Should you build or buy martech? Yes

Martech Stacks: Suites, Platforms, Best-of-Breed, Custom, Hybrid

“Homegrown martech is like homemade pizza.” That’s the kind of quip I might have likely shot back a couple of years ago if someone asked me, “Should we build our own martech software or buy a packaged app from a martech vendor?” It’s not that you can’t make your own pizza at home. Anyone can. […]

Metcalfe’s Mirror: Complexity in networks (P.S. your martech stack is a network)

Complexity in Martech

Fair warning: this post is pretty wonkish, even relative to my usual style. (Yikes.) Robert Metcalfe, the godfather of computer networks, famously stated that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users connected. This became known as Metcalfe’s Law: The classic example is the telephone. When only two […]

A 2×2 view of systems of record in martech

Martech Systems of Record 2x2

The phrase “system of record” has been bandied about in martech for years. In the absence of any other context, it’s usually assumed to mean the software that holds the authoritative (or “golden”) customer record. Most often in practice, this is a CRM. This is why illustrations of martech stacks often have a CRM product […]

Aggregation Theory applied to martech stacks

Integration Layers = Aggregation Layers in a Platform

I recently wrote how martech stacks have arguably become virtual platforms. Even if you have a completely heterogeneous, “best-of-breed” stack, you likely have a set of products that work across your stack to provide cohesion, albeit each at a different layer of integration: Data: everything ultimately ends up in a “data lake” platform such as […]

Summer of Stacks: Opening the 2021 MarTech Stackie Awards

Summer of (MarTech) Stacks

Summer approaches! (Well, at least in the Northern hemisphere.) Fresh air, sunshine, and frolicking outdoors have never felt so viscerally appealing, after a seemingly infinite year indoors. I hope you get time to walk in the woods, roll in the grass, or dip your feet in the ocean. But there’s still work to be done! […]

Is your entire martech stack becoming one big virtual “platform”?

Martech Stack Virtual Platform Layers Landscape

The Great App Explosion can’t be stopped. But it can be harnessed. A couple of years ago, I proposed a model of 4 layers of app integrations with SaaS platforms. Advocating for better integration, for marketing apps in particular, I pointed out that not all integrations are equal. They vary significantly in how deeply they’re […]

Wait, more martech tools create more manual tasks?!

More martech tools create more manual tasks?

The good team at Airtable, whom I featured in my MarTech keynote, Marketing Superpowers: How AI & No Code Transform Every Marketer into a Maker, recently published the Airtable Marketing Trends Report based on a survey of 300 marketing leaders. This was their overview summary: Despite investment in tooling and processes, marketers aren’t operationally equipped […]

There are as many European-based martech products today (3,647) as there were globally in 2016

2021 European Martech Landscape Supergraphic

I remember the mad rush to finish the 2016 marketing technology landscape five years ago, just in time to present it for my opening keynote at that spring’s MarTech conference in San Francisco. In the previous years — 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015 — the landscape had grown exponentially, from 150 solutions to just under […]

212 event-related martech companies. Make that 268. Wait, no, 316…

Event-Related Martech: How It Started, How's It Going

I still remember fondly my young and innocent days a decade ago when I created the first marketing technology landscape. It categorized ~150 martech solutions — which at the time seemed epic in scale. “This must consolidate!” Ah, such innocence to the future of cloud dynamics. Last year, the martech landscape was up to 8,000 […]

A blossoming martech platform: IDC sizes the HubSpot ecosystem at $6.4 billion this year, $12.5 billion in 2024

HubSpot's Platform Ecosystem Market Size

Our business model fundamentally is about creating more surplus outside us. We will only be long-term successful if people are making more money around us. That quote from Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, from a few years ago, resonates deeply with me. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Microsoft is now a $1.7 trillion […]