5 Disruptions Shaping Marketing Technology Landscape in 2017


Marketing technology growth has been more than 350% in the last 5 years. There are now 5,381 marketing software solutions in the market compared to 150 in 2011. This phenomenal growth has led to several disruptions in traditional way of doing marketing and business. In this show, we discuss the 5 key disruptions and how to prepare for it.

Listen to the 5 Disruptions Shaping Marketing Technology Landscape in 2017

Show Summary:

We recently attended the Martech conference hosted by Scot Brinker and had an opportunity to me meet Scott and others in the marketing technology space.There is no question the Martech industry is exploding but the growth rates are beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

In 2010-11, there were only 150 marketing technology companies and now there are 5,381 on the Martech Super graphic prepared by Scot and his team. That’s up 39 percent than last year and 350 percent since 2011. It’s phenomenal!

You will rarely hear anyone in the marketing industry say yeah there’s not a tool out there for this.

Its great that people are finally acknowledging marketing is not just about traditional events or trade shows. It is all about digitization.It is all about technology and sophistication. So, with that we want to make sure that these thousands of technologies are working with each other.

Today, we will discuss how marketing landscape is getting disrupted by technology. Building a marketing stack is no longer an option but a necessity. The bigger issue is in hand is managing the data and the integration of these marketing technologies. Most companies are struggling because they fail to capitalize on their Marketing stack due to the lack of integration between the different types of marketing tech. The data silos and fragmentation leads to really poor customer experience and lack of trust in data.

I think the next wave of marketing technology should be focused on solving the data integration problems not so much of coming up with a new source of data.

The key lesson is people need to evolve with the technology and not get stuck with the traditional technologies and ways of doing things.

Having said that lets dive into the five disruptions reshaping the marketing technology landscape.

Disruption #1 – Digital transformation of business

The digital transformation is how companies will strategize their business to become a successful business for the next decades or hundreds of years to come.The digital transformation plays a bigger role in the different parts of the business. For sales, it makes it easier to manage the tire sales operations, assignment of quota, real time tracking of revenue goals. For marketing, it allows the automation of marketing management, tracking and running campaigns, measuring performance and alignment with company goals. For finance, it helps with budget management, comp structure and corporate reporting.

Digital transformation is one of the biggest disruption or I should say accelerator of marketing technology. It allows marketers to think beyond marketing when implementing a new tool or technology. It challenges Martech companies to collaborate with others in the space and build open-source technologies or infrastructure. A recent example of one such collaboration is the SalesForce and IBM partnership. Salesforce’s artificial intelligence platform called Einstein will be integrated with IBM’s cognitive intelligence program called Watson.

There is definitely a learning curve for the people who are not completely sold on the idea of the digital transformation especially for marketing. Few places to learn more and get educated are ChiefMartech blog, Salesforce and IBM blogs, Marketingland, Adobe blog and Datacrackle.

These big vendors are doing some really great work in terms of producing content, webinars and resources to help you understand on what exactly digital transformation is and what is your role as a marketer. It doesn’t matter what type of marketing you do you will be touched by digital transformation.

Disruption# 2 – Open source and APIs

The second disruption reshaping marketing technology landscape is open source and APIs.

With so many marketing technologies, marketers can create powerful marketing stacks. However, the challenge on hand is to connect these technologies. Interestingly, in 2005 there were only 186 APIs and in 2016 the number has exploded to 16000 API. This massive growth in APIs and open-source technology is leading MarTech disruptions as technology developers will have to think through in advance on how their tool with work with these APIs and open source tech.

Similarly, marketers should put together a plan for APIs and open source when building their tech stack.

In addition, we think there should be a continuous update to the integration services or open standards for building data connectors and integrator for MarTech. At IBM, we did something like this a few years ago for digital analytics space. We created W3C open standards and open source tags so anyone building tags can latch on to these open source standards for creating web and digital tags for their digital properties. This type of system makes you marketing analytics vendor agnostic. It’s time for marketing technology landscape and marketing technology builders to come up with an open-source standards for building marketing technology.

Disruption# 3 – Vertical Competition

When we think of completion in the Martech space, we usually think of Adobe vs Salesforce vs Google. However, the power struggle between these horizontal players is less disruptive than the power struggle between someone like Adobe and Facebook. The question is which will deliver most value to the marketers on how they engage with their audience.

What’s interesting is the vertical competition gives marketers access to new type of information that was not available ale before. Platforms like Facebook gives them access to unique and extremely valuable information about their customers. It’s not just about a particular demographic or data point it’s now a question of people’s emotions. The traditional digital marketing vendors such as Adobes and Google of the war should pay attention to that.

Disruption# 4 – Everything is Digital

Earlier, we discussed how digital transformation of business is disrupting the Martech industry. What’s more interesting is every part of our lives is now becoming digital. We no longer carry paper or pen, we pay our bills online, we book our travel digitally, we do a large number of our daily chore using digital devices. With digital lifestyle invading our homes, Martech and non-Martech companies are competing to grab a “share of homespace”. In a recent keynote, Apple announced they were going to enter the home space battle against Amazon Alexa and Google home. So it’s everything is becoming digital.

This type of disruption gives marketers the ability to market to their consumers directly without any firewalls or Adblockers.

Soon, Amazon Alexa and Google Home will have some type of advertisement pitching before they give an answer. It’s like “Alexa, what is the weather today?”. “This answer is brought to you by XYZ.”

The concept of “everything is digital” provides better opportunity for companies to really create a better relationship and deliver better customer service to their customers. It also invades customers privacy and leads to annoyance and dissatisfaction.

Disruption# 5 – Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is not just a buzzword anymore. It’s a reality we experience in our lives to some degree. For example, your Google map app providing you option to reroute your trip due to traffic of road closure is a type of AI. You smart home devices telling you about weather and traffic in advance is also a type of AI.

AI has also disrupted the Martech space with technologies such as Adobe Sensei, Salesforce Einstein and IBM Watson can process data really fast and can understand natural language. It allows us to do a lot of cool stuff that we were not able to do before.

Analytical marketers can visit WatsonAnalytics.com and no only visualize your data but ask natural language questions and WatsonAnalytics will pop up the answers from the underlying data. Salesforce Einstein allows you to ask hard questions like “How is my product doing this month in terms of average revenue compared to the last month’s average revenue” and then you will get answers. These type of disruptions will allow consumers and users of these technologies to make some faster decisions and go to market pretty quickly.

Hope you enjoyed this podcast and blog post.

Resources discussed in this podcast:

  • Marketing Disruption article by ChiefMartech
  • SalesForce CRM
  • IBM
  • IBM Watson Analytics
  • Adobe
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Home
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