MarTech Overtime: Have we achieved peak martech in 2019?
Contributor Jon Schepke shares his MarTech West takeaway about the complexity of the landscape and why CMOs need to keep up with the rapidly evolving ecosystem.
The martech landscape, as defined by Scott Brinker, has evolved from 150 companies in 2011 to approximately 7,000 companies in 2018. Scott Brinker unveiled the latest edition of the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic at the annual MarTech West Conference on April 4. Almost immediately, he sparked one of the most talked about questions at MarTech West: Have we achieved peak martech?
The data in his updated graphic would suggest that we have achieved peak martech in 2019. That’s because churn exceeded growth for the first time, as shown in the chart below:
In fact, what’s really happening is that the martech landscape is becoming deeper and more complex. There are so many martech companies that new martech companies are being launched to help enterprise companies keep track of all of the solutions that are deployed across the enterprise. We need martech companies to manage martech companies!
Martech to manage martech
An example of this would be a SaaS system that allows you to measure, manage and secure all of your cloud-based software within the enterprise.
Zylo is interesting because it tracks utilization rates, which allows the C-Suite to know where to invest and reduce the cost for certain applications. Zylo also reminds me of how dependent everyone is on these applications on a day-to-day basis to drive results and productivity. Can you imagine what would happen if Salesforce, Google G-Suite, LinkedIn, Hubspot and Workday were all down for one day? We would need to shut down the office and head to the nearest bar to watch some March Madness! Fortunately, we live in a world where four-to-five “9’s” are the norm (i.e., uptime = 99.9999 . . . ). Glad we have cloud redundancy – otherwise, how could we do our jobs?
An evolving ecosystem
I don’t think we have achieved peak martech. I think the ecosystem is evolving. We now have multiple ecosystems being built within ecosystems. The most obvious example is Salesforce, which has become the industry gold standard.
Now, WordPress now has 54,880 plugins.
Plugins are provided not by WordPress but by its ecosystem of partners, such as Yoast SEO that helps WordPress users improve their SEO. Here are other examples. By relying on an ecosystem, WordPress offers users a more powerful set of tools that improve the performance – and less expensively and nimbly than had WordPress tried to develop plugins itself.
A second Golden Age of martech
At MarTech West, the rise of a new ecosystem was clear and ready to usher in the second Golden Age of martech with:
- Platform ecosystems
- Blended models of software and service
- Custom apps and ops on a common core
Open API’s and macro/micro-ecosystems are all building blocks to scale what were once very complicated problems. Marketing is about outcomes, not outputs, and these ecosystems empower us to maximize results.
CMOs who know how to use these technologies are winning. There is a reason CMOs are getting more budget and becoming more powerful – they can finally leverage data and analytics and demonstrate a clear ROI on marketing budgets. Long gone are the days of “spray and pray” advertising. The successful companies are deploying very sophisticated marketing stacks built to drive results.
Ann Lewnes, a keynote speaker at MarTech West and the CMO at Adobe, is a perfect example. When she joined Adobe in 2006, the company was struggling. But Lewnes helped turn things around by taking the package software business and transforming it into a cloud-based subscription business. Adobe is now a subscription business online – so marketing is critical to driving the business. Adobe is doing it right, attracting 9.2B visitors per year.
Now, if you are selling enterprise software to Ann Lewnes, the first question you’d need to answer would be: What is your current marketing stack? That’s because even if you had the greatest software in the world, but it does not integrate with Ann’s current marketing stack, the odds of her working with you would be very low.
The modern CMO
The challenge is clear to modern-day CMO’s: as the martech ecosystem becomes more complicated and intertwined, you can’t grow your business unless you pay attention to how you are building a marketing stack with open APIs. If your technology doesn’t play nice with someone else’s marketing stack, you are doomed to live on an isolated island, cut off from valuable partners who could help you provide more services at scale if only your technologies were compatible. Doing what’s best for the customer means being an active player in a rapidly evolving ecosystem.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.
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