From the rapid adoption of mobile technology to programmatic advertising to the promise of big data, the marketing industry is undergoing a seismic shift driven primarily by technology. As a result, the marketing technology landscape has exploded in recent years to meet the needs of a new generation of consumers and marketers. According to an IDC report, the marketing software industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in high tech, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.4 percent between 2014 and 2018. In 2014, global sales of software and other technologies represented around $20.2 billion, spanning a plethora of categories and verticals. By 2018, IDC expects spending will total near $130 billion.
To help marketers navigate the growing marketing technology landscape, to determine how the industry is evolving and to identify the amount of technical prowess required to succeed in this sector, Scott Brinker, editor and chief of chiefmartec.com, makes sense of the marketing technology landscape in his 2015 supergraphic. Below is a summary of some of the key takeaways.
A dizzying landscape
The first thing you will notice is that the number of marketing technologies has nearly doubled in the past year. According to Brinker, there were 947 solution and service vendors in 2012, while in 2015, there are nearly 1,876. The bottom line is there are a lot of options to help modern-day marketers manage and optimize their strategies, as well as plenty of technologies that promise to make digital marketing simpler.
You can download the full Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic at chiefmartec.com.
To get a handle on the vast marketing technologies landscape, Brinker compiled a supergraphic containing his key observations, breaking down the various technologies into specific categories. Broadly speaking, there are solutions and services that cater to marketing experiences or marketing operations and there are the back-end systems, such as the Internet, infrastructure, backbone platforms and middleware.
Yet even when these technological innovations and programs are broken down into similar groups, there are vast differences inside of each category. Brinker explained that new products and services keep emerging, and often these technologies under the same umbrella are complementary instead of competitive. Additionally, many of the solutions and vendors on Brinker's list could fit into multiple categories. As an example, iperceptions is categorized under Customer Experience and Voice of the Customer (VoC) yet we can also fit into mobile analytics, testing and optimization and data management platforms.
The road to marketing tech integration
It's fairly obvious that there's a large selection of marketing solutions to choose from, and it's likely there is a product or service to solve every marketing problem. However, the current conditions in the marketing technology landscape signal that massive integration will be necessary in the near future. Recently, eMarketer found that the number one priority for marketers when selecting a new technology is that it integrates with existing tools. Brinker also posited that customer data platforms, data management systems and tag management systems will act as complete repositories containing all information collected on consumers, ranging from Web analytics metrics and visitor intent to past purchases and brand interactions. Yet Econsultancy’s Customer Experience Optimization Report found only 10% of companies have tied together customer data from multiple channels, technologies and databases.
Innovation that integrates technologies and data together is essential to break down data silos and empower marketers to leverage the wealth of data at their fingertips. At iperceptions, we are leading the charge with our Active Recognition Technology which scales customer feedback to the speed and velocity of big data to recognize the intent and experiences of anonymous visitors in real-time. Then by injecting this data directly into Data Management Platforms (DMP), organizations can align content and bidding strategies to create more relevant customer interactions. Marrying datasets with different technologies is essential in breaking down the data silos and improve the experience for customers.
When you look at marketing technologies from a broad perspective, every service, application and platform is designed to make the digital marketing process easier. However, the environment is complex, and if businesses want to succeed it is essential to select solutions that integrate with their existing IT environments. So, as for the future of digital marketing? It will pertain to the cloud and, demand companies to stay on the cutting-edge and become increasingly customer experience-focused.