The landscape for Marketing Technology has exploded in the past year, nearly doubling to more than 1.800 vendors, in 43 categories. Says Scott Brinker.
Let’s be clear –whereas Brinker does a tremendous job counting and categorizing a space as crowded as a flock of fish, no one has any idea what’s going on in Marketing Technology, judging from the findings of preeminent research firms Forrester and Gartner.
Recently, the Forrester Enterprise Marketing Software Suites Wave and Gartner’s Integrated Marketing Management Magic Quadrant hit the market, while Forrester also has done a separate Cross-Channel Campaign Management Wave.
Between the hair-splitting that included and excluded software vendors from participation and the evident influence of vendor marketing money to obtain good rankings, their reports create more confusion than they resolve.
The Marketing Technology industry is still young. e-Commerce, SaaS, mobile, and new uses of data -marketing is undergoing a tremendous transformation. Major players like Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce acquire point solutions to create clouds and platforms. Innovative startup activity result into new categories and more diversification.
All this change has wrought tremendous uncertainty and analysts are immune to none of this. For that reason, analyst guidance will probably be of limited use for companies evaluating competing software vendors. By contrast, understanding which Marketing Technology is right for you will require in-house expertise that can cut through the hype and buzzwords. The best fit is a matter of company insight and technology trial, not consultancy speak.
The crux of it all:
- Focus on a small number of core foundational systems or platforms and make sure the architecture is ‘open’. Interoperability will be the name of the game for the coming years.
- Immerse yourself and learn: See a lot of vendors and do small test projects to grasp the value of technology and to determine the fit for your particular situation. As the great Benjamin Franklin said: Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.
So, there you go: Onto test no 1 of 1.800. Or, call us and we help you accelerate learning.