Thousands and thousands of entrepreneurial vendors.
A few giants that have consolidated portfolios of dozens of their own “best-of-breed” options, so a buyer could theoretically get everything they need from one source.
A dizzying array of choices for buyers. Yet choices that many become quite passionate about. They enjoy discovering new ones that are special to them and enthusiastically telling their peers about them.
A massive landscape graphic that maps it out from a blogger who deeply loves the space.
I’m talking, of course, about beer.
It’s a pretty impressive brewery landscape he’s assembled. Although I will note that the 20,000+ independent craft breweries only get represented with a relatively small sample on his graphic.
(Believe me, I can appreciate the insanity that would be involved in trying to assemble labels from all of those on a slide. At some point, you throw up your hands and say, “Want to go grab a beer?”)
I emailed Michael to ask his permission to share his graphic, showing him the martech landscape and noting how I thought my readers would find the analogy amusing. (Did you?)
He replied, “Granted! Seems like most industries are going in the same direction.”
Most industries are going in the same direction. There’s wisdom there. Thinking about the dynamics of the beer universe — of which, I only have experience as an end user — there are fascinating parallels. The knowledge and equipment to launch a craft beer has become highly democratized through the Internet. As has the ability to promote through digital marketing and engage in ecommerce, even subscription models. (Yes, BaaS — beer-as-a-service.)
No barriers to entry. Democratized tools for creation. Open platforms for promotion and distribution. Beer and martech actually have a lot in common. I’m sure the executives at the major breweries spend a lot of time discussing the need to consolidate their industry. But for consumers, I’m not sure that the benefits of consolidation are as clear.
Food for thought. Or, um, beverage for thought.
But I confess I did have a pang of regret when I saw Michael’s map. Should I have chosen a different industry other than martech to obsessively map? Is it too late to switch over to the Chief Wine Experience blog and spend my days mapping out the universe of vineyards and wineries in the world?
P.S. If you’re looking for an opportunity to mix martech and beer, or the social beverage of your choice, early bird registration for our next MarTech conference in Boston, September 16-18, is now open. For two evenings in a row, we’ll have cool networking receptions with well-stocked bars and well-staffed martech vendor exhibits. A perfect combination?