CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 Photo by Bill Gracey https://www.flickr.com/photos/9422878@N08/6820695243

Trying to understand the marketing technology landscape

MarTec 2015 Marketing Technology LandscapeScott Brinker has published his 2015 Marketing Technology Landscape. The landscape is shocking/impressive. It is an almost 2 fold increase in the number of companies from the 2014 landscape. Understanding the changing marketing technology landscape is interesting for companies entering the market, for marketers choosing technology and for investors. John Hurley’s piece for Radius is a great start to understanding this market. (I also loved that I found Influitive, LookBookHQ and Vidyard  on one of John’s images for demand generation).

MarTec landscape is growing

What is happening in marketing technology?

  1. The market is growing
    The number is probably greater than the 2x increase in companies that are listed in the landscape. There are a large number of solutions available to customers. There is vertical segmentation by provider activity (analytics, events, e-commerce); there is additional segmentation by customer size or data volume (small business, enterprise). More people doing things online means more opportunity for tools to reach them and capture their attention. Internet advertising is set to increase between 21.5% (mobile) to 23.8% (Internet). It is incredible growth that is trailing adoption.
  2. The lines between marketing and advertising technology have blurred
    Marketing and advertising technologies are blurring. The transition to a digital, always on, always connected panopticon has allowed a blending of the techniques and technologies between advertising, marketing, CRM and other industries. The focus of marketing is shifting from communications to understanding and delivering the customer experience. The goal is to get closer to understanding what behaviours, content and tools allow companies to reach and engage their audiences and generate revenue. As this moves closer to making real-time decisions about predicting customer behaviour, it feels more and more like the DSP of ad tech in particular the DMP allowing companies to use their internal data and tools to build behaviour segments possibly based on a customers location in the sales funnel.
    Benedict Evans - Mobile is Eating the World - More time spent consuming mediaImage from Benedict Evans: Mobile is Eating the World Oct 2014
  3. Sales funnels are compressing
    The sales funnels are being compressed by technology. Customers are able to move through very quickly. And the desire of marketing groups is to show strong attribution of customer behaviour to purchase. This is the holy grail. And it is about to get worse as e-commerce players add customer acquisition and attention capture tools. You can see the pending battle for where customers spent their attention. With Alibaba, Facebook, Rakuten and Amazon all building different parts of the customer purchasing and attention stack. Customers are able to make purchase in a tweet, timeline, maybe an ebook in Viber, etc. It is about being able to provide potential customers the opportunity to complete purchase in the appropriate channel when they are ready.Being able to better understand customers and customer behaviour and the likelihood to purchase in real-time will be critical to marketing departments. But it will be the conversations between people that matter most. The people that have a problem that needs to be solved, the people that have solved problems using your software/service. It is tools that build trust and increase the connectedness between customers are quickly becoming most important. This was a big bet at Influitive in 2010, and it seems more and more having a strong, honest, viable community of customers is the best thing for any company.
  4. There are multiple big acquirers across multiple industries
    The market is extremely fragmented. Fragmentation is not a challenge in a market with no incumbent leaders and with the spend increasing at >20% CAGR. It is likely that we will continue to see more companies, new technologies and evolutionary improvements, basically, it’s a crowded space and it’s going to get more crowded.The technology is changing quickly. New technologies are being adopted at all points along the stack. These changes and the situational awareness of optimal uses has made it very difficult to have a robust understanding of the marketing technology landscape, the technologies and customer needs. It also means that there are a large group of varied companies that continue to look to fill gaps in their customer base, their technology stack and in capturing attention (think social media, messaging, etc.). For a startup, there is a need to spend time with the investment banks and boutiques like LUMA Partners to make sure you are aware of how potential acquirers are thinking about the landscape and to make sure that you are part of the conversation.

    [slideshare id=14347180&doc=strategicbuyerlumascape9-19-12-120919114611-phpapp02]
    There are other players that are consumers of the technology that are looking for advantages and tools for reaching, engaging and connecting their customers.
    Benedict Evans: Mobile is Eating the World - Tech is a small industry
    Image from
    Benedict Evans: Mobile is Eating the World Oct 2014

  5. Community is important

    “if we want to know the truth about your products, we’ll find out from one another”

    Doc Searls & David Weinberger

    It will be amongst others of our tribe that we find the answers to what pieces of this puzzle work. In what situations did you use this or that? Writing, connecting in person, sharing, attending events and meeting others interested is one of the best ways to learn. The way we move beyond being cattle, something thing that consumes only to be used for our by-products or meat, is to realize the conversation is ours. People aren’t just consumers, they are people. And supporting a community of individuals is more than just marketing. Don’t believe the hype.

I love this space.