How to Approach Martech Landscape

How to Approach Martech Landscape

Everyone loves options. Whether it’s choices of ketchup brands at the grocery store or a variety of white sweaters while online shopping, we as consumers value the opportunity to choose the right thing over similar products. The Martech landscape is no different.

In a rapidly evolving industry, the number of choices within Martech is quickly surpassing “options” and headed straight for “overwhelming.”  According to Martech Today, the new Martech landscape has 27% more companies, about 1,500 Martech solutions, than last year’s report. Right now, 6,829 marketing solutions technologies from 6,242 vendors make up the 48-category Martech map.

While the evolution of the Martech landscape is exciting and encouraging, it’s also more and more challenging to discern the right technologies and solutions for your company. Rather than sticking with what you already know or walking blindly into a new technology, we recommend a four-step evaluation process:

  1. Audit your tech stack.
  2. Assign quantifiable value to each solution.
  3. Reevaluate your goals and customer needs.
  4. Consult an industry insider.

This is the perfect time to discern the solutions that work and those that aren’t adding value. With the end of Q4 so clearly in our sights, it’s time to reflect, reposition, and advocate for the technologies that will work for your team. Budgets are finite, so now is the time to clearly identify what you need and why before another year’s tech budget is allocated elsewhere.

Keep reading to gain a better understanding of the booming Martech landscape, the value of myriad options, and a more detailed approach to choosing the right technologies for your business.

What’s New in the 2018 Marketing Technology Landscape?

When the Martech industry initially blew up in 2011, experts predicted an industry-wide consolidation — so many products across so many categories were unlikely to succeed in the long term, or so it was thought. Turns out, industry experts were very wrong. Instead, the Martech industry has exploded, evolving into one of the most diverse, niche-friendly industries in marketing. Solutions and technologies are available for almost any problem in marketing, from email signature lines to content distribution.

To better understand the rapid growth and volume of offerings, we have the Marketing Technology Landscape. Put together by, the Marketing Technology Landscape is an annual visualization of every technology within the industry, mapped by category. Some highlights from this year’s report (besides its visually pleasing rainbow look) include:

  • The largest category reported in the 2018 version was Sales, Automation, Enablement, and Intelligence with 490 solutions.
  • Only 4.5 percent of companies included on last year’s report do not appear this year — far outpaced by the number of new technologies on this year’s visualization.
  • Two categories have been eliminated from last year’s report: Predictive analysis category and artificial intelligence, because both of these pieces of technology are consistent across so many technologies and solutions.
  • Shown in the graphic below, new categories and additions continue to develop as agencies attempt to serve customers in a digital world in a more human way.  Since it’s beginning in 2011, the landscape has grown steadily from approximately 150 Martech solutions to approximately 7,000 Martech solutions in 2018, as shown in the graphic below. 


What are the Best Ways to Approach the Marketing Technology Landscape?

While the visualization aims to make Martech more approachable, it’s still a behemoth document that doesn’t necessarily help you make a decision about the right technologies for your business.

  1. Audit your Inventory
    1. Most companies acquire tools and technologies that they rarely use or are not using to their full potential. Before approaching this mess of options, assess your current marketing technology plan and explore where there’s room for other technologies or improvement in general. Be clear about your objectives moving forward and approach the landscape with a clear understanding of what you have and what you need.
  2. Assign a Monetary Value to Every Martech Output
    1. The most useful way to look at what your current tools’ production is to cut through the clutter and approach it in a quantifiable way. Do your research so that you can link sales and profit data with each technology and gain a better understanding of the benefits of each prospective tool. Keeping your financial model in mind and allowing a period of testing to measure success is crucial when moving forward with new technologies.
  3. Make Your Customers a Priority
    1. With the rapidly changing Martech industry, it’s easy to get caught up the trends and forget about why these technologies are really important — because they connect you to the customers that you serve. The goal of marketing technologies is to help you reach new goals, improve your processes, and optimize your interactions with customers. But with all of the options available, it can also easily create confusion for the user. Remember: just because something is new doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for your business, so stay focused on what you are trying to achieve throughout the search.
  4. Receive and Report Recommendations
    1. The chart demonstrates density but lacks clarity in choices. Don’t hesitate to consult with industry insiders who know the landscape or have worked with the array of vendors you might be interested in.
    2. Once you have asked around, we recommend you write these down in a report so you can determine which one works best for you and your agency and refer back to why you made certain decisions.

The Martech Landscape provides a visual for the density of space and the amount of innovation available within the industry. The arc of growth is long and high and is driving us forward rapidly in a constantly evolving industry. Rather than being intimidated by the options, we hope you embrace them and make your product the best it can be!

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