The Martech Show Episode #7: Ecosystems and the Expanding SaaS Universe

Channel Software Stack

You think there’s a lot of martech, right?

But it’s only a fraction of the total SaaS universe out there. This latest episode of The Martech Show features Jay McBain, Forrester analyst extraordinaire — I’ve long been a fan of his work — sharing his insights about SaaS markets and ecosystems.

Jay estimates that there are ~175,000 SaaS companies in the world today — and predicts that there could be 1 million by 2027. As we joked, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

His prediction isn’t a random large number. In this episode, Jay walks us through the math and rationale behind it:

  • 12 lines of business
  • 297 subindustries
  • 197 countries
  • 14 sectors, sizes & segments
  • 26 technology categories

…crunching the numbers, Jay calculates 35 million market opportunities. Yes, there will be plenty of overlap. But every niche will have specialists vying to tailor solutions to them, even if they’re only extensions built on top of larger, horizontal platforms.

This naturally leads into a discussion about ecosystems, which is the SaaS category that Jay specializes in — all the different kinds of software for partner and channel management. (The lovely landscape at the top of this post is his masterpiece.) He shared a ton of great insights on how that space is evolving.

This episode of The Martech Show was sponsored by Treasure Data — who generously donated to Second Harvest (part of Feeding America) on our behalf. Their CMO Tom Treanor joined Jay and me for our discussion, and it was a perfect fit: Tom brought a lot of relevant perspective from the CDP deployments they’ve seen.

Here’s the full episode for your viewing pleasure:

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