Interactive martech supergraphics have arrived

Thanks to Frans Riemersma of MartechTribe.

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If you feel like getting your eyesight tested after five minutes poring over Scott Brinker’s famous Martech 5000, you may need an EEG after your first exposure to MartechTribe’s mind-bending interactive martech supergraphics.

They’re worth a look, though. The sheer volume of solutions available creates immense complexity in the relationships between them. Marketers and marketing ops specialists should welcome any attempt to visualize this extraordinary eco-system.

MartechTribe was founded by Frans Riemersma, who began as a marketer, and but turned to coding out of dissatisfaction with the user experience provided by the tools at his disposal. After almost eight years managing software teams at Brandmaker, he founded, a marketing strategy and management visualization tool, and offers global martech training and consultancy through MartechTribe.

“I help brands with vendor assessments,” Riemersma told us, “because 8,000 tools is a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? I have ways and methods to quickly zoom into a short-list, and give brands a good feeling about their decision.” Working with global brands like Philips means dealing with complex stacks distributed over multiple teams in many countries. “Lots of gaps and overlaps,” said Riemersma.

Mapping stacks

Riemersma is based in the Netherlands, so his landscape reflects the European martech space. How did he come up with the idea of making the landscape supergraphics interactive? “Clients expect me as a consultant to tell them what goes well together, but I would rather have their peers tell them—like marketing managers. So I started collecting together stacks two or three years ago—like the Stackie Awards—and then there’s also a survey ion my own website where people can submit their own.”

Working in collaboration with Mark Wakelin, now a senior analyst at Hootsuite, the process began with the creation of network diagrams, linking solutions together. “There was slicing and dicing and optimizing, and in the beginning it was like, what are looking at, what is this telling us? Slowly but surely, when using it with clients they ask the right questions, and we got a better view of how it works.”

The European martech landscape, which is Riemersma’s starting point, shows what solutions are out there. The interactive supergraphics show the combinations of solutions people are using. About 35 categories of tools are represented, and only tools with a certain minimum usage are included.

“It’s work-in-progress. My dream is to have as many marketers as possible fill out their own stacks, because it only makes it more reliable and clear. I would love to show martech stacks by industry—pharmacy uses this, automotive uses this.”

Right now, many of the submitted stacks are from technology vendors (not unlike stacks submitted for the Stackie Awards), so Riemersma is seeking a balance with stacks from other industries.

Researching a major solution like Marketo produces a graphic of immense complexity; it’s probably better to start with some smaller to get a feel for how it works. “The bigger the dot, the more you see it [in stacks], and the bigger the line between two dots, the stronger the relationship. A beautiful example is vendor analysis, like G2 Crowd, Forrester, Gartner and TrustRadius. Those tools are used heavily, but they’re outside the center, completely peripheral.”

The analysis goes much deeper—for example in characterizing the kinds of stacks used by people-driven, growth-driven, and data-driven businesses, but the best way to understand what Riemersma is doing it to take a look.

Buckle up, and start here.

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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