Scott Brinker lays out vision for Second Golden Age of MarTech
In preparing this year’s MarTech Landscape, Brinker sees a new blending that is helping to solve the industry’s three big challenges.
The First Golden Age of MarTech — a Cambrian Period-like proliferation of vendors visualized in Scott Brinker’s increasingly dense Marketing Technology Landscape — is now transitioning into its second phase.
That’s the key thrust of a new post by Scott Brinker, “3 trends driving the Second Golden Age of MarTech.” Brinker runs Chiefmartec.com, occupies the post of VP of platform ecosystem at HubSpot and serves as conference chair for our MarTech conferences.
The 3 trends
There are three key trends — and signs — of this new Age, he argues, all three of which represent a new kind of blend:
- Ecosystems are transitioning from a competition between all-in-one marketing suites (like Adobe or Salesforce) on one hand and best-of-breed point solutions on the other, to open platforms that are complemented by integrated, third-party apps. This emerging blend, he said, is solving the key challenge of integrating all that martech software. Brinker cites a study that found integration is the most challenging barrier to marketing technology success.
- Software-as-a-service and professional services “will blur,” he says, as service firms automate and cloud-based software companies offer expert service add-ons. This blending, he said, is addressing the problem of utilizing all the capabilities of those tech tools.
- And “no-code” or “low-code” application development is creating a population of “citizen developers,” he says — non-technical business users who can build web or mobile app software just by entering information and clicking choices. This blending is solving customization, he says, and includes not only low-code app builders like Salesforce’s, but many smaller, business author-friendly vendors such as Zapier or Betty Blocks.
An available-anywhere service
Overall, these three developments are made possible because so much of marketing technology is now a cloud-based platform ecosystem, where integrated applications, services and non-technical software authoring become feasible.
Another way to look at this: all of martech is marching toward becoming an available-anywhere service for business users.
This Second Golden Age is not fully here yet, Brinker said, but will emerge on the other side of an upcoming “bumpy ride.”
‘The Age of Reckoning’
As a result of the venture capital rush into marketing and ad tech from 2013 to 2017, he predicts, 2019 will be “a buyer’s market in martech M&A.” This “age of reckoning” will last at least through 2020, he said, a period that could see substantial attrition among vendors if a recession kicks in.
After that winnowing, Brinker says, when the new Golden Age emerges, many of the frictions that have held back some of the promises of marketing technologies will be largely removed because of the trends above.
“Reduce that friction,” Brinker writes, “and you could open up a whole new generation of martech innovation [that doesn’t] need to raise large VC rounds.” This will include thousands of “specialist apps and components,” he said, whose volume and variety will be “revolutionary.”