UPDATE: The 2020 Marketing Technology Landscape is now available.
When I first presented the Rise of the Marketing Technologist, my key exhibit was a kaleidoscope of over 100 logos of marketing technology companies — what better way to viscerally express the awe-inspiring explosion of software in marketing.
Ever since then, I’ve itched to take that hot mess of a graphic and organize it, group the products into categories, and reveal some of the underlying structure of this diverse marketing technology ecosystem. After an ungodly amount of tweaking, I’ve decided to adopt an agile approach and “ship” this first version — as imperfect as it is — and iterate and improve it with your feedback:
The categories are defined with the rounded boxes, containing logos of representative companies. In turn, these categories are grouped into three meta-categories — the orange, blue and green colors of the boxes:
- External promotion (orange) such as advertising and social media marketing
- Customer experience (blue) that you operate and control, such as your website
- Marketing management (green) that runs the organization behind the scenes
Many of the challenges I faced in assembling this infographic felt like a metaphor for what marketing technologists wrestle with every day — given time and space constraints, I could only address a subset of possible categories, and in each category, I could only include a fraction of the vendors offering solutions in that space.
First and foremost, there is way more marketing software than what is represented here. This is just a subjective sampling, of primarily web-based, SaaS, and digital-centric applications. I apologize if I didn’t include your favorite — feel free to tell me about it in the comments. New marketing technologies are being released every week, so any static snapshot like this is bound to be out of date the moment it is published.
There are more categories of marketing software, but I strived to capture the major ones that would be applicable to the largest number of B2B and B2C marketers. I have not done justice to the technologies used by agencies or publishers. I did, however, include not only off-the-shelf products, but also some technologies used by marketers to build their own applications (e.g., the categories for Custom Web Apps, Mobile Apps, and Custom Databases).
The names of categories are squishy, as the definitions are constantly changing. I tried to choose the most commonly known names for categories. However, Eloqua might make the case that they should be in a Revenue Performance Management category instead of Marketing Automation. My own company, ion interactive — disclaimer, I included us in this diagram — is in the Landing Pages & Microsites and Web Testing & Optimization categories, even though I would prefer a separate Post-Click Marketing category.
As an inevitable corollary, many companies cross multiple categories. Some entire categories are intermingling, such as Search Ad Management and Social Media Ad Management, which I indicated with adjacency and occasionally small arrows. Alas, some cross-pollination defied my ability to show it cleanly in two dimensions, such as the intersection of CRM and Social Media Marketing Management into a new generation of social CRMs. Robust M&A activity has complicated categorization too. For most hybrid companies, I placed them in what I perceived as their primary category, although I put a few in multiple for clarity. If you disagree with my categorization, please share your rationale for a rearrangement.
Some categories are incredibly diverse. For instance, Integrated Suites includes both Hubspot and Unica (now a part of IBM), which serve two very different extremes, from SMBs to large-scale enterprises. I also included related technologies in categories that I thought were relevant — such as Zemanta in Blogs and Hadoop in Business Intelligence — even though they’re qualitatively different than their “peers.” I have a couple of catch-all categories — notably Widgets/Plug-ins, whose only common thread is that they provide capabilities that can be plugged into existing web properties.
Note: slight variations in the size of logos doesn’t mean that I prefer one over another, or that one is a larger company than the other; more mundanely, it was simply a little aesthetic license to squeeze things in. I chose logos over a list of names because I felt it was a better reflection of their respective differentiation.
Finally, I must give a nod to Terence Kawaja of LUMA Partners, whose LUMAscapes gave me inspiration for how to arrange this landscape. Terence’s graphics are much more complete than mine, especially because each focuses on a more narrow slice of the industry.
What do you think? What should I fix in the next version?