Marketing Software

Okta reveals 5-year trend of best-in-breed apps; also, a kind request I have of you

Okta, a leading identity platform that many companies use for single sign-on (SSO), has been aggregating the data of which apps their customers use for the past five years. Every year, they publish a report that shares a wealth of fascinating stats, such as the relative popularity of different apps. This is another example of ground-truth empirical data about tech stacks that I find highly credible. In the 2022 edition of Okta’s report, just released, …

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Best-of-Breed Apps Grow

Matrixed Tech Stacks with Both Horizontal and Vertical Aggregation Platforms

Last year, I wrote about a pattern of aggregation platforms growing in martech stacks. The two key characteristics of an aggregation platform: It centralizes a cross-departmental capability (e.g., a cloud data warehouse). It grows in value as you connect more apps in your stack to it. That second point is important, and not only for the obvious network effects. To me, this triggered — or was triggered by — the recognition that tech stacks are …

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Matrixed Tech Stacks with Horizontal & Vertical Aggregation Platforms

The power of combinatorial innovation and 4 other lessons on the journey to 1,000 apps

Today, HubSpot announced a milestone of more than 1,000 integrated apps featured in the app marketplace for its CRM platform. The call to better integrate martech is being heard. As you may know, I joined HubSpot a little over four years ago to help grow its platform ecosystem. So I’m delighted to see this momentum build. And I feel like it’s still in the early stages of what it will become. A huge “thank you” …

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HubSpot App Ecosystem (January 2022)

SaaS stacks keep growing. Is there also a relationship between choice and utilization?

As an “armchair analyst” in martech, my favorite content comes from stack “aggregation” platform companies who publish the data of what their customers are actually doing. Unlike surveys that can be wildly biased and imprecise, aggregated usage data is empirical truth, straight up. Like the martech landscape, you can argue “why” and “where next,” but you can’t argue “what” the data is in the present. This week’s aggregated data gift is the 2022 SaaS Management …

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Size of SaaS Stacks by Company Size

3 Big Martech Innovation Themes in 2022

Hello, 2022! Or document.write(“Hello, 2022!”) to those still in codeland. Following my wrap-up of martech from 2021 — tl;dr a year in digital marketing that was experienced like a Twitch stream at 1.5X speed — let’s jump in to the martech topics I expect will shape 2022. Now, it’s true, I’m generally quite skeptical of “predictions” and therefore reluctant to label this post as such. But since I spend my days deep in martech — long …

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Martech Innovation Themes in 2022

2021: The Year Martech Shrank — Just Kidding (A Year in Review)

Congratulations on making it to the end of 2021. It’s been a long year for everyone as we navigated the ongoing pandemic saga. From the perspective of advancing digital business, these past 21 months have seen leaps and bounds forward. But the circumstances that catalyzed this punctuated equilibrium of marketing’s evolution have been hard for so many in so many ways. I’m not going to subject you to the phrase “the new normal” again — …

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Martech in Review: 2021

Data, Decisioning, Delivery & Design: A Framing for the CDP vs. CDW Debate

There’s been some interesting debate lately about CDPs vs. CDWs — customer data platforms vs. cloud data warehouses. If CDWs such as Snowflake, Databricks, AWS Redshift, etc., are becoming a universal data layer in companies, is there still a role for domain-specific data platforms, such as marketing-controlled CDPs? The short answer, in my opinion, is “Yes, but it depends…” There is still a significant distinction between live business operations systems that run in real-time serving …

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4 D's of Martech: Data, Decisioning, Delivery & Design

Higher order effects of automation in Big Ops

For the past year I’ve been talking about a shift from Big Data to Big Ops. In short, today’s challenges with business technology are less about managing a huge volume of data — Big Data — most of which wound up in a basement-level data lake, outside the reach of everyday business users. Instead, we’re now wrangling a Cambrian explosion of digital processes across our organizations that actively engage that data as part of live …

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Impact of Automation

The Composable Enterprise brings us into The Great App Explosion & Big Ops

Traditional business thinking views change as risk, while composable thinking is the means to master the risk of accelerating change and to create new business value.” Monika Sinha, Research VP, Gartner That’s a quote from Monika Sinha, a research VP at Gartner, announcing the 2022 Gartner CIO and Technology Executive Agenda. The “composable enterprise” is term that Gartner uses for businesses that leverage technology and digital process automation as a modular set of Lego Blocks …

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Composability Achieves Both Stability & Agility

Commerce is the latest (renewed) frontier in martech, putting the revenue in RevOps

First, welcome to the freshly updated chiefmartec.com site — or, if you’re reading in this in your inbox, our freshly updated email subscription service, a big step up from RSS-to-email through Google Feedburner. What’s that thing they say about the shoemaker’s children? Well, now we finally have some groovy new footwear. Metaphorically speaking. Anyway, on with the show… The effect the pandemic has had on all things digital has been enormous. For all the talk about …

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Future Martech Stack Products

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