Marketing Software

Should you build or buy martech? Yes

“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. I have. But making great pizza at home? Eh. You need a combination of skills, ingredients, the right pizza dough, …

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

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

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 people had telephones, the telephone “network” had relatively little value. When 5 billion people have phones, however, the value of …

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Complexity in Martech

A 2×2 view of systems of record in martech

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 such as Salesforce, HubSpot, or Microsoft Dynamics visually placed at their center. (Speaking of which, the 2021 MarTech Stackies are …

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Martech Systems of Record 2x2

Aggregation Theory applied to martech stacks

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 Snowflake Workflow: tools such as Workato and Zapier orchestrate processes across apps UI/UX: tools such as Slack provide a common …

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Integration Layers = Aggregation Layers in a Platform

Summer of Stacks: Opening the 2021 MarTech Stackie Awards

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! Marketing and martech continue to advance, adapting to the “new normal” of innovative digital customer experiences and digital business operations. …

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Summer of (MarTech) Stacks

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

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 integrated. The 4 layers of integration that I described: Data — sharing data between apps, which is the most common …

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

Martech Stack Virtual Platform Layers Landscape

Wait, 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 to build customer experiences at scale—and they’re punching in hours of manual work to make up the difference. So the …

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More martech tools create more manual tasks?

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

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 2,000. Many pundits (*cough* here’s an old article with a few *cough*) thought that the field would consolidate dramatically. I …

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2021 European Martech Landscape Supergraphic

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

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 solutions. 5,233% growth within 10 years’ time. And martech is just a tiny slice of The Great App Explosion happening …

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

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

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

Update: A new 2022 report from IDC has been published here. 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 platform company. People can argue a thousand different definitions …

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HubSpot's Platform Ecosystem Market Size

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