Number Of Martech Companies Doubles To 2,000 In 2015
Social media and content marketing are among the biggest categories for marketing technology companies, while influence marketing, performance & attribution emerge.
In the space of one year, the number of marketing technology companies has nearly doubled, rising to nearly 2,000 in 2015. Each year, I chart the number of martech companies to produce my annual Marketing Technology Landscape. In 2014, it already included an astonishing 947 companies.
This year, it has grown to 1,876 in categories ranging from native advertising to SEO to analytics and more. If you want to view the landscape in its expansive glory, see our companion story: Infographic: The 2015 Marketing Technology Landscape. There, you’ll be able to view the landscape in a variety of sizes, as well as download a PDF version. In this article, I’ll focus on the changes that have happened from last year to this.
What’s Changed From 2014 To 2015
The biggest difference, of course, is the 98% increase in the number of companies included. Some of this growth is due to the many new start-ups that have launched in the space over the past year. But it’s also due to better research on my part. Surprisingly, this is still not comprehensive. But it’s close. (My apologies to the vendors that I missed — it was due entirely to my limitations, not theirs.)
One of the challenges in such a large and diverse field is merely finding all of the different companies that are operating in it. Traditionally, I’ve relied on Google to help me locate them, but I have to know what to search for — and hope that the companies involved have good SEO practices.
This year, I found it extremely helpful to also use a number of crowd-sourced software review sites, particularly G2 Crowd and TrustRadius. I’ve also continued to draw inspiration from Terence Kawaja’s terrific LUMAscapes.
It’s interesting to note that the distribution of additional companies this year is fairly evenly spread across the entire landscape. There weren’t any categories that shrunk. Even in classic categories, such as email marketing and web analytics — where there have been plenty of mergers, exits, and pivots to other categories — we’re seeing new entrants with fresh ideas. The categories for social media marketing and content marketing — and the amalgamated category of marketing automation, campaign management, and lead management — were the largest categories.
This mirrors the sea change underway in marketing overall, from outbound advertising to inbound marketing. There are several new categories, too, reflecting some of the emerging trends in the industry. The Performance & Attribution category, within the marketing operations quadrant of the graphic, highlights the innovation in marketing performance management software that has accelerated over the past year. This includes companies such as Allocadia, Beckon, Black Ink, and BrightFunnel.
The Influencer Marketing category, in the marketing experiences quadrant, grew out of the social media marketing cluster. It helps marketers connect with and empower some of their best customers and other third-party authorities to serve as ambassadors for their brands. This includes companies such as Influitive, Klout, Markerly, Onalytica, and Tapinfluence.
The Interactive Content category, closely related to the Content Marketing category adjacent to it, is an interesting mix of many different kinds of companies: marketing apps, interactive catalogs, interactive video, quizzes, content hubs, etc. It includes companies such as Ceros, HapYak, ion interactive (disclaimer: my company), Qzzr, SnapApp, and Uberflip.
The common thread of DNA among these different kinds of interactive content technologies is that they’re all participatory in nature. And that’s just a tiny sample of the incredible innovation happening all across the landscape.
Platforms And Middleware
One of the challenges, of course, is how marketers manage all of these different technologies. The term “marketing stack” has taken hold as the description for the different marketing software that a company adopts and how it’s connected together.
The good news is that in spite of the massive explosion of marketing technologies out there — or, more likely, because of it — there have been significant advancements in the industry to make integration between these different products easier. Two competing approaches to organizing a marketing stack are coalescing.
Most of the major marketing cloud providers — companies like Adobe, HubSpot, Marketo, Oracle, and Salesforce — now have official ISV ecosystems. They’ve opened up their APIs and developed programs to certify plug-and-play integrations with many of the more specialized marketing software products out there.
In a “platform” approach, you can choose one of these systems as the foundation, or system of record, for all the key data in your marketing environment. Integrated ISV products can then contribute to and leverage that central repository of data in a coordinated fashion.
However, an alternate approach is now possible through the adoption of “marketing middleware.” This includes categories of products such as customer data platforms, tag management systems, and cloud integration services, which have blossomed over the past year.
The companies are really all about the data. They serve as central hubs of customer intelligence, pulling data from many different systems, and helping markers prioritize and coordinate multi-channel programs based on the insights they uncover. Customer data platforms include companies such as BlueConic, Lytics, Optimove, Radius, and RedPoint — as well as a closely related set of predictive analytics companies, such as AgilOne, Fliptop, Lattice, and 6Sense.
Given the convergence happening between adtech and martech, I consider data management platforms (DMPs) — companies such as Conversant, DataXu, and Turn — to be in this category as well (at least from a 50,000-foot view). Tag management systems such as Ensighten and Tealium have also evolved tremendously over the past year, to play a greater role in the routing and value capture from the stream of real-time customer touchpoint data that they observe.
Of course, I’ve barely scratched the surface here — and I’d love to hear your perspective on this landscape in the comments below. If you’re interested in a deeper dive, there’s a more in-depth analysis of this marketing technology landscape available on my blog, chiefmartec.com. Also, if you’d like to learn how other companies are managing their marketing stacks and applying them in creative marketing programs, you should consider attending the MarTech conference, March 31 – April 1 in San Francisco.
The alpha rate on tickets — geek-speak for our early bird pricing — expires at the end of this week. Images used with permission from chiefmartec.com. Some of the companies mentioned above are also exhibitors or sponsors at MarTech.