4 reasons to love the Marketing Technology Landscape supergraphic

With the martech landscape hitting the 3,500 mark, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But columnist Erik Matlick explains why the bevy of choices represents an incredible opportunity.

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2016 Marketing Technology LandscapeHave you seen the ChiefMartec Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic? With 3,500 marketing technology company logos squeezed onto a single slide, it’s been described as everything from “terrifying” to “amazing” to “headache-inducing.” Who would have thought that the marketing technology ecosystem could grow to be so intimidating?

But there is no need to be overwhelmed or terrified or intimidated by this slide. Here are four reasons to instead be excited about it:

1. Now is a great time to be a B2B marketer

The slide is solid proof that it is a great time to be in digital marketing. We have an overabundance of technology and an equal abundance of data to power that technology.

As marketers, we now have the ability to narrowly target our B2B audiences, engage them, convert them and optimize as never before. By selecting just a few of the partners represented in the Supergraphic, we can do all those things via various ad formats (including video) and across channels.

Considering that 10 years ago, most B2B marketers were focused on search and direct ad buys and just dipping their toes into blogging, this is all pretty amazing.

2. With martech on the rise, there’s a renewed focus on results

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk (and even full panels) about martech “eating” ad tech. As Dave Morgan wrote in MediaPost’s Online Spin earlier this year:

[blockquote]The future of advertising is about delivering ads to specific people and driving predictable business outcomes — sales, particularly — and ROI. Every day, it will be less and less about impressions, CPMs and unduplicated cookies.[/blockquote]

For too long, innovation was focused on impressions, reach and scale for the sake of those metrics alone. There was so much investment in volume for the sake of volume in ad tech.

Thankfully, martech focuses much more on the marketer and end customer, rather than padding the pockets of the middlemen in between. With a healthy martech ecosystem, marketers can build effective stacks and drive real business results — with a focus on the KPIs that matter most (like sales).

3. Data flows freely

With an infusion of B2B data into the market, marketers in this vertical have unprecedented access to in-market decision makers. Where we once had to pull thin CRM (customer relationship management) data through every tech tool, now second- and third-party data is available and can flow freely through the stack, allowing marketers to target and engage their B2B audiences as never before.

And with a broader set of technology solutions available, that data can be used more effectively across channels and screens.

4. Forget the Supergraphic; focus on the Stackies

Along with the 2016 SuperGraphic came the second iteration of “The Stackies,” a contest in which marketers — 41 of them — submitted visuals of their martech stacks in a bid to win charity dollars. Each Stackie entrant used different technology partners at varying places within the stack, creating a great jumping-off point for organizations with similar goals.

One winner built a Customer-Centric stack; another focused on an iterative buyer journey. They all created very powerful examples of what a marketing stack can do, what its foundational technology can be and how different solutions can be leveraged to reach desired goals.

These maps can be used as templates for tech evaluation, making the whole process of selecting potential partners much easier — which will be even more critical when the list of options reaches past the 5,000 mark next year.

So, while the choices represented by the overcrowded ChiefMartec slide may seem daunting, keep in mind that what they stand for is the opportunity to use data and technology for marketing that performs better than ever before.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Erik Matlick
Erik Matlick guides corporate strategy and vision at Bombora bringing over 15 years in founding, board and executive management experience. As an online performance marketing pioneer, Erik’s strategic insight from the data analytics media operations, ad serving technology and sales/marketing arena are the driving force behind what makes Bombora unique. Erik is also the Chairman of Madison Logic, the predecessor of Bombora. Prior to founding Madison Logic and Bombora, Erik was the Founder and CEO of IndustryBrains, which he sold to Marchex in July of 2005. Prior to IndustryBrains, he founded MediaBrains and served as an Ad Sales Manager for Ziff-Davis Publishing.Erik has invested in Fetchback (sold to GSI), Tynt (sold to 33 across), and LeadSpend (sold to Experian) and is a current investor in AddShoppers, Switch and Crisp Media. He is also an advisor to Metamorphic Ventures and Syracuse University Newhouse School. Erik holds a B.S. in Marketing from the Syracuse University School of Management.

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