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View From Above: The 2014 Marketing Technology Landscape

We can probably agree that technology is the backbone of marketing — in the digital age more than ever.

But as a marketer sometimes you can be so busy, well, marketing that you don’t have time to keep on top of the latest developments. So you wait until a marketing need arises and then dive into unknown waters, splashing around frantically in circles until you think you might have found the solution to your tech problem.

No? You don’t often find yourself swimming on the job? Huh. Must just be me, then.

Questionably successful metaphors aside, wouldn’t it be nice for once to climb up out of the murky depths and get some clarity; really get a feel for the lay of the land?

Luckily, you can. Scott Brinker, co-founder and CTO of ion interactive, inc., has just released his freshly updated Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic. Featuring 947 marketing software companies sorted into 43 categories across 6 major classes, this supergraphic is a supremely useful way for you, the harried marketer, to get your bearings on what’s happening in your own industry:


It’s tiny, right? Click to see it at full size. Or, download a large full-resolution PDF.

In his post on Chief Marketing Techologist Blog, Brinker describes his identification of the six major classes of marketing technology:

  1. Internet services such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter that underlie today’s marketing environment.
  2. Infrastructure such as databases, big data management, cloud computing, and software development tools.
  3. Marketing Backbone Platforms such as CRM, marketing automation, WCM, and e-commerce engines.
  4. Marketing Middleware such as DMPs, CDPs, tag management, cloud connectors, user management, and API services.
  5. Marketing Experiences — more specialized technologies that directly affect prospects and customers across their lifecycle, such as advertising, email, social media, SEO, content marketing, A/B testing, marketing apps — the “front-office” of modern marketing.
  6. Marketing Operations — the tools and data for managing the “back-office” of marketing, such as analytics, MRM, DAM, and agile marketing management.

The classes, and the categories in them, are not fully comprehensive — that’s impossible in this ever-changing industry. But they do provide fantastic insight into marketing technology structure, relationships, and trends.

Here are some of the trends Brinker observed when he was updating the supergraphic:

  • The new emergence of marketing apps that enable marketers to create interactive content like polls, contests, and calculators for increased audience engagement.
  • The dominance of marketing automation/integrated marketing platforms across the industry.
  • The surprisingly low number of advertising technology companies represented, suggesting that there has been  — in Brinker’s words — a “seismic shift of marketing away from advertising to experience-driven marketing,” such as content and social media marketing and interactivity.

This is the third iteration of the graphic, the first and second ones having been released in August 2011 and September 2012, respectively. And it’s interesting to note that in the span of just nearly 2.5 years the number of marketing technology companies represented has shot up over 800%, from just around 100 to about 950. Hey, no wonder you might be having trouble keeping up.

Which companies put out your favorite marketing tools? Which do you have your eye on to try in 2014?

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