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Introducing The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Service Providers

Sarah Sikowitz
November 5, 2015
Coauthored by Anjali Yakkundi
“We can improve your digital customer experience with our strategy, design, and technical chops.” Does this pitch sound familiar? Digital agencies, consultancies, and technical services firms are all racing to be your digital customer experience partner. They have merged, acquired, and built new practices to meet the multidisciplinary needs of both technology and marketing leaders.
Anjali and I evaluated this market — the digital experience services market — to find which vendors are best suited to help marketing and technology buyers deliver digital customer experiences. The result was two reports, one written for technology leaders and one written for marketing leaders. In both, we evaluated the top 11 vendors — Accenture Interactive, Deloitte Digital, DigitasLBi, IBM Interactive Experience, Infosys, Isobar, MRM//McCann, Razorfish Global, SapientNitro, VML, and Wipro — and probed into their strategy and customer traction. Our criteria spanned three main areas:
  • Digital customer experience strategic consulting offerings.
  • User experience and design offerings.
  • Digital experience platform implementation and integration offerings.
What did we learn?
  1. Partners are critical to successfully delivering digital customer experiences. The customers we spoke to more than 80 — almost unanimously told us one thing: They wouldn’t have been successful without their partner’s help. These partners were critical to helping solve challenges like reimagining the customer experience to better meet the needs of customers throughout the customer life cycle; transforming and delivering digital experiences across devices; implementing platforms to support digital customer experiences; and improving the user experience and design.
  2. Successful initiatives meet marketers’ and technologists’ goals. Today, increasingly we see marketing, technology, and business leaders sharing the digital customer experience budget — making coordinated vendor selection all the more important. We found that organizations that made their digital experience services partner decision together were able to provide consistent experiences across the customer life cycle, increase agility, and drive digital business disruption. The best partners were able to bridge painful divides between technology and marketing groups, bringing about wholescale organizational change.
  3. These are 11 of the best vendors in a crowded market of hundreds. There are hundreds of vendors providing digital experience services to Forrester’s customers. But the vendors included in this Wave evaluation all displayed proven aptitude, thought leadership, and successful outcomes for their customers in the digital experience category. Challengers, Contenders, and Strong Performers all displayed excellence in specific areas. For example, we saw that IBM Interactive excelled in mobile-heavy initiatives, VML in design and user experience, Razorfish in bridging digital and physical experiences, DigitasLBi in bridging paid and owned channels, and MRM//McCann in customer experience strategy. There were many other vendors included, so check out the report to get more information on these and other vendors.
  4. Accenture Interactive and Isobar lead the pack. All of the vendors displayed particular aptitude and successful customer references. But two vendors led the pack: Accenture Interactive and Isobar. These vendors showed market-leading strategies that resonated with marketing and tech leaders. Accenture Interactive showed huge potential for the future as it integrates highly skilled boutique agencies into broader Accenture services. Isobar showed thought-leading vision and consistently high-quality project delivery, particularly for experiences intended to disrupt business sectors.
In order to better assess which vendor best fits your digital experience needs, we recommend reading the full reports (for marketing and technology leaders) to see the full rankings and downloading the Excel spreadsheet where you can customize weightings based on your individual scenario. We also encourage clients to leverage their inquiry access to learn more about these vendors and which vendors are potentially a best fit for their specific scenario.
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