It’s hardly news that the marketing technology ecosystem is growing rapidly, but some of the details behind that growth can still be surprising.
The marketing technology (martech) landscape, as tracked by Scott Brinker, has exploded from less than 200 solutions in 2011 to almost 5,000 last year. To be sure, part of that is simply better discovery, but there hasbeen real, and dramatic, expansion in spending as well as the number of vendors and products in the marketplace.
Brinker breaks the martech universe down into six high-level categories:
Each of those categories are further divided into more specific functional groupings. For example, under Content & Experience are a dozen sub-groups including mobile apps, video marketing, interactive content, email marketing, and SEO.
It’s an eminently logical taxonomy of martech tools, but it doesn’t lend itself to easily envisioning how different categories of tools fit and work together. Alternative frameworks like the Website Visibility and Engagement Model for Martech organize tools by their place in content marketing workflow:
Marketing teams are best served by mapping out their own optimized workflow processes, then investigating the tools available to help them improve their effectiveness and efficiency at each stage.
Here are 12 martech statistics that illuminate the current state of the market.
Spending on marketing technology and tools is growing, rapidly…
…because it works…
…and artificial intelligence (AI) will make it even more powerful.
However, many companies—particularly small to midsized businesses (SMBs)—are struggling to choose the right technologies, keep up with changes, and use martech tools effectively.
The use of martech tools is essential to running an effective digital marketing operation. Smart companies will continue to increase their martech investments, and to push the envelope (though perhaps not too aggressively) on new capabilities. Businesses that fail to keep up will increasing find them themselves at a disadvantage to more technically savvy competitors.
Companies struggling with “tool overload” and actually becoming less efficient as they increase their use of technology can improve their operations by focusing on three areas:
Invest Strategically: As noted here previously in Marketing Technology: Too Many Tools, Too Little Strategy?, tactical buying of marketing tools leads to suboptimal technology selection, with resulting gaps and overlaps in functionality. Instead, model your ideal marketing operations and select tools strategically that work together to support your workflow.
Consolidate and Integrate: Where possible, consider buying tools that combine several functions into one platform, rather than separate tools for each. For example, all-in-one SEO tool suites combine capabilities like backlink analysis, rank tracking, keyword research, and competitive intelligence into one product. Where the suite approach isn’t practical, integrate disparate tools using Zapier or an alternative.
Train Your People: With technology advancing so quickly, it’s challenging to find experts in the use of every tool you want to implement. Develop your own experts instead, by training staff not just on how the tools work, but on how they work together to optimize your marketing operations.
As some of the findings above show, marketing technology itself won’t guarantee greater efficiency or better results. Capitalizing on the potential of martech tools requires a strategic approach to technology selection coupled with investments in integration and training.
This article was first published on V3Broadsuite.