This week, Scott Brinker issued his updated Marketing Technology Landscape for 2016. Now an extremely helpful and anticipated annual review of this sector, it is perhaps no surprise that this year’s super graphic is bigger than ever – although a doubling of marketing technology solutions shown to 3874, from 2015’s 1876 (itself double the 947 featured in 2014) is maybe unexpected, and certainly not what I personally predicted in December when looking ahead to 2016.
This blog looks at the key developments compared to last year’s landscape and pulls out my 3 main takeaways, including a look at Google’s newly announced Analytics 360 Suite.
As Scott’s accompanying blog post makes clear, this continuingly large increase in solutions seems to have come about because rather than moving to a “one platform to rule them all model”, many organisations continue to use multiple platforms in their marketing technology stacks, with increasing ease of integration (including a category of products known as iPaaS = integration platforms as a service) meaning that the “all in one” solution is not as crucial to provide consistent data integration/customer experience etc as may have been believed before.
NB – Of course, one other reason for the increase may of course be the ever growing industry interest in Scott’s landscape itself, with every tech solution no doubt making sure they are represented on there this year!
One of the most interesting parts of the update is changes in how the multiple vendors are categorised, no simple job on such a huge chart. Here, I have to say that I really like the 6 categories that have been used for 2016, which are focused on 6 marketing technology capability clusters (with multiple categories then underneath):
These new clusters appear more consistent with the final customer experience compared with last year’s model where marketing experience and operations solutions were “stacked” on top of infrastructure and platform systems at the bottom. This new set-up sees clusters 1-4 helping to replicate a typical customer funnel in logical order, with accompanying Data and Management enablers as numbers 5 and 6. Generally pulling out “paid” marketing as cluster 1, with “owned/earned” living in clusters 2, 3 and 4 is also a really helpful distinction from 2015.
So what does all this mean?
Here are my 3 key takeaways from this new Marketing Technology Landscape…
1. JOINING THE DOTS AND PLUG & PLAY SUPPORT ARE NOW THE NORM
As alluded to above, I think it is significant that “Integration Platforms As A Service” (or iPaaS) has been pulled out as its own category, including data integration and tag management solutions. As our consumer lives via iOS, Android etc have become increasingly simple and user friendly, so marketers have been demanding a similar level of flexibility with business technologies. The huge 2016 landscape shows how big this potential system is overall.
2. BUT THE BIG BEASTS AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE
However, of course base platforms do remain fundamentally important as core building blocks, with the significant recent news here being Google’s announcement last week of Google Analytics 360 Suite. With Google Analytics Premium at its core, this will consist of existing Google tag management and attribution products as well as other new applications. These include a new data visualisation tool Data Studio 360, Optimise 360 (on site testing and personalisation) and Audience Centre 360, a data management platform. An obvious challenger to the likes of Adobe’s Marketing Cloud and similar services from IBM, Salesforce etc – it will be interesting to see how this develops in the coming months.
3. THE NEW CLUSTERS SEEM CLOSER TO TYPICAL MARKETING PLANNING, THEREFORE MAKING IT EASIER TO ASSESS TECH REQUIREMENTS
As I mentioned above, it is instructive that “paid” marketing channels are in a separate cluster to “owned/earned”, which I feel is particularly important for the hugely broad sphere of a discipline like content marketing, which now is well represented in cluster 1 (via “native/content advertising” and “video advertising”), cluster 2 (well, pretty much all of it as this cluster is “Content & Experience") plus cluster 3 (e.g. “Social Media Marketing”). In essence, what this does help to demonstrate is that for any successful campaign, ultimately to be serviced by cluster 4 “Commerce & Sales”, it is likely that a combination of channels from the first 3 clusters will be used. But of course, not all – and when developing any marketing tech stack, it is those priority calls about what to focus on when you can’t do everything that are always key.
And finally, many thanks to Scott Brinker for producing this always helpful and thought provoking graphic. Although there is by necessity a lot packed in there, it is really useful as a “50,000 foot overview of the entire space”. There are various links to the original landscape through this blog, but you can also visit Scott’s website at www.chiefmartec.com
Lead blogger and founder of Clear Digital: talking about ecommerce, digital, marketing and media.