate Marketo Engage into the broader Adobe family.”

Although they acknowledge that Adobe is getting better about these kinds of updates, the report still recommends that B2B marketers take the time to understand Adobe’s release schedule for future updates and integrations before deciding if it’s worth the investment.

Here, too, I agree with Gartner. Given what I said earlier about how important third-party integrations are, I can understand why this would be an area of concern for business owners.

Fortunately, it seems as though these kinds of problems are in Adobe’s past, so I wouldn’t allow them to keep you from embracing all that the suite has to offer.

4 Other Companies That Lead the Magic Quadrant

Before we wrap up, I want to cover four “honorable mentions” from the report.

In total, Gartner named 13 companies as deserving of a spot in their Magic Quadrant. This included “Challengers” like Microsoft, “Niche Players” like Zoho, and a “Visionary” in Pega.

But to give you a better sense of how Gartner views Adobe, I want to close out by quickly highlighting the four other companies it considered as Leaders in the Magic Quadrant.

1. Salesforce

With a global presence,Salesforce has become very popular among midmarket and enterprise-level businesses operating within high-tech and financial services. The company earned its recognition from Gartner largely on the back of itsPardot product, which supports multichannel engagement, lead management, and ABM campaigns. If you're interested in using this popular platfor, consider our Salesforce development services to make sure you're getting the most from it.

2. Oracle

Oracle Eloqua supports B2B marketing teams with an automated platform that can handle challenges unique to large, complex enterprises. Gartner also recognized Oracle for an ambitious 2021 roadmap that included an ML-based predictive lead-scoring system and predictive decisioning within the platform’s campaign design canvas.

3. HubSpot

As part of its unified SaaS platform, HubSpot’s Marketing Hub offers prospect engagement systems and multichannel customer management. Although HubSpot has historically been the go-to platform for SMBs, recent years have seen the company grow among large enterprises.

4. Creatio

Marketing Creatio pairs with the company’s many sales and service-focused applications. Creatio is designed primarily for midsized organizations and enterprises across a wide array of industries. And yet, one of the main strengths Gartner cited was a “pricing model [that] makes Marketing Creatio a good value for cost-conscious midsize organizations.”

As you can see, Gartner placed Adobe in some pretty impressive company. Though, in the end, it still recognized Adobe as the leader of these leaders, putting it at the top of its Magic Quadrant.

Can Adobe Turn Your Company into an Industry Leader?

There’s a reason that Adobe is one of the most popular eCommerce suites in the world – many reasons, actually. As we just covered, Adobe is popular among industry authorities like Gartner, too.

That said, with all it has to offer, Adobe can be overwhelming for novices.

 So, if you’d like to speak with an expert first, we’re happy to help. Our team can answer any questions you have and even suggest which tools will best help you reach your eCommerce goals ASAP.


Let’s chat!