About This Constellation ShortList™

The agencies and boutique firms that design and execute on customer experience strategies and activities combine traditional creative design capabilities with deep knowledge of customer data, analytics and digital media. They work with clients to define immersive campaigns and programs that extend across channels—including both digital and offline. These campaigns may cover branding, marketing and other customer interactions such as sales engagement and customer service. Increasingly, these firms are being tasked with identifying integrations beyond marketing to include sales and service engagements in more holistic CX strategies.

Because immersive programs necessarily involve customer data analytics, marketing technology (martech) capabilities and programming requirements, these firms have effectively become equal parts technology experts, data scientists and design experts. They may consult with clients on preferred or required capabilities, but are increasingly becoming CX engagement leaders that cross marketing, sales, service and operations groups. They typically operate some portion of these capabilities on behalf of clients and often serve as a key point of integration between clients’ customer data and marketing systems as well as their proprietary systems.

In addition to analyzing customer behaviors and journeys, agencies and boutique firms also evaluate overall performance of customer-facing systems such as websites and commerce sites. They take a comprehensive view of delivering brand experiences, regardless of channel. Watch for disruption in this category as platform vendors, HCL Software with their CX Studios offering as an example, start to include advanced and sophisticated CX Design Services as part of their engagement offering.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these solutions:

  • Strategy planning
  • Messaging assessment and development
  • Best-practices methodology
  • Art-of-the-possible strategy and technology road map
  • Customer data integration and management
  • Design and creative space
  • Design thinking approach
  • Program/campaign execution
  • Operating in three continents
  • Innovation centers
  • Analytics and intelligence methodologies to track business impact and return           

The Constellation ShortList™

Constellation evaluates more than 100 solutions categorized in this market. The Constellation ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share and internal research.

  • Digitas
  • Harte Hanks
  • Dentsu (Merkle)
  • Interpublic Group (IPG) Acxiom
  • MRM//McCann
  • Prophet
  • WPP (Wunderman Thompson)

Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList will be updated at least once per year. There could be an update after six months, should the analyst deem it necessary.

Evaluation Services

Constellation clients can work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.

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