Master the Marketing Technology Landscape in a Single Supergraphic

For years I’ve been following Scott Brinker’s blog, The Chief Marketing Technologist, as I’ve always admired his in-depth, introspective, and enlightening posts. I actually think what I like most about his blog, however, is the fact that he’s always striving to obtain an even greater perspective, which is something I always applaud and encourage.

Needless to say, earlier this week I was excited to see the 2016 version of Brinker’s “Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic” released at San Francisco’s annual Marketing Technology conference. Most notably, the number of companies included on the supergraphic jumped from 150 in 2011, the first year Brinker produced it, to nearly 2,000 last year, and over 3,500 companies in 2016. That’s quite an amazing rate of year-over-year growth at 87%, wouldn’t you agree? Check out the supergraphic here:marketing_technology_landscape_2016_3000px-1024x576The really neat thing about this supergraphic is that it’s broken down into six color-coded master categories to provide an overview of where marketing is currently seeking the most help from technology. Despite the perceived chaos, this supergraphic actually provides a very direct, clear, well-researched (!) and unique perspective into the overall realm of digital marketing. The master categories are laid out as follows:

  1. Advertising and Promotion (to include: mobile marketing, display and programmatic advertising, search and social advertising, native/content advertising, video advertising, print, PR)
  2. Content and Experience (to include: mobile apps, interactive content, content marketing, optimization, personalization, and testing, DAM & MRM, SEO,  marketing automation and campaign/lead management, CMS & web experience management, video marketing, email marketing)
  3. Social and Relationships (to include: call analytics and management, events, meetings & webinars, social media marketing & monitoring, advocacy, loyalty & referrals, influences, community & reviews, feedback & chat, customer experience, service & success, CRM)
  4. Commerce and Sales (to include: retail and proximity marketing, channel, partner & local marketing, sales automation, enablement & intelligence, affiliate marketing &  management, e-commerce marketing, ecommerce platforms & carts)
  5. Data (to include: audience/market data & data enhancement, marketing analytics, performance & attribution, mobile & web analytics, dashboards and data visualization, business/customer intelligence & data science, iPaas, cloud/data integration & tag management, DMP, predictive analytics, customer data platforms)
  6. Management (talent management, product management, budgeting & finance, collaboration, projects & workflow, agile & lean management, vendor analysis)

Wow! I feel exhausted just typing all of that out. And would you believe that at first I didn’t realize how many technological solutions I’ve actually engaged with until I took a closer look?  Many of these technology solutions have become such a part of my marketing existence that I don’t even think of them as “technology solutions” anymore. For example, at a glance I noticed such technology solutions that I use on a regular basis as Act!, Adobe, Asana, Emma, Eventbrite, Google, Hootsuite, Keyhole, Lexis Nexis, Microsoft, Salesforce, Salesgenie, Slack, SurveyMonkey and Tagboard. I think this underscores the point that we’ve become so dependent and comfortable with technology that we hardly even realize we’re using it half the time.

In looking at the supergraphic, I also learned that I’m certainly nowhere close to a marketing technology expert: how helpful it is to have this big picture view of the landscape to understand where I fit in, where I lack experience, and where I could benefit from growing. For example, while I might be familiar with several platforms in the CRM and email marketing categories, there are certainly other categories where I’ve never even used a single technology solution such as customer data or product management.

With that being said, as a marketing professional it’s more important than ever before to attempt to get a grasp on the overall picture to enable better business decisions. With 3,874 marketing technology solutions available, where do you fit in? How many of these brands are you familiar with, how many are you using, and which of these solutions are bringing you headaches vs. effectiveness and results? What new technologies might be worthwhile to try? In short, how can you best take advantage of technology to meet the needs of your strategic business objectives and goals? Would love to hear any thoughts or insights!

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